Thanksgiving Day is the time when people express thanks gratitude towards the Almighty and prepare a sumptuous and lavish meal, to celebrate the day in a grand way. In fact, organizing a feast is the traditional way to celebrate the festival. Kith and kin gather in the household and enjoy the delectable dishes and drinks. Most of the hosts offer a short prayer to Lord before they begin with the meal. However, praying before having the meal is not obligatory. It is believed that that Thanksgiving meal should have a ritualistic or traditional quality to co-relate with the conventional significance of the day.
The traditional main course served on Thanksgiving, along with many other mouth-watering side dishes, is turkey, the official meat of the festival. In fact, due to turkey being the main dish in the Thanksgiving feast menu, the day is often referred to as Turkey day or poultry day. Most people roast their Thanksgiving turkey and stuff it with a bread-based stuffing. Sage, a traditional herb is also added to the turkey, mainly for the purpose of garnishing. Chopped celery carrots and onions can also be added. With time, deep-fried turkey has also risen in popularity, especially in the U.S.
The traditional side dishes for the Thanksgiving menu include winter squash, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, dumplings, corn on the cob or hominy, deviled eggs, green beans or green bean casserole, sauerkraut, peas and carrots, bread rolls, cornbread, or biscuits, rutabagas or turnips, salad vegetables and other items. Menu preferences vary from one region to the other and people cook dishes according to their individual preferences as well. Desserts like Pumpkin, Pecan, Mincemeat, Sweet potato and Apple pies follow the main course, at Thanksgiving dinner.
Sometimes, non-traditional foods, such as goose and duck, are also served as the main dish in the Thanksgiving dinner, in some places. Dungeness crab is also a common main dish in the west coast of the US. Torfurkey, a tofu-based dish, is preferred by non-vegetarians or Vegans and the dish has an imitated turkey flavor. Non-traditional dishes are reflective of the region and cultural background of people who have gathered for the meal. For instance, there are many African-Americans and southerners who serve baked macaroni and cheese and collard greens on the Thanksgiving Day.