Staples at a Midwestern Thanksgiving dinner table? At our house in Wisconsin: turkey basted according to a timing method made by my engineer-father, champagne for the adults to sip while waiting, broccoli/cauliflower and cheese-whiz bake, canned cranberries, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, butter on French bread, and pumpkin pie. For a saucy tale of secret ingredients at the holiday table, read cultural producer Anastasia Ashman’s post here.
Here in Türkiye, I do what I can to recreate our meal, but it is never quite the same (though I’ve become much better at making gravy than I used to be!). I tend to throw in some healthier alternatives, but canned cranberries have never disappointed me, despite how unreal they look coming out of the can, ridges in the cranberry mold shaped like the aluminum can. Food and fall go hand-in-hand for me because the kitchen seems to come to life, me and the kitchen less sweaty and grumbling than in the summer when cold soups and salads are staples. In the fall, rich flavors mingle with our expectations for sharing meals together, sheltered against the cold. What keeps you fed body and soul during the fall? Afiyet olsun!