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A different Thanksgiving dinner

A different Thanksgiving dinner turkeyWhile Christmas and New Year’s Eve and Day are big holidays in the Philippines, the other holidays we celebrate in America are not.

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays. Celebrated in America as a day of thanks for the things we are lucky to have, it is based on the story of some of the first pioneers to come to America and their feast with the local indigenous people at the end of harvest time and after a deadly first winter.

American tradition dictates that a turkey be cooked for Thanksgiving. Experts concede that there was probably more seafood and vegetables than turkey at the first Thanksgiving but turkey, bread “stuffing”, pureed pumpkin pie, and jellied cranberries are now considered “traditional” fare.

I asked Menchu last week what she would like to have for our Thanksgiving meal, figuring it would be about time to start shopping for a fresh turkey and the other staple foods.

She surprised me by saying, “Chicken.”

“Chicken! What kind of chicken?”

“The chicken from Safeway (supermarket).”

“You mean the rotisserie chicken they sell in the plastic tubs?”

“Yeah sure! It would be easier than cooking!”

So there it is. Our official break with tradition. A different Thanksgiving dinner: rotisserie chicken. Menchu is also making buko pie which is one of my favorite desserts.

Now I’m not much of a traditionalist or a sentimentalist so chicken and buko pie for Thanksgiving is actually fine with me (I always look forward to buko pie) but I’ll wager that suggesting such a radical departure from tradition in some households would cause problems.

How about it? When cultures collide, how do you compromise?

Oh and Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


photo credit: Andrea Westmoreland via photopin cc

4 Responses to A different Thanksgiving dinner

  1. Kevin Hayden November 21, 2012 at 5:32 PM #

    The main reason I stick with turkey is cause it’s so cheap this time of year. I usualy try to buy two. But I don’t have a twin culture to contend with. If I did, we’d likely alternate each year.

  2. Jason Cook November 21, 2012 at 5:37 PM #

    We had a turkey breast last year. Menchu wasn’t impressed with the flavor. They raise turkeys in the Philippines (called “pabo” in Tagalog) and they taste better to her than ours.

  3. Kevin Hayden November 21, 2012 at 5:40 PM #

    Maybe a free range one? After brining? Or get a breast, chop it and make a pot pie.

  4. Amanda July 1, 2013 at 8:47 PM #

    I am an American woman who married a filipino man… also in 2010 (May 1st) but i’m jealous that you have it much easier than me. I haven’t even celebrated Thanksgiving in 4 years. Not much of an American Christmas either… the Ibaloi (my husbands tribe) mostly only celebrate New Years, not much on Christmas (and All Souls Day, Nov 1). My first and last Thanksgiving in the Philippines was at Good Taste in Baguio. Before I married my husband.
    I live about 2 hours away from Baguio City with my husband (I have no idea how to process the papers to get him to visit the US. Its harder to be the woman petitioning a husband.) And we live pretty much next door to his family… way to much stress.
    The biggest difference is culture i have seen is how they ‘use’ each other to get what they want. I have had so many things go missing, because my in-laws came and took stuff out of the house without me knowing… and don’t expect to get it back (at least back without it being destroyed or no longer usable). I miss the privacy and American conveniences of appliances… haha. God bless you on your marriage.

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