In honor of Thanksgiving we asked Elise Shrock, the “Indy Food Maven,” to share her family traditions and some ideas for fun new foods to add to the traditional favorites. We’ve also compiled a short list of recipes that put a cultural twist on Thanksgiving classics. Enjoy!
Cultural Fusion Thanksgiving
In a nation of immigrants, the way we weave our holidays together over time has become the kind of tradition that should make every American proud. At least that’s how it is for my family, la Familia Fernandez. What has emerged each holiday season is a collaboration of Spanish tapas and traditional American cooking, all to a similarly diverse soundtrack of anything from the Gipsy Kings to Fleetwood Mac.
Between the traditional Galician bread, tortas de aciete (a thin, crispy, olive oil cake), and empanadas, or the numerous varieties of jamon, cheeses and olives, it is a wonder any of us have an appetite for the traditional American dinner we have later in the evening. (Visit www.indyfoodmaven.tumblr.com for my top holiday tapas recipes!)
Though one of my favorite traditions is what happens between meals. Growing up, I was lucky to be a part of a family of musicians. My dad (a tenor, trumpeter, and pianist) and mom (clarinetist and alto) made sure I took a number of music lessons growing up. My Tia Consuelo (guitarist, mandolinist, and French horn player) loaned me my first guitar. To this day, when we get together, and long after the cava and cocktails have been consumed, we all grab an instrument and the fun begins.
After our eclectic tapas-fueled and booze-laden jamfest, we move on to the main event: a traditional American mix of turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole, sending us off to our tryptophan-induced naps before dessert.
While holidays evolve, and while each family is different, there are certain things that transcend any special day or culture. When it comes to bringing loved ones together, the power of music and food is immeasurable. This holiday season, I wish for you that same immeasurable joy.
Here at CMI we are always looking for ways to celebrate diverse cultures through music and our daily lives. With the holidays rapidly approaching, we hope you’ll also think about celebrating our country’s heritage and diversity by delighting your holiday guests by incorporating a few new ethnic dishes into your traditional spread. We’ve also included a few ideas for new spins on time-honored holiday dishes. Enjoy! (Please click on the images for the recipes)