I grew up in an Asian-Canadian family as the first generation to be born in the west. As a result, Thanksgiving dinners for us had a very different spin and take than what was advertised on television. We didn’t have family come from far and near because my parents’ families were scattered around the world and a great deal of them were situated in countries where Thanksgiving was not a national holiday. When I was younger and before my palate was introduced to “Western cuisine,” we would simply have a potluck mélange with other Vietnamese families, where not a single plate on the table bore resemblance to the new culture our parents had adopted. For us, like many other Canadian and American families, Thanksgiving was a holiday where we came together to gain 10 pounds and to give thanks for our many blessings, but the manner in which we did it and what was on our dinner tables was completely foreign to the country that we called home.
By the time my brother and I were in our preteen years, we had already began demanding more “socially acceptable” foods that seemed more presentable to bring to school. In retrospect, I wonder what that must have been like for my parents, to have a perfectly wonderful way of life become bastardized by the dominant culture. In some ways, looking back, I loved the roast duck and char siu we would have. My Mother started making the most mouthwatering mashed potatoes at one point, and then came the seasoned turkey from my Dad (which would be an all-day affair). My parents have now perfected Thanksgiving dinner by all Canadian standards from the elegant table runner to the juicy, succulent turkey meat. Despite all these new dishes, we always had a special ingredient that would reground my parents with their roots. Our stuffing would be a mix of vermicelli glass noodles and western breadcrumb stuffing. It was an unusual fusion, but it worked and tasted even better.
I hear that in many parts of the country, it will be snowing this Thanksgiving. Here are some picks that will keep you warm, sparkling and comfortable this holiday season. If you’re planning on eating your heart out, you’ve got to have some comfortable clothes on. Style does not mean sacrificing comfort! I’m a huge fan of jumpsuits this season, and J. Crew has an uber luxurious sequined jumpsuit in the very versatile color of black. This Marc Jacobs sweater looks perfect for the occasion and would also be easily worked into many other every day outfits. I am also a huge proponent of high waist track pants like this one at Maison Martin Margiela and high waist pants in general… they are so easy to wear and if you’re sitting at the dinner table for a good five hours, why not give yourself room to breathe?
Enjoy being at home with your loved ones! I wish my parents were here to cook a hearty meal for me right now because I am not quite the domestic goddess in the kitchen… yet. I am pretty sure that whoever I end up with will have to be the one wearing the apron. ✓