Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone enjoyed this Canadian holiday today.
Thanksgiving in Canada is the second Monday in October and is a time set aside in the calendar year to celebrate and gives thanks for the season’s harvest bounty. Historical records indicate that the first Thanksgiving in Canada was in 1872 to celebrate the recovery of The Prince of Wales from a serious illness. Thanksgiving became an official Canadian holiday on January 31, 1957, when the Parliament of Canada proclaimed: “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the second Monday in October”.
While thanksgiving is officially on Monday, many Islanders have their Thanksgiving Dinner the day before, on Sunday. The traditional Island Thanksgiving Dinner in our home focuses on roast turkey, dressing, and gravy accompanied by mashed potatoes, carrots, turnip, peas and, of course, cranberry sauce. Pumpkin pie is also the most favoured of seasonal desserts. While some chefs may vary the menu and composition of a turkey dinner somewhat, there is nothing, in my view, any better than the plain traditional dinner with all the “fixings” as we call them. Pure comfort food!
There are so many things I am grateful for – family, health, employment, freedom and peace, and good food from the rich red soil on the beautiful Island on which I am fortunate enough to live.
My Island Bistro Kitchen’s Thanksgiving Day Menu
Fall Harvest Salad
Cranberry-Pear Balsamic Vinaigrette
Traditional Turkey Dinner
~ Roast turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed PEI potatoes, carrots, turnip, sweet peas, cranberry sauce ~
I hope you enjoy the following photographs of my traditional Prince Edward Island Thanksgiving Dinner.
This is a wonderful butternut squash soup. Served with hot biscuits from the oven, this soup is a wonderful start to any autumn meal! The recipe I used came from The Italian Dish.
We have still been able to get some “greens” from the garden though this is the end of them for this season. This simple salad was made with one-half pear, red onion rings, green grapes, dried cranberries, and pecans, then drizzled with a cranberry-pear balsamic vinaigrette.
Roast turkey dinner is one of my all-time favorite meals!
A fine finale to a great meal – pumpkin pie! I make my own pie crusts because I love making pastry. The recipe I used for this pie filling was the one from E.D. Smith. Just be sure to use pure pumpkin purée, not pumpkin pie filling, for this recipe.
Our Island farmers are busy on the land these days, harvesting potatoes, our primary agricultural crop. The photograph of potato digging was taken in Westmoreland, the one of the cows in Freetown, and the turkeys (found wandering along the roadside) in Shamrock, all on October 6th. (Yes, the soil really is that red in PEI!)