Give thanks to your stomach with the best Thanksgiving foods

A simple list of some traditional Thanksgiving foods, Sanata-style

Thanksgiving would never be the same in my family without an unhealthy amount of Italian and some traditional Polish foods. 

It’s not your average Thanksgiving meal at the Sanata household without these five dishes and my grandma’s homemade pumpkin pie. These things are definitely not your typical Thanksgiving dishes, but I don’t have your typical family. You can tell by the strange array of foods we eat religiously every Thanksgiving.

Marinated Cheese

I know what your thinking. You don’t marinate cheese- you marinate steak. Well, let me educate you real quick. My mom’s marinated cheese is the best appetizer in the game, and I firmly stand by that. It is exactly how it sounds; its rows of different types of cheese and cream cheese in between and marinated in a delicious sauce. 

If you’re reading this thinking that I am crazy, please email me for this recipe, and I am sure if you bring it to your family Thanksgiving they will understand. 

Pit-Roasted Turkey

Of course, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without a delicious turkey. Most of the time it is cooked in an oven of some sort, but my family takes it a step further by roasting it slowly over a firepit. 

This is an all-day process as my uncles will stand at the fire for hours tending the turkey to make sure it turns and cooks evenly. 

All the hard work that is put into the cooking of this turkey almost makes it taste that much better. 

Seven Cheese Mac and Cheese

This is not your average mac and cheese, this is Thanksgiving-style mac and cheese. I would be understating if I said there was a lot of cheese in this mac. 

My aunt always adds what you would think would be way too much cheese, but I promise it’s not. Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, but seven different types of cheeses. 

This dish includes Velveeta, yellow and white cheddar, mozzarella, asiago, gruyere, Monterey Jack and muenster cheeses. This is the epitome of cheesy mac and cheese my friends. 

I promise it is not too much, and to add to the thick consistency, there is also half-and-half included in the recipe and lots of butter. 

Pigs in a Blanket

This traditional Polish dish is a hallmark for my family Thanksgiving meal. Although we aren’t Polish, my aunt by marriage is, and so each year, she makes this yummy dish. Pigs in a blanket are also commonly referred to as stuffed cabbage. It is slow-cooked in a Crock-Pot and consists of spiced ground beef and pork sausage rolled into a leaf of cabbage. 

It is thoroughly cooked to perfection in a bath of tomatoes and chicken broth. The final product is a combination of juicy and savory. If your family is also Polish, then I’m sure you understand, but if not, you need to try this delicious dish. I like to think that if it’s cooked in a Crock-Pot, then anyone can make it. 

Spaghetti and Meatballs

My family is Italian through and through, so Thanksgiving would not be the same without some classic spaghetti and meatballs. Of course, it is way better than your average spaghetti and meatballs. Sometimes my family uses different types of pasta to spice it up like gnocchi or penne. 

Pair it with my grandma’s unbelievable homemade meatballs, and you cannot go wrong. They are spiced as well as cooked to perfection, and I have never tasted a better meatball, but I am probably a tad bit biased. 

These are just a few of the many foods that are essential to the success of my family Thanksgiving every year. Each family has integral parts to their Thanksgiving meals that cannot be forgotten and these are mine. Thanks for taking a short glance into my weird family’s Thanksgiving traditions.

~Kaitlin Sanata, Staff Writer~


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