This Thanksgiving we asked members of the university community to share with us their favorite part of the Thanksgiving holiday. Here is what they had to say.
Do you have a favorite family tradition or recipe? Share it in our comments and we might just share it on Facebook.
“I love this whole season of the year from harvest, to Halloween, to Thanksgiving, to Advent, to Christmas. For me it is all about being thankful for blessings, a time when the season slows down, darkens, becomes more golden, a time to savor the grace of God. I think Thanksgiving Day is the best of all American festival occasions.” – Fr. Steven Sundborg, SJ, President of Seattle University
“My favorite Thanksgiving memory growing up in North Dakota involves the family ritual of packing up the car with the ten of us (including parents) to go to my Uncle Jim and Aunt Mel’s farm for the holiday. By late November a smooth layer of ice covered the “slough,” the half-acre pond created by the run off from the horse trough. Anywhere from 30 to 50 relatives gathered around the table as my grandfather intoned the grace before meal. The Thanksgiving dinner itself was a banquet for a czar: turkey with dressing, pheasant, duck, yams, potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, cole slaw, green jello with mandarins, fruit salad—all for starters, followed by either pumpkin pie or pecan pie å la mode.” – Fr. Pat Howell, SJ
“The best part of Thanksgiving is the Tofurky and the games. A nicely marinated and carefully baked Tofurky is an excellent pairing with games to play with the family after we’re done eating.” – Professor Chris Paul, PhD., Department Chair, Communications
“One time a friend of mine returned from a dinner with family and friends. I asked him, "what did you have for dinner?" He responded," I don't really remember, but I do remember what we talked about and the great time everyone had." Meals with family and friends is more about being together than about the food we share.
Thanksgiving is about remembering all that God has done for us, and out of gratitude freely sharing what we have received.”– Fr. Dave Anderson, Alumni Chaplain
“My favorite part of Thanksgiving, like so many families, is bringing everyone together and sharing stories and memories at the dinner table. Since my parents were born in Italy and Ireland, our Thanksgiving dinner when I was growing up in Connecticut did have a large turkey but definitely had an Italian flair. We had homemade tortellini soup in broth and my sisters and I helped my mom and grandmother (Nona) in making the tortellini pasta. We also had homemade lasagna which was fabulous. Even as kids we were allowed to have some of my grandfather's (Nono) home brewed red wine. We mixed a small part of wine with ginger ale or 7-Up and thought it tasted great! A lot of special memories.” – Joan Bonvicini, Seattle University Women’s Basketball Head Coach
“Every Thanksgiving I go to my in-laws, grab a big plate of food and switch between watching the NBA and NFL games. My goal is to sit in one spot for as long as humanly possible!” – Cameron Dollar, Seattle University Men’s Basketball Head Coach
“In my family, one of my fondest Thanksgiving traditions was eating homemade Italian pasta. My stepfather, who is Sicilian, following his mother, would always make ravioli or linguini or some other pasta dish from scratch. He made his version of his mother’s sauce, hauled out the pasta machine, and worked for hours to create the finest pasta I had ever tasted. He did all this in addition to the usual Thanksgiving meal. When my wife and I married years ago, we couldn’t always journey to my parents’ home for Thanksgiving. So we continued this Sicilian tradition on our own in solidarity. It came to be our favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal, the working and reworking of semolina dough, the crank and squeak of the pasta machine, and fragrant release of garlic and herbs in the sauce simmering on the stove. The result was so light and delicate, one bite was all you needed to wonder why on earth anybody ever settled for store-bought pasta. All of it added up to more than a little bit of home and to a renewed sense of connection with family and with our shared past.
A little over a decade ago, my wife and I gave up eating meat for health and ethical reasons. Gone were the turkey and dressing, the gravy and wishbone. But the homemade pasta remained and became all the more valuable as a result. Now our diet is pretty much entirely plant-strong. While this life choice has meant giving up some treasured recipes—my grandmother’s legendary chicken soup, for example—it hasn’t meant a loss of our essential Thanksgiving tradition. For this reason, I am all the more thankful that my stepfather, Frank Lofendo, introduced it all those many years ago. Maybe it even helped pave the way for the dietary life we lead now.” – Professor Sean McDowell, PhD., Director, University Honors Program
“The thing I love most about Thanksgiving is the stuffing!” – Susan Vosper, Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations
“One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories and traditions has more to do with what we did with the turkey after Thanksgiving. I come from an Italian-American family that had a traditional American meal but then put an Italian twist on the leftover turkey. We used the turkey to make homemade ravioli and cappelletti (a small tortellini-like pasta for soup) to be eaten the next day. Multiple generations are involved in making the pasta and filling. It’s still my favorite way to have turkey!” – Laurie Prince, New Student Family Programs, Student Development
Tim Albert’s Deep Fried Turkey
“Well, my favorite is deep fried turkey. I became addicted to this in New Orleans. This is a variation on a recipe that I like. But you should go with what you like and I experiment with variations on this annually.” – Tim Albert, Associate Director of Housing and Residence Life
Find Tim's favorite deep fried turkey recipe here.
Thanks to Bon Appetit for sharing two of their Thanksgiving favorites.
Bon Appetit’s Sweet Potato Casserole
Bon Appetit’s Pumpkin Cheesecake
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I worked two years in England, and have visited dozens of times, so think I know the "Brits" quite well. They are somewhat envious of our 4th of July holiday, and have begun to embrace Halloween. But, they are, as they would say, "Over the Moon!" envious of our Thanksgiving. Perhaps because Americans and Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in different months, the British have not yet adopted such a fine day into their calendar.