When people think of Thanksgiving, they are reminded of popular cultural images of turkey, cranberry sauce, cornbread, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. And people make their own Thanksgiving dinner exactly like the mainstream holiday favorites, which may not always agree with their tastes. In case one finds cranberry sauce too sweet and stuffing so bland and bread-y, here are ideas of customizing Thanksgiving to fit one's personal tastes.
Whole Turkey or Chicken
According to HowMuchIsIt, on average, a whole chicken that is not organic will cost $0.75 to $1.50 per pound. An organic whole chicken, on the other hand, can cost upwards of $2.50 to $5 per pound. The average chicken is going to cost $10 to $25 as a whole.
According to the NewYorkTimes, a whole turkey would put the cost for a standard 16-pound turkey at $9.28. At the A.& P. up the street, an unnamed frozen bird was on sale for 49 cents a pound.
Who says you have to buy turkey for Thanksgiving? Instead of turkey, you may try chicken, but if turkey happens to be cheaper in your area, then just buy turkey. If it's Thanksgiving season, then the price of turkey may be going up, because everyone else wants a big fat turkey for Thanksgiving. So, you may just buy the chicken. It may be smaller in size, but at least it's still a plump bird.
Without spices, poultry will taste bland. But it still has that poultry taste. If you and your family can tolerate the bland chicken-y taste, then just go with eating chicken/turkey for Thanksgiving without any spices. Usually, the chicken fat provides that rich, savory flavor that can be used to make chicken soup after Thanksgiving.
Custom Holiday Stuffing
I have never liked the classic American stuffing. It is just bread and seasoning. Personally, I think a better stuffing for the chicken or turkey dinner is to stuff the body cavity with its own offal or more aromatic ingredients. When a whole turkey or chicken is sold, it usually comes with a neckbone, a liver, a gizzard, and a heart. They can be plopped in the body cavity as stuffing, along with rice noodles, shitake mushrooms, tofu skin, tiger lily buds, and spices. With aromatic ingredients, you can drop the salt, which is probably used in high amounts in American stuffing.
The classic Thanksgiving dinner is too dry for me. Everything on the iconic Thanksgiving dinner table is dry food. There must be some wet food, like soups. I'd recommend adding a beef bone broth with white turnips and orange carrots. The beef bone provides its own flavor, so any additional seasoning besides a pinch of salt will ruin or hide the natural taste of the beef.
Thanksgiving Shouldn't Be About A Standard Set Of Food
People have different tastes and preferences. Why should everybody eat the same kind of Thanksgiving meal and let only that kind of Thanksgiving meal be a true Thanksgiving meal? Regardless of what something looks like, we should celebrate Thanksgiving as a day of giving thanks, not as a day for eating turkey with cranberry sauce. If Thanksgiving is really about eating turkey with cranberry sauce, then I'll pass, because I HATE cranberry sauce! I like sweetened dried cranberries eaten alone or with watery oatmeal, but turning cranberries into cranberry sauce is too sweet for me.