It's OK To Change The Tradition
Updated: Nov 27, 2021
noun 1. the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.
We just had Thanksgiving here in America last week and it looked different in our home. We didn't just down play Thanksgiving as we still celebrated it like we have prior years. We removed the belief of Thanksgiving and the celebration of sharing a meal with Native people that we did horrible things to all while stealing their land and killing their people. We have been falling away from the American taught idea of Thanksgiving for years now but this was our year to finally change the tradition.
We don't have the family unit we once had. Grandma and Grandpa passed away in recent years. My mom lives on the other side of the mountain. Aaron's dad removed himself from our lives years back and with that the majority of the old Morton holiday celebrations... so it was time for something new. Instead of being sad at the Holiday's missing what we once had, we decided to make something beautiful.
That is what made this year the best. Aaron and I decided to honor all of our family and where they came from. We looked at our 23andMe and wrote out where we are from.
64.3% British & Irish
8.4% French & German
15.2% Broadly NW European
.6% Southern European;
.2% Greek & Balkan
.1% Indigenous American
My husband's looks pretty similar except he doesn't have any southern Euro or trace ancestries like I do. We are predominately British, Irish, Scandinavian, French and German but we wanted to honor EVERY PART of us and give thanks that because of all who went before us, we are alive and have the family we have now. That is something to absolutely give thanks for so welcome to our new tradition of Morton Feast Day! We wanted to eat or drink something from everywhere that one of our ancestors came from. I know what you're thinking... "No Turkey?" and yes, we had zero turkey. We didn't have any of the old traditional Thanksgiving on our table or in our home.
The main dish was Bangers and Mash. This is a traditional British dish. I pulled a more Scottish recipe (or as it said online) with peas and a onion gravy because my husband is more Scottish then English and wanted to honor that =)
It was amazing! I cooked our big fat sausages in a skillet and used the fat in the pan to then sautee the onions before adding the gravy to warm and mix together. We served fluffy mashed potatoes with the sausage and onion gravy on top with a good helping of buttered green peas. The kids loved it too!
The best part, this took all but 30 minutes to make start to finish!
We didn't work all day cooking and baking but my kids did help me to bake a few fun things. To honor our Irish ancestors, I made an Irish Tea cake to enjoy as dessert. This was so easy and tasted absolutely delicious. It is almost like an angel food cake and was a great end to our Morton Feast Day to enjoy with a cup of coffee. I loved reading about it and then making it with my daughters as we talked about great grandma Jenny Fitzgerald and how she probably grew up with something like this. We loved baking something that felt like a little piece of us.
For our Morton Feat Day, we had a feast worthy lunch. The kids helped me to put together a charcuterie plate that had a brie cheese from France and a gruyere from Switzerland. We had greek olives, Italian wine and deviled eggs in which we learned come from Germany (and France) with true origins in Rome. We added local fruits to honor the native land we live on and call our home. Sitting at the table that was dressed in Grandma's lace table cloth, decorated by the kids while we all ate of our lunch feast and talked was pretty magical. There was so much intention behind everything we did and the kids felt it.
Another delicious addition to our Morton Feast Day were Puff Puff's. These are a favorite from Nigeria that can be eaten with breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack. They are made of sugar, active yeast, flour and salt that are dropped and fried in oil (we used coconut oil). They can be served sweet or savory with a pepper sauce. The kids sprinkled them with powder sugar and cinnamon for our feast day.
What is so great is that we have a new tradition to celebrate as a family. It's a day for us to grow and evolve together. Aaron and I were talking about how fun it will be when our kids are grown and come home for Morton Feast Day and each kids will have to bring 1 dish from an ancestral home. It will look a little different every year while we grow, evolve and pass on our families tradition. We will always pay homage and have a moment of silence for the Native American's who were not honored, respected or truly appreciated. It's not a day of giving thanks that we're American's and took over a beautiful land that was fully lived on by a people who knew the land and loved it in a way that we never understood. We will still eat as a family on Thanksgiving, but it's a new holiday for us with a complete knew tradition and understanding.
From our family to yours,
Wishing you love, peace, growth, health and enlightenment in the year to come.