Musings on Thanksgiving

This year Amin and I spiced things up by not having a traditional turkey. Instead, our main dish was turkey “tacheen,” a Persian dish that mixes rice, yogurt, egg yolk, and saffron with layers of turkey slices in between, which is then cooked to golden perfection. Amin was so worried that he wouldn’t get it right, but it turned out even more delicious then the chicken tacheen he made not too long ago.

Because it was just the two of us, we didn’t go crazy with the side dishes. Our only side dish was salad olivieh, a cold salad mixture of chicken, egg, potatoes, mayonnaise, pickles, and olives. It is great to take on picnics and eat with bread.

For dessert, we had a peanut butter cream pie, though I did not have it out for the pictures below. Neither I nor Amin can take credit for that. It was a Kroger pie I grabbed at the last minute during our last-minute dash for onions.

Food and cooking aside, my feelings regarding Thanksgiving this year are quite mixed. On the one hand, I am immersed in the holiday more so than ever in terms of personal gratitude. Over the last year, Amin and I have enjoyed many milestones and blessings, both individually and collectively as a couple. We have been through so much together and I am truly thankful that we are pursuing our goals and even achieving some of them with each other’s support.

On the other hand, after learning more about Native American issues through my work, I am now more than ever conscientious about the origins of the holiday and the role it plays in promoting a distorted, romanticized account of colonialism.

Is there a way to disassociate the personal sentiment that Thanksgiving promotes, which in itself is a benevolent one (gratitude), with the false narrative that so blatantly denies the cultural and literal demise of Native Americans at the hands of the pilgrims? I am not so sure.

Here are some photos of our Thanksgiving feast. They have all been edited with the Prisma App’s special Thanksgiving filter, though only to 20-30% because the filter was so bold.

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