The Record

Thanksgiving Traditions: Family Time in the Kitchen

Megha Nelivigi

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Apart from spending quality time with family and friends, food is what makes Thanksgiving so special, Malka Krijestorac (11) said.
“Thanksgiving is one of the few times I see my siblings over the year,” Krijestorac said, “so when they come, we all cook together.”
When Krijestorac’s mother first came to the US from Serbia, she was not accustomed to a traditional Thanksgiving, but was in charge of making dessert. On a whim, her mother used what she had in the pantry to create a pasta dessert with a brown sugar sauce that she continues to use more than 29 years later, Krijestorac said.
Young Joon Kim (11) helps cook Thanksgiving dinner for his family as well. His family always ordered their food until four years ago, when he decided he wanted to cook.
“I wanted to make something because I know many families make things together as a bonding experience, and I wanted that,” Kim said. “I made up a recipe for mashed potatoes purely based on instinct.”
Kim’s brother helps him make his mashed potatoes, which he makes with salt, pepper, butter, and his very own “secret seasonings,” he said.
Chidi Nwankpa (12) creates a Thanksgiving feast with a main dish of jerk turkey. Nwankpa has been helping cook since he was around four years old, and though he tries to help cook whenever he can, Thanksgiving is the one time he can always count on cooking with his family, he said.
Since he was in 6th and 7th grade, Evan Wu’s (11) family has made pork dumplings together every year for a “Chinese Thanksgiving,” he said. The family gets into an assembly line to make them, with his mom creating the casing and Wu and his brothers filling and folding the dumplings.
The first time they made dumplings, the family had “just moved to the US from China, and we missed our grandma’s dumplings. Together, we worked for more than two hours making at least 200 dumplings for the 30 people attending Thanksgiving,” he said.
In Jackson Stinebaugh’s (11) home, each member of the family cooks one dish that they particularly enjoy; for Stinebaugh, that dish is mashed potatoes. Each family member has their own station in the kitchen, he said.
“Every other day of the year my mom makes all the food and no one helps, but on Thanksgiving, we all come together and cook,” Stinebaugh said.

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Horace Mann's Weekly Newspaper Since 1903
Thanksgiving Traditions: Family Time in the Kitchen