Family. Food. Football. These three elements have always been the highlights of my Thanksgiving celebration, which also happens to be my favorite few days of the year. From the crisp, fall weather to the families gathering, it is hard not to feel the happiness associated with the start of the holiday season. Despite my love for Thanksgiving and all things fall, for a while Thanksgiving food was not my favorite. I always found it hard to enjoy all of the individual dishes. With so many offerings, I felt I could never maximize the flavors of every food. However, my opinion on Thanksgiving food changed when I tried the famous day-after Thanksgiving sandwich.
I have long had memories of the Thanksgiving sandwich before I tried it for the first time. My cousins and I would obsessively quote Ross Geller’s “MY SANDWICH” breakdown, which occurred in an episode of Friends when Ross’s Thanksgiving sandwich was stolen by a coworker. Though I thought Ross was dramatic in the episode, I now realize that I would have the exact same reaction. I had my first Thanksgiving sandwich a few years ago, and from that moment forward, my view of Thanksgiving food was never the same. I have discovered how to enhance the best flavor from these foods. The best part is that it takes few ingredients to truly shine. For my Thanksgiving sandwich, there are only four essentials: turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mayonnaise. These four items perfectly complement each other. The sweet cranberry sauce, the creamy mayonnaise, the starchy stuffing, and the smoky turkey all bring out the best of each ingredient. The Thanksgiving sandwich has saved the way I see Thanksgiving food, as it reminds me of how some foods taste better together than on their own.
Interestingly enough, this idea of being better as a whole rather than as an individual aligns with the theme of togetherness that I strongly associate with Thanksgiving. Just like how a Thanksgiving turkey sandwich enhances the flavors of Thanksgiving food, my family enhances my Thanksgiving holiday, because we are all together as one. Coming from a tight-knit family on both sides, Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday because we all get to be together. In recent years, these reunions have made Thanksgiving even better since it is the first time we all see each other after a few months at school. We are able to share a meal, stories, and laughs while updating everyone on new developments in our adult lives. My family has numerous traditions that make the holiday enjoyable. If the Philadelphia Eagles are not playing on Thanksgiving day, our night ends with playing Family Feud with my grandfather taking on the role of Steve Harvey. If they are playing, we experience three hours of stress-induced eating. Following Thanksgiving, I travel to the Jersey shore, where I spend more time with family celebrating the transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas all while enjoying delicious meals from local restaurants in the town. Moments like these are ones that I cherish the most with good family, good football, and the best food.
This holiday season, I hope that everyone finds the theme of togetherness, whether it be in their families, friends, traditions, or the post-holiday Thanksgiving sandwich.
Cover Photo Courtesy of Everything Zoomer