My Unconventional Thanksgiving

By Ganteng Boy

In the US, Thanksgiving is a holiday that takes place on the 4th Thursday of every November. Family members gather around the table, share a prayer of contemplation, and feast upon a bounty of food. And though there are conflicting anecdotes about the origins of Thanksgiving (thanks to the internet), I only intend on investigating the culinary aspect of this special holiday.

For my international readers who have never heard about Thanksgiving, here is a quick youtube video that explains the history of Thanksgiving.

We could have conformed to the traditional menu items (see video above and skip to the 57-second mark), but my family (more specifically my father) decided to go against the norm.

Don’t get me wrong, we still celebrated the spirit of Thanksgiving:

  • everyone helped to prepare the meal
  • everyone bowed their heads at the table and shared about what they were thankful for
  • everyone at the Thanksgiving dinner are all first generation immigrants, just like the pilgrims

What made our Thanksgiving unique was the meal that we shared. Instead of turkey, we prepared a special meal around satay.

Satay is a modern form of Indonesian cooking that involves seasoned, skewered and grilled meat. This Thanksgiving, there were chicken, lamb, pork and rabbit satay. The recipe was handed down from my great grandmother. It’s something that I aspire to one day perfect the art of grilling satay.

I wish I could have saved some satay for those of you reading this blog. And though there are no more satay left, here is a quick video that captures the highlight of our Thanksgiving meal – from preparation to placement.


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