One of the things I love most about Thanksgiving is the food. Now, before you give me the “Duh, Val,” lemme ‘splain where Im coming from.
See, Thanksgiving in our home is really a testament to, as Gustavo Perez Firmat calls it, Life on the Hyphen. While Noche Buenas are our traditional cultural culinary inheritance – lechon asado, congris, yuca, casabe y platanitos – Thanksgivings are perhaps the truest proof of our Cuban-Americaness.
On the fourth Thursday of every November we have on our tables what we, as Cuban-Americans (or Americans of Cuban descent if you prefer), have in our daily lives: the best of both worlds.
Yeah, we celebrate Thanksgiving with turkey and stuffing and cranberri sauce and sweet potatoes. We enjoy gravy soaked mashed potatoes. We love the traditional meal, a lo americano. But what would a Cuban family gathering be without your Tia Nena’s flan? Or your Mom’s frijoles negros poured over a nice steaming pile of arroz blanco? Or a small piece of mojo laden yuca to soak that last piece of turkey breast in? Or your Tia Lulu’s frituritas de bacalao as appetizers? A couple pieces of turron de yema with your after dinner cafecito?
That right there is something to be thankful for on its own, dont you think? Not only are we lucky enough to live in the greatest country on Earth, but we’re lucky enough to still enjoy a little something from that other greatest country on Earth freely. We have the freedom to love both countries, we have the blessing of two beautiful cultures.
Tomorrow, when the family sits down to Thanksgiving dinner and we begin to give thanks to God for our family and friends and health and homes and prosperity, let’s not forget to thank America.
It is through her that God made turkey with stuffing and frijoles negros possible. Pumpkin pie and flan. Honeybaked ham and tostones. Sweet potatoes and boniatos. Chicken salad and ensalada de coditos…
Y pavos, con mojito.

5 thoughts on “Sanguibin”

  1. Great post Val. Yes we are very lucky to have the best of both worlds. To live in the greatest Country in the world and to be able to enjoy its many wonderful things, to be able to thank God for all of it, in freedom and without fear, and to also be able to remember our roots and celebrate them. I will be having turkey tomorrow, with arroz blanco and frijoles negros, mashed potato, stuffing, green bean casserole. five bean casserole, pumpking pie and flan, and then a piece of turron with a cortadito. And after all that, to be able to just sit back and enjoy being surrounded by the people I love, hoping the two alka-seltzers will start working fast, and counting all my blessings. I have alot to be thankful for. HAVE A WONDERFUL SANGIVIN MY FRIEND!

    AMEN!!!!! Each year I cook on Thanksgiving as if it were Noche Buena and last year my kids said ‘Cook American’!! So I did and my Turkey tasted just like Cuban Roast Pork only you can tell in the taste of the meat it was Turkey.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
    Specially to those serving in the military (past and present) who have made these Thanksgivings possible for us.

  4. Ok Everyone –
    This one is really for Don Tomas. Tomas – all y’all forgot one little detail regarding ALAN SAGNER.
    He was also the – CHAIRMAN OF THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NY and NJ!! Imagine that!

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