There’s no right way to celebrate Thanksgiving. There’s a traditional way, but tradition is relative.
Take Charles. He was my family’s Thanksgiving day waiter at Wynn’s Country Club. Charles works Thanksgiving every year. He gets off at midnight, heads home, crawls into bed and wakes up his wife. They reheat Charles’ mother-in-law’s turkey and chow down.
Or take chef Carlos Guia—he cooked our Thanksgiving dinner. Guia moved from New Orleans to Venezuela when he was one. They don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Venezuela, but Guia’s mom still prepared Thanksgiving dinner every year, with a New Orleans flare, of course. (There was stuffing, but there was oyster sauce, too.)
As for my family? Well, we ordered the evening’s most traditional menu options (roasted pumpkin soup with butter-poached crabmeat and pumpkin spiced chantilly, and roasted free range turkey with traditional dressing, bourbon-whipped sweet potatoes, cranberry chutney and giblet gravy). But no one objected when Charles brought over a plate of not-so-traditional beignets.