Oh, hay there.
The Circuit staff takes thanksgiving very seriously. We give thanks to those around us because being with family makes everything butter. The only difference between your average turkey goer and us during this marvelous season is, we write about it. Here we have gathered Thanksgiving favorites across the board and added a personal spin. So in the spirit of giving thanks, feast your eyes on this spread.
Turkey versus ham: the debate no one honestly cares about.
By Trace Flax, Student Writer
It’s Thanksgiving dinner and the main course is about to arrive at the table. Chances are someone’s mom will be taking out a freshly roasted entree and setting it on the table before everybody quickly scrounges up something to be thankful for. However, if your family is anything like mine, this would mean my dad would be frying the meat in the garage while everyone else is inside waiting for the dinner to get started and nobody says anything they are thankful for we don’t have time for that.
However, there is one thing that could differ from family to family, which is the prime choice of probably dry white meat, turkey or ham. This entree choice has been debated ever since the holiday began.
Except, not really? I don’t think a real debate over turkey or ham has actually ever happened. Most people’s reactions to hearing that someone serves the other white meat usually boils down to “Oh you’re a ham family? Alright,” followed by confused acceptance. No one is really bothered by this, yet they are.
My family is on both sides of the spectrum as we serve both. As long as I can remember, there has always been a serving of both at my grandparent’s house and always plenty would be leftover for days to come.
Whatever your family may serve, I pray to God that it isn’t dry, for this would truly be a miracle.
Bless this mash
By John Tuttle, Student Writer
There are few things that get pulled out of the dirt that can be as splendid as the potato. Other roots like carrots taste like the dirt they hail from or, like ginger, are fit merely for seasoning purposes. The potato is a unique blessing among edible roots. The texture and subtle flavor of potatoes lend themselves to a wide variety of potential when it comes to preparing the potatoes – boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew. What have you!
My Grandpa Maas lived to be 103. It is a well-known fact among my dad’s side of the family that the man ate potatoes – in some form or another – at practically every meal. Some correlate this habitual taste with his extraordinary lifespan. Regardless of whether there’s any merit in that notion or not, it is still an interesting tidbit of trivia.
On my mom’s side, I can recall my Grandpa Whitfield coming over to our house to show us how to grow new potato plants from the buds of already-harvested roots. It is a sharp and heartwarming memory of summertime and greenery in an age where such a child might find potato-gardening the most fascinating thing in the world.
Fringed on the outskirts of memory, and more often than not filled in by my parents’ recollection, there is an instance in which we were visiting Minneapolis. We had visited a local market and had acquired some purple potatoes, a new wonder to a child who had only seen dull brown ones his whole life. My dad took us to a nearby park and we planted these little rare wonders. Who knows what became of them…if anything.
I have also had a grand history of consuming potatoes. I love them. I have spent many a Sunday morn, after Mass, frying up potato slivers or hash browns along with bacon and eggs. My favorite take on the potato is when they are mashed. My brother consistently enjoys making “mashed potatoes” from a box. However, I don’t recognize such a reconstituted mash as the real deal.
For me, half the pleasure in mashed potatoes was being tasked with the mashing. It was like my mom wanted me to start pounding on something, which was seldom the case. Mashing the potatoes in the pot, after draining the water they had been boiled in, was a chore done out of pride and enjoyment more than anything else. Even in recent years around Thanksgiving, at the homes of extended family, I have willingly jumped to this task.
The highlight of Thanksgiving Day dinner is certainly the mashed potatoes. It’s one of my favorite foods, and it’s an iconic staple of this holiday. I am perhaps obsessed with mashed potatoes. Despite that, I’m no Roy Neary – fashioning my mashed potatoes into a sloppy sculpture of the Devils Tower. To my knowledge, I’m not communing with extraterrestrials; I’m just very much in love with mashed potatoes. I probably eat more of them than any other part of this holiday meal. And that’s probably not changing anytime soon. Bon appétit!
There’s a place for all of God’s creatures – next to the green bean casserole
By Maria Blong, Copy Editor
Green bean casserole has been a longstanding staple dish at the Blong Thanksgiving dinner since I could remember. Even outside of the holiday, when we’re gathered together for a family meal, green bean casserole sits steaming in the middle of the table.
So, when it came time to separate the cooking duties for the Kremmeter RA Thanksgiving dinner, I of course, eagerly volunteered to cook the green bean casserole.
On the day of the dinner, as I stood in my kitchen delicately pouring the creamy mushroom soup and artfully spreading the opinion topping, I imagined the delighted faces of my residents as they took their first, satisfying bite.
I was late to the dinner (I had to make sure the onion topping was properly browned), and proudly displayed the delicacy on the counter.
After saying the meal prayer, we started lining up for food. When I reached my casserole, a spark of elation ignited my heart. Placing the spoon into the hot pan, a symphony of crunch from the onion topping fell upon my ears as if I were hearing Beethoven’s Ode to Joy for the first time.
About halfway through the dinner, I started narcissistically hyping up my own dish, when my friend tragically informed me about a recent article she read. It declared green bean casserole as a top contender of Thanksgiving traditions that needed to die.
My mouth agape with unfinished stuffing, I stared at her with confused eyes. How could this be? I thought. How could someone hate green bean casserole?
To comfort myself after the suffering blow, I went back up to eat more casserole. As I compared the mostly empty corn and stuffing to my half-finished green bean casserole, I thought, “Am I the only person who loves green bean casserole with such fervent passion?”
I carried this weight home with me and unpacked the issue with my family to find some grounding in the argument. I asked to hear their opinions on the dish, and this is what they had to say:
My father, David: “Green bean casserole is a classic. It’s creamy and delicious, semi-nutritious and crunchy.”
My sister, Brittany: “I’ll eat it if it’s there and I’m hungry and there’s nothing else.”
My mother, Brenda: “Nothing is better than the creamy consistency of the mushroom sauce over the green beans and the crunchy onion topping. It’s like a flavor explosion goes off in your mouth.”
My brother-in-law, John: “What’s my comment on green bean casserole? When done correctly, it can be delicious. When over-creamed you might as well throw it out now.”
My sister, Lindsay: “It’s country, comforting, calorie-laden and unnecessary. Eat sweet potato casserole instead. Better use of calories.”
My brother, Nathan: “I love it.” (A man of many words).
So, even if the rest of the nation rejects the classic dish and replaces it with something else. I feel comforted by the fact that in our family, green bean casserole is here to stay.
If you ever miss it, you know where to come for dinner.
To be seen and known: an ode to bread
By Maddie Bruegger, Managing Editor
It was my sophomore year of college that I decided to go gluten-free.
I would get frequent stomach aches and my doctor suggested that going gluten-free might alleviate the problem. I faced this as a challenge that, pardon my lack of Thanksgiving spirit, had to be done cold turkey.
If you have not tried gluten-free bread, most loaves leave you unfulfilled, like there is a space in your stomach longing to be filled. I spent two years with this space crying for flakey, buttery goodness.
While I occasionally filled this hunger, my stomach soon decided that an on-again-off-again relationship with bread would only make matters worse.
I was faced with a decision: to continue with a sometimes fulfilling relationship or to finally commit.
As I walked home from class one cold day a few weeks ago, I took my leap of faith.
I bought a loaf of fresh, warm sourdough from the local bakery. It was the kind of bread that one knows too well in the world: crevices and soft curves on the inside surrounded by a rough shell on the outside.
The crunch of the crust was unmatched to my cardboard bread at home. This was the forbidden and passionate love I had been missing.
I wanted to know I was not alone in this passion.
I posted on my Instagram story a picture of my forbidden fruit with this question: “Anyone else impulsively buy sourdough? Trying to find a community who relates.”
The response was astounding. As if lightning struck the floor and the ocean parted ways, bread lovers came out of the woodwork with responses like “Sourdough is the best flavor of bread,” “I’m drooling” and my personal favorite, “I am seen and known.”
I finally realized what was missing all along: a community of bread lovers.
In a Mayo Clinic study in the United States, 3.1 million people choose to be gluten-free with 72 percent of them not having celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disease that makes it difficult for the small intestine to process gluten.
This means in America 2,232,000 people are actively choosing to remove bread from their diet.
I was one of them and now, I cannot help but wonder why I villainized such a fulfilling component to my meal.
Through my relationship with bread, I have learned that sometimes time away from something you love can reignite gratitude for what you missed.
When we sit down and eat a meal together, we are creating space for storytelling that allows us to understand those around us better.
Bread unites us because it asks us to share with those you love, to pass the bread basket or the loaf to the person sitting next to you.
On this Thanksgiving day, let us all remind ourselves Jesus multiplied the loaves of bread and frankly, so should we.
Long live the apple crumble
By Liam Keating, Sports Editor
The Keating family gathers together in Omaha, Neb. for Thanksgiving every year. The Keating family is not your average Turkey Trot 5k family, we dedicate this holiday to the creation and consumption of lavish delicacies.
Two years ago, my brother, Kris, used his bakery skills to create one of the best desserts that has ever entered our home on Thanksgiving. It was a warm, succulent apple crumble.
My family scarfed down pounds of turkey, stuffing and Hawaiian Rolls when Kris unveiled his delicious creation. The apple crumble was sliced and served as we somehow found room in our gluttonous bodies to eat this fine dessert.
My friend, Peter Hockel, joined my family for Thanksgiving that year. His eyes boomed with elation as the dessert fell in front of him. He ate the dessert with as much vigor as a Fourth of July hot dog eating competition.
The eating festivities were over in the Keating household. The extra food was stored away in the refrigerator including the valuable apple crumble.
I slept that night thinking of the delicious dessert that my brother conjured up. I was looking forward to the next night’s dessert which obviously involved the crumble.
Peter had other ideas.
I woke up to the tray of apple crumble gone. The remnants of the dessert in the trash. I was furious and determined to find the culprit.
Peter decided to tell me the truth. He had the same thoughts while sitting in bed. He imagined the apple crumble, its flakey outside and gooey inside, but Peter decided to act. Peter ate the rest of the dessert as a midnight snack while the rest of the Keating family slept, a cardinal sin.
This year, the refrigerator will be locked because Peter is back. His crime from two years ago will not be forgotten. Long live the apple crumble!