Thanksgiving Tradition

By:  Molly Gullett

Many of us are preparing this week for Thanksgiving, one of America’s oldest traditional holidays. Food rituals are key in most cultures, and they are certainly featured in the contents of the Southwest Ohio Folklore Collection. TurkeyProviding a common link and shared experience, Thanksgiving dinner, and the holiday itself are prime examples of traditional American culture.

There are many Thanksgiving traditions which mark the holiday as an example of folkloric tradition. We may take for granted how commonly held practices such as preparing a turkey or breaking the wishbone might be considered folklore given their ubiquity, but folklore can be just that: a ritual so regularized that it begins to be practiced without thought.

Thanksgiving is meant to celebrate inclusion and abundance. Because of this, no two family traditions surrounding Thanksgiving likely Macy's Thanksgiving Day Paradeare exactly the same. Many families celebrate every year by watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television or football games with their family. Many families feast together over traditional recipes or toasts.

The Southwest Ohio Folklore Collection features different ethnic recipes that have been passed down for generations. The following recipe is found in Melinda Borchers’ collection of folk foods gathered from her grandparents in the Appalachian Mountains in southeastern Kentucky.  These foods were always prepared around the winter holidays as the family gathered together. Because food is meant to be shared and enjoyed with loved ones, it is easy to imagine how this recipe earned its name.

Good Luck Soup

2 pieces boneless chicken, cut into small pieces

1lb kielbasa sausage

1 chicken bouillon cube

1 cup onion chopped

2 garlic cloves chopped

2 garlic cloves crushed

1 teaspoon chili powder

10 bean soup mix

16 ounces crushed tomato

½ teaspoon thyme

8 cups of water

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup sherry wine

Wash beans. Place bouillon, chicken and beans in a large pot with water. Boil, reduce boil for 45 minutes. Sauté onion in oil, add tomatoes and thyme. Mix well. Pour tomatoes into bean pot. Continue to cook to a low boil; add sausage and chili powder. Let simmer for 1 hour and 45 minutes. After that time has passed, turn stove off and stir in the sherry. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

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