How to tweak an American Thanksgiving menu so that it includes Vietnamese touches? That's what two people asked last week. Toni wrote that her future daughter in law is Vietnamese and she wanted to combine the cultures at their upcoming holiday celebration:
I love your banh mi book and have made almost all the recipes in it. I also recently listened to your podcast on Milk Street Radio and cooking with intent. Mr. Kimball speaks so highly of you!
My 24-year-old son is dating a delightful Vietnamese American girl (it looks very serious) and our family loves her. I am having everyone over to our home for Thanksgiving and would like the menu to have a Vietnamese twist to make her feel welcome.
I have been a serious home cook for years and have recently expanded to Southeast Asian foods. Will you please give me some ideas and/or recipes I could prepare to celebrate my future daughter in law?
Karen emailed this:
My family and I are hosting a Vietnamese Exchange student this year and we would like to make some Thanksgiving foods that she would LOVE.
I have one of your cookbooks, Asian Dumplings, that she found and fell in love with.
We do not have excellent cooking skills when it comes to Asian foods, but we have made Indian food and experiment every year at Thanksgiving. We are a mixed family, both culturally and with half-siblings, so we created our own family traditions that have nothing to do with either of our traditional families. Everyone picks a food they would like to prepare and eat. We buy all the ingredients and cook foods from all over the world. Last year we had red bean buns, sushi, Smoked Turkey and greens, samosas (from your cookbook), chicken and waffles, and other delicacies + champagne.
What can I make that is foolproof for my exchange student?
Thanksgiving is a holiday that’s full of expectations -- turkey, stuffing, gravy, certain sides, and desserts. My family has never had the full-blown American Thanksgiving menu because after trying for years, my mom admitted that she didn’t enjoy roasting a giant turkey. The photo at the top is from the 1980s. It's likely one of the last turkeys Mom made.