My family goes rogue every Thanksgiving and eats Vietnamese food. This year, Dad emailed the menu: fried imperial rolls (cha gio by my mom), Hanoi beef pho (made by me; kept frozen by my mom), and lemongrass pork riblets (mom followed my recipe in Into the Vietnamese Kitchen). I’ll bake a fruit galette for dessert. We’ve never had an entire American Thanksgiving menu of turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, and pumpkin pie, but this year I wondered how far off the mark we’d been.
There was one year when a friend gifted my dad a cooler full of quail, pheasant, and venison, which my mom turned into a feast that went on for days. In recent years, my dad has deviated from wine to serving beer at our family meals. For Thanksgiving a while back, I asked my mom to make Hanoi turmeric and dill fish (cha ca) with rice vermicelli noodles; we’ve also had fish my brother caught. My mom adores roast hard squashes such as kabocha and kuri squash so I always bring her one grown by a local farmer. We are eclectic Thanksgiving celebrants with no fixed menu.