Culture

Take A Tasting Tour Of Latin America This Thanksgiving With This Curated Menu

Thanksgiving is right around the corner so we should be getting all of those Thanksgiving menus ready. We all know the usual playbook but why not do something a little different this year and make Thanksgiving everything you want. After all, Covid already changed everything so take a tour through Latin America with these dishes to replace your Thanksgiving menu.

Enjoy some pernil as your centerpiece protein.

Pernil is a classic dish that can change any Thanksgiving. The Puerto Rican pernil is our recommendation. The juicy meat combined with the crunchy skin will drive your senses wild. Make sure you leave a lot of time for this recipe as you will spend about three days if you really want a delicious and flavor pernil. Don’t worry. It is not a hard recipe, just time-consuming but so worth every minute.

A chile relleno casserole will be the talk of the town.

Chiles rellenos are everything and in casserole form they are somehow elevated. These chile relleno casseroles are guaranteed to pack a punch in the best way possible. Imagine a regular chile relleno and then turn that into layers of cheese and chiles that gets better with every bite.

Yuca frita is the perfect starch to mingle into your menu.

Yuca frita is one of the best starch dishes you can eat. It is very important that you remember to boil the yuca before you fry it. Frying yuca without boiling it will not work. Trust us from personal experience. You also need to make sure you remove the fibrous core. Yuca takes a little extra work but it is such wonderful food.

No menu is complete without rice so try out this congri recipe.

Congri is one of Cuba’s many culinary gifts to the world. The mix of the rice and beans create a unique texture to the dish that can be found in different ways around Latin America. Be warned that seasoning your beans to abuela-level is elusive. It is hard to match abuela’s skills that she spent years perfecting. However, it never hurts to try.

Your stomachs will thank you for some pão de queijo.

Pão de queijo is a Brazilian cheese bread and will make dinner rolls seem so obsolete. The bread is light and airy and is a perfect vessel to transport cheese to your mouth. The texture will excite you, especially if you have never had this bread before. There’s a reason these are world-famous.

Don’t forget the arroz con leche for dessert.

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Right now, the weather is rolling in with some serious Fall vibes and lots of rain. 🌧 My favorite season is in full swing and it always makes me crave coziness and comfort, especially now more than ever. 🥴 Growing up, desserts in our household always consisted of Puerto Rican classics like polvorones (shortbread cookies) and arroz con dulce (rice pudding). Simple and sweet, some countries call it arroz con leche, but essentially they’re the same: rice slowly simmered in various milks and warming spices. This one is completely dairy-free and packed with coconut goodness, so plant-based and lactose intolerant friends, rejoice! We can eat this without the discomfort that follows. 😅 The full recipe for this comfy dessert is available in my new e-book. Link in bio to download today!☝🏽 . . . . #sofritoproject #riceislife #arrozcondulce #arrozconleche #lactosefree #plantbasedrecipe #dessertrecipe #recipeintheebook #foodwriter #foodblogeats #foodblogging #foodculture #foodwinewomen #wherewomencook #puertoricanchef #personalchef #shareyourtable #onmyplate #inmykitchen #thewayweeat #f52community #chsfood #chseats

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Iconic. Show stopping. Important. Arroz con leche is the most recognizable, and beloved, dessert of Latin America. Every country has a way to make it and you can’t really go wrong. Give it a shot if you’ve never had it. It will change your life.

READ: This Hot Cheetos Thanksgiving Turkey From Reynold Is Causing A Lot Of Tension On Social Media

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Snoop Dogg Handed Out Thanksgiving Turkeys To People In Inglewood

Entertainment

Snoop Dogg Handed Out Thanksgiving Turkeys To People In Inglewood

The holidays are always hard for some families. There is the expense of providing the holiday experience every year. However, this year, with mass layoffs and hardships, Thanksgiving is an extra hard burden on some. Snoop Dogg teamed up with the Chargers and Rams to provide free turkeys to Inglewood residents ahead of Turkey Day. Families lined up to pick up the food at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.

Snoop Dogg being Snoop Dogg spent time helping those in need to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Covid-19 has made 2020 the year of hardships and loss. However, the LA Chargers and Rams with the help of Snoop Dogg volunteered to make the holiday a little better for people this year. The rapper and football players gave turkeys to Inglewood residents in need to bring the magic of the holiday to their dinner tables. The food giveaway took place in the SoFi Stadium parking lot. The stadium in Inglewood is the home of the LA Chargers and Rams.

“I love the personal side,” Snoop Dogg told ABC 7. “To be up close and personal; for people to see me, touch me, take pictures with me, to be able to know I really care.”

Families not only got a turkey, but they also got all of the trimmings for a Thanksgiving feast.

Don Lee Farms, the L.A. Regional Food Bank, Pepsi, and Frito-Lay donated the turkeys and fixings for the giveaway. The kind act gave 2,500 Inglewood families a Thanksgiving meal as lockdown orders around the state forced some businesses to close back down. The lingering impact of the Covid outbreak has been devastating for American families exacerbated by the federal government’s failed response to the pandemic.

Snoop Dogg is no stranger to helping people during the holidays.

Snoop Dogg often helps those who need some help during the holidays. He has teamed up with Inglewood before to make sure that families are able to have the Thanksgiving they deserve. This time of year is all about giving and being thankful for what we have and how we can help others. Snoop Dogg is a master of putting to work his compassion for other people.

READ: Snoop Dogg Loves Banda So Much That He’s Collaborating With Banda MS On A New Song And We Can’t Cope

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That Grandma Who Accidentally Invited A Teen Stranger To Thanksgiving Hosted Him Again This Year Despite The Loss Of Her Husband To COVID-19

Things That Matter

That Grandma Who Accidentally Invited A Teen Stranger To Thanksgiving Hosted Him Again This Year Despite The Loss Of Her Husband To COVID-19

Jamal Hinton / Twitter

Four years ago, the feel-good story of how a grandmother accidentally texted a stranger an invite to Thanksgiving dinner went viral. In the years since Wanda Dench (the grandmother) and Jamal Hinton (the teen stranger) have celebrated each Thanksgiving together.

This year has, despite the pandemic and terrible heartaches, been no exception.

For a fifth year, Wanda and Jamal gathered around a table for a bittersweet Thanksgiving this past Friday in Mesa, Arizona.

For their fifth Thanksgiving together, Wanda and Jamal sat down at the dinner table, this time without Wanda’s husband. Lonnie Dench, who Wanda had been married to for 43 years, passed away in April from complications induced by Covid-19. According to Wanda, he suffered from double pneumonia brought on by the virus.

“I didn’t believe I would have to go home without him,” Wanda revealed to CNN. “Even when he was in the hospital, I thought he would get better and come back to me. He was my soul mate. He was my biggest cheerleader.”

“I wasn’t looking forward to it at first because Lonnie wasn’t going to be there. The past seven months have been so difficult, but this was really important to me,” Wanda explained. “I can’t even explain how much joy I had, having good food with my favorite company. We laughed, we had a great time, we reminisced about the past. It was so good for all of us.”

Dench, her daughter, and grandson gathered together with Jamal and his girlfriend a little earlier this year. They decided on a Friday Thanksgiving celebration so that they could all receive coronavirus tests before sitting down with their own families. They wanted to avoid spreading the virus.

“At first it was sad. We had a photo of Lonnie at the table with a candlelit, and we were all shaky in the beginning but it lasted five minutes before we were back to ourselves,” Jamal told CNN. “We just told jokes and stories and shared our memories of Lonnie, so it was amazing.”

Four years ago, a misfired text brought Jamal and Wanda together.

Twitter

In 2016, Wanda who is the grandmother to six children meant to text her grandson an invite to her family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, she accidentally sent a message to Jamal, who was 17 at the time. Confused that someone claiming to be his grandmother had texted him, Jamal asked for proof. Wanda replied with a selfie of herself at work. And even though she wasn’t his grandmother, Jamal asked if he could still have a plate. “Of course you can,” Wanda replied. “That’s what grandmas do … feed everyone!”

Jamal kept Wanda to her word, showed up at the family thanksgiving and the two became fast friens.

According to Jamal he and his girlfriend went on regular double dates with Wanda and Lonnie.

“It all has to do with this feeling. There’s just this connection. It feels like we’ve known each other in past lives,” Wanda explained. “There’s absolutely no generational gap between us. The conversation just flows, we never run out of things to talk about.”

Jamal explained to CNN the obvious concern of having an awkward encounter with Wanda and her family at their first Thanksgiving. The opposite was true. “Whenever we met, we would spend four or five hours, just talking and talking. It was never awkward, Wanda and Lonnie became two close best friends to me,” he said.”There’s nothing about her that is mean, or uncaring. It feels like I have told her my whole life story, and she always listens and shares her own story. She’s just the most loving person. She’s pretty much perfect.”

Their gatherings have become so important that Wanda and Jamal say they hope to never stop their tradition. Even with Lonnie gone.

“Lonnie was missing this year, and he was a big part of the Thanksgiving story and a big part of our lives, but that’s one thing Wanda and I know for sure. Lonnie would have been very angry if we didn’t have Thanksgiving together,” Jamal explained “Lonnie was never the quiet guy. Right when I walked in the door the first time I met him, he didn’t even reach out for a handshake. He just immediately pulled me in for a hug… He was the kind of guy to always bring your hopes up whenever you felt down. Losing him was losing a best friend.”

While still mourning their great loss, Wanda wants people to continue to have hope. “Just have patience,” she told CNN. “I know it isn’t easy, and everyone is frustrated and just wants to get back to normal. But we need to have hope and always care about other people.”

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