T-day is a red-carpet day for veggies—centerpieces of squash ringed by mums, and soufflés of sweet potatoes. Super veggie duos, like green beans and onions, peas and corn, make grand entrances. Even dessert is veggie-focused—pumpkin pie trumps apple pie for many. For Thanksgiving, fruits let veggies have their day in the limelight.
As we engage in our national holiday dinner—whether conventional, vegan, Paleo, or raw, served on white linens or paper plates—we’ve collectively focused our spread on a quartet featuring root veggies, protein, greens, and a dab of cranberry. From gourmand to gourmet, and from fastidious chefs to cooks feeding hundreds of homeless, just about everyone holds to that tradition.
It’s a beautiful thing, really—a nation eating with the season. Consciously or subconsciously, it reflects our connection with nature. As we head into winter, our body’s metabolism changes, speeding up in anticipation of the extra “fuel” required to stay warm. The taste for roots is appropriate.
Energetically, fall produce has a bolstering quality. Crops like winter squash, carrots, tubers, winter apples, and pomegranates keep longer and grow until the challenge of frost. Eating in reflection of the season’s bounty may feel good for anthropological reasons (connecting us to the lifestyle of our ancestors) or just be economically practical—either way, it feels right.
Whatever your region, nature provides a seasonal tribute. We hope your table includes some colors of the sunset, an abundance of flavor, and more than enough to share—and may that fortify you for the season ahead.