top of page

Turkey, schmurkey

Why do we eat turkey on Thanksgiving anyway?

In an account of that famous day in American history, a colonist named Edward Winslow claimed the food at the famous feast included “wild fowl” (that might have been turkey – but also could have been duck or goose). And venison (contributed by Native attendees) and lots of seafood (lobster and clams would have been plentiful in that part of the country.) SO, if you serve turkey because it’s “Thanksgiving food”, why not expand that definition and offer foods that are traditional and locally plentiful for US to give thanks for? Here on the First Coast, that means seafood!

In fact, a modern Thanksgiving table doesn’t have to include the old standbys at all. Consider a post-Thanksgiving poll by The Vacationer last year which asked respondents to rate their LEAST favorite Thanksgiving foods. Do these results surprise you?

1. Cranberry sauce

2. Turkey

3. Green bean casserole

4. Ham

5. Coleslaw

6. Yams

7. Stuffing

8. Pumpkin pie

9. Carrots

10. Mashed potatoes

If this information liberates you from the turkey paradigm you’ve been stuck in, you’ve come to the right place for new ideas. The Dunhams have it pretty easy as my brother and his family love to host the holiday. So our day will start at the 9th annual Tony’s Turkey Trot (join us by clicking here: followed by a beverage at “Petesgiving” in Atlantic Beach. Then we will make our traditional side dish of Rice and Broccoli Casserole to share.

Here are some helpful links that suggest ways to breathe new life into your holiday celebration.

If the idea of seafood for Thanksgiving appeals to you, check out these two helpful sites:

Make room for everyone at the table with these ideas for sides that appeal to the vegetarians and vegans on your list:

If you have plans for the day that DON’T include camping out in the kitchen for days, check out these easy recipes from the experts:

And if you plan to do something else entirely, consider this list from Tripping that highlights the best of Florida getaways for the big day:

Post your ideas or photos below – can’t wait to hear your plans. No matter what you serve, my family and I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

If you would like more recipes or additional ideas for activities around Jacksonville, please call or text me at (904) 742-3442.

Feel free to forward this article to anyone you'd like. And be sure to check my previous blogs at

19 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All


We are all lobster tail and mash over here - AFTER Pete’s! See you there! 🦞🥔🍹

Susan Dunham
Susan Dunham
Nov 27, 2023
Replying to

Love that you celebrate Thanksgiving in a seafood fashion! Have to say, may have to think about lobster next year as I'm a huge seafood fan.

bottom of page