Shoppers give out go-to Thanksgiving recipes ahead of the holiday

Nov 22, 2020

What’s the secret to a great Thanksgiving?

Some say it’s all in the stuffing, others swear by homemade cranberry sauce, and almost everyone agrees that the turkey can’t be too dry.

Be it a family recipe or straight out of a box, everyone has their favorite traditional dish — and although this year turkey day will be smaller than usual for most, plenty of people are still stocking up on food ahead of the holiday.

Dartmouth Week camped out next to a packed Shaw’s parking lot on Sunday afternoon to ask shoppers about their go-to Thanksgiving grub.

“I make the turkey that my mother used to make,” said Dartmouth resident Rosa Pedrosa. “We do not stuff the turkey. We leave it from one day to the next in salt water and lemon, and then we make a rub with butter and a lot of garlic.”

Stuffing at the Pedrosa house is made with ground pork, beef, and chourico or linguica, mixed with white rice. “It’s a Portuguese recipe my mother used to make,” she said. 

Other shoppers, like Maureen Abelha of Fairhaven, said they make their stuffing without meat.

Abelha said she uses Bell’s stuffing mix and adds celery, onions, and “a bunch of different spices.” 

“I wing everything,” she said with a laugh, adding that it usually turns out fine. “I’ve never had any problems!”

Some shoppers don’t do much cooking at all. 

“I’m very lucky, my mom does all the cooking,” said Lisa DaCosta of Dartmouth, who noted that her favorite dish is apple, celery, and onion stuffing. “We love it. We only get it once a year!”

“My favorite is the mashed potatoes,” chimed in her six-year-old daughter Averie, who said her grandmother makes it with salt and pepper. 

Due to the pandemic, this year most shoppers said they were hosting smaller feasts than usual.

Westport couple Tricia and Mike Santos were taking home a turkey for just a handful of relatives.

“He’s one of seven, and usually we have everyone, but this year just our moms and two of his brothers are coming,” Tricia said. “Definitely a lot smaller than we’re used to.”

Mike — who said he usually does the cooking — noted that he uses an electric roaster instead of an oven for the turkey. 

“Electric roaster works better because it creates a steam in a tighter spot, so I think it cooks more evenly,” he said.

Although they both enjoy turkey, the couple said, they disagreed on stuffing. 

“Stuffing sucks,” Tricia said. “[His mother] puts chourico in it, and I like it plain, like my Nana used to make...I don’t like it spicy.”

Joked Mike, “They’re Irish, they don’t know how to season anything.”