Canadian Thanksgiving is a day dedicated to being thankful for the year’s harvest. With no presents or events to attend, it is generally one of our less stressful holidays – focussed on spending time with family and friends while enjoying a great meal.

History of a Canadian Thanksgiving

The first Canadian Thanksgiving is said to date back to 1578 when English navigator Martin Frobisher landed in Canada. He was trying to find a northern passage to the Orient and landed in what is now Newfoundland. So grateful for surviving the long voyage, he held a formal ceremony.

Today. Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October with a big dinner filled with turkey, cranberry sauce, autumn vegetables and pumpkin pie.

Turkey and cranberry
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Turkey 101

When it comes to cooking the main item of your Thanksgiving feast, you have a number of recipes to choose from. Whatever special ingredients and tricks you know to make the juiciest turkey, make sure you have a good meat thermometer in your kitchen utensils to ensure the meat is cooked to the proper temperature.

As for how big a turkey to buy, calculate the right size by estimating about 1 pound (500 g) per person. This takes into account shrinkage and bones, and a little leftover for the days following.

For safety reasons, it is recommended that you place the stuffing in the turkey lightly and just before roasting. If you pack the stuffing too tight, the stuffing may not reach the required temperature of 165F (75C).

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Accompanying the Turkey

And what would a Thanksgiving dinner be without cranberry sauce. Touted for its many health benefits, this red berry finds its way to many a table alongside the turkey and even into the vegetable and dessert dishes.

Canada produces approximately 5,000 metric tons of cranberries annually. But, don’t forget the apple cider and pumpkins – very traditional in a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner, too.

In memory of the day, reflect on your life’s journey. Remember the moments, relationships and blessings as well as the tangible and intangible things that you are grateful for.

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