Episodes for a Delicious Thanksgiving

From turkey to cranberries to pies – this playlist has you covered. But Thanksgiving is more than these dishes. There are many ways to give thanks, celebrate across tables, and recognize the history of this holiday. These episodes offer home cooking tips for making the most of your leftovers, explore rich food history, and take part in critical conversations about Indigenous food sovereignty. 


A Taste of the Past Episode 118: Thanksgiving’s Roots with Food Historian Sandy Oliver: Linda is speaking with food historian Sandy Oliver about the roots of Thanksgiving! Sandy is also the author of the book Saltwater Foodways, a history of Yankee cooking and New England eating traditions, and the recent Maine Home Cooking.Tune into this episode to learn about the religious considerations of Thanksgiving, and how it came to be a national holiday. What foods were most likely on the table during the first harvest feast? Sandy and Linda share some dishes that you may not recognize.

Eat Your Heartland Out Episode 13: Coming Together Around Pie: Enjoy bonus episode about how baking can bring communities together.  Meet Rose McGee, the founder of the Sweet Potato Comfort Pie project that uses pie to start meaningful conversations about social justice. And, hear from Val Lucks, the founder of the Great Midwestern Pie Contest, a competition that lifts spirits while encouraging creativity.

Meat and Three Episode 97: Decolonizing our Thanksgiving Tables and Food Narratives: This episode spotlights individual people, dishes and ingredients that are decolonizing our food system. We’re looking at our Thanksgiving plates and beyond to explore efforts to reclaim food sovereignty in Native American culture, the African diaspora, and Puerto Rico. 

We start by revisiting the Thanksgiving myth and investigating the forces that continue to shape Native Americans’ food access and culinary legacy. Then we’ll share a recipe that brings Geechee culture to the Thanksgiving table. We track the history of a West African rice strain that is reintroducing a rich heritage as well as environmental resilience to American soil. And finally we learn about how one food justice collective is working to bring power and healing to Puerto Rico. 


Speaking Broadly Episode 146: Indigenous Wisdom from the Kitchen: Felicia Ruiz: Felicia Cocotzin Ruiz is a kitchen curandera living in Rio Verde, Arizona “reclaiming the healer approach to community health with Indigenous wisdom and whole food cooking”. On Speaking Broadly, Ruiz shares her journey to becoming a healer through food. “Being an Indigenous person and taking a class on foraging or wild-crafting from a white person, it was really hard for me. The teacher would refer to the Indigenous tribes that were using plants in the past tense. Saying ‘they used them,’ as if they were no longer being used, or if the people themselves were extinct.” Ruiz is now teaching workshops using her ancestors’ approach: we are a part of nature. The plants are our relatives and deserve our respect. Listen in for insights on herbal medicine, Indigenizing the diet, and traveling in a food truck to the tribal nations in the Southwest to share and absorb the wisdom of the elders.

A Taste of the Past Episode 189: Turkey, An American Story: Host Linda Pelaccio is feeling festive, talking the history of the turkey with food historian Andrew Smith. Teaching food history at the New School in NYC, he is also the author of numerous books and hundreds of articles on food and history. Speaking on the the centerpiece of family Thanksgiving reunions, the turkey is a cultural symbol as well as a multi-billion dollar industry. As a bird, dinner, commodity, and national icon, the turkey has become as American as the bald eagle. Sitting down with Linda, Andrew discusses how this new world bird landed on the world’s tables starting with the bird’s origins and first recipes, before bringing up the topic of pickled turkey. After the break, Andrew explains how the turkey overcame the traditional goose holiday dinner, variations of stuffing throughout the years, and the preservation of heritage turkey breeds. 

Feast Yr Ears Episode 90: The CranMas Tell All About Cranberries and Thanksgiving: Diane Moss and Mary Ann Lee have been cranberry farmers nearly their whole lives. As part of the Ocean Spray Co-op of growers their berries make it onto tables all across the USA every year in November. Tune in to hear host, Harry Rosenblum talk shop with these two CranMas as they offer insight into cranberry varieties, recipes and more for your Thanksgiving table and beyond.

Meat and Three Episode 134: It’s Not Turkey Day for Everyone: Thanksgiving Across Tables: The iconic Thanksgiving setting looks something like this: cranberry, Turkey and sides shared at a large table with family. But Thanksgiving celebrations are more varied than we may think. Whether it’s at the checkout counter, in a to-go box, or outside the U.S. entirely –– Thanksgiving food may look a little different this year. 

Jupiter’s Almanac Episode 8: Reducing Waste This Thanksgiving: Many people are planning smaller meals for Thanksgiving this year and may be wondering how to pare down their typical dishes to avoid waste. Host, Matthew Raiford shares his Thanksgiving menu and talks through his prepping process, which includes starting early to enjoy Thanksgiving Day as much as possible and calculating how many portions he should prepare. He also offers some creative suggestions for making the most of leftovers by turning them into salads, sandwiches or breakfast casseroles. Finally, he shares his approach to composting at Gilliard Farms and expresses gratitude for the land he lives on. 

Eating Matters Episode 171: Native Foods with Chef Nephi Craig: Following up on our previous episode featuring Sanjay Rawal, director of the newly-released film, Gather, host Jenna Liut interviews a central character of the documentary: Native food practitioner, Nephi Craig. Chef Craig is the founder of both the Native American Culinary Association as well as Café Gozhóó where he also serves as the Executive Chef. They discuss Indigenous food systems and the modern colonial violence that continues to threaten them, as well as cultural appropriation in the culinary world. Chef Craig helps us to solidify our definition of food sovereignty and better understand the intersection of Native foods, cultural preservation, community health, and political autonomy.

Time for Lunch Episode 25: Giving Thanks!: Hosts Hannah and Harry are back to celebrate the tastiest and most historically complex fall holiday: Thanksgiving! On HRN’s podcast for kids, learn about the history of the Wampanoag and Narragansett people, who lived and thrived in coastal New England before European settlers arrived in what is now the US. Lorén M. Spears, Executive Director of the Tomaquag Museum in Exeter Rhode Island, teaches listeners about the types of thanks-giving celebrations that these indigenous communities celebrate all year long. Plus, Harry shares a tasty recipe that’s perfect for this year’s unusual Thanksgiving feast and we have a special gobble-filled dance break. 

Cooking in Mexican from A to Z Episode 4: The Triple Bounty of Squashes: Hosts Aarón Sánchez and Zarela Martínez are joined by Anne Mendelson, Zarela’s co-author on numerous cookbooks and a long-time family friend. Together they talk about squash – including pumpkins and zucchini – and how to use these vegetables in their entirety. They share ideas for using squash seeds in sauce as well as recipes for Sikil P’ak and Calabasitas Con Queso. Plus, Anne takes us all on a tour of how squash has traveled around the world and Zarela shares memories of the squash dishes she grew up with on the ranch.

Tech Bites Episode 250: Put the Giving Into Thanksgiving With the Neighborhood’s Table: We’ll look at paying it forward to building better communities with Studio ATAO’s The Neighborhood’s Table. Host Jenifer Leuzzi talks with Edric Huang, Head of Programming at Studio ATAO, about combating gentrification through intentional hospitality and their current fundraising project. 

Meat and Three Episode 83: Striving for Sovereignty in Indigenous Foodways: This week we share stories about indigenous foods and food sovereignty, here in the U.S. and across the globe. We’ll explore the richness of indigenous ingredients, the power of small-holder farms, and the importance of representation. First, we explore the lasting impact of settler colonialism on the food sovereignty of indigenous people in the U.S. Then, we look to Yolélé Foods to understand how they are expanding the market for fonio while benefiting farmers in West Africa, where the grain originates. We hear from The Sioux Chef, Sean Sherman about his foray into the world of indigenous culinary history and look at battle to identify Palestinian cuisine as just that, Palestinian.

A Taste of the Past Episode 356: American Pie History: As American as Apple Pie? Although Pie came to America with the first English settlers, American pie focused on the sweet dessert varieties, and apple certainly earned its place at the top.  But don’t forget pumpkin, pecan, cherry, custard… Petra Paredez of Petee’s Pie talks about the history of the many types and flavors from the popular to the forgotten from her book, Pie for Everyone.

Meat and Three Episode 21: Turducken: A Multi-layered Look at Thanksgiving: We’re exploring the unexpected sides of Thanksgiving. We start by hearing from some food magazine editors, who are well-versed in Thanksgiving trends. They start planning for November issues (typically the most read) as early as March each year. Then, we hear from Perry Ground, a member of Haudenosonee tribe and an expert on early Thanksgiving traditions. Hint: turkey was not on the table. So, where did we get our modern traditions? Host of A Taste of the Past and resident HRN culinary historian, Linda Pelaccio, explains how the technological revolution of the mid to late 1800s created the popular Thanksgiving dishes of today. And lastly, Ariama Long explores the wild world of turduckens – one of the newest and most unusual Thanksgiving traditions.

Eat Your Heartland Out Episode 27: Indigenous Food Sovereignty: Decolonizing Midwestern Diets: In this episode, we will meet two more leaders in the indigenous food sovereignty movement who are using food to both empower and inspire.  From seed cataloguing to sustainable fishing, Indigenous persons are decolonizing their diets, preserving their traditions, and educating their non-Native neighbors about the important role food plays in all of our lives. Daniel Grooms, business manager of the Red Cliff Fish Company in Wisconsin, shares how the Red Cliff band of Lake Superior Chippewa stepped up to create their own fishing business to thwart discrimination in commercial fishing and feed their community directly. Elena Terry, from the Ho-Chunk Nation, tells us why she founded Wild Bearies, an organization that educates indigenous youth about traditional indigenous foodways to preserve tradition and empower the next generation.