Sam Sifton Lays Down the Thanksgiving Law


He said "A drink", YES!
I'm having ham for X-mas, but goose is what's for dinner tonight. I got a raise recently so what the hell.
Calvin Trillin always called for Spaghetti Carbonara for Thanksgiving, on no stronger grounds than it is delicious, while turkey is generally speaking not. Most birds are dry, bitter, flavorless. Lately a movement has sprung up to make tamales the dish of the day, on the theory that we should be recognizing the native peoples of this land, and also the fact that whites and natives were giving thanks together in the South and Southwest for a hundred years before any goddamn Pilgrims showed up in the Northeast.

I'm down; I love tamales. I finally made some decent ones the other day. The secret: wetter masa than tortillas, stretched with broth, and coarser if you can get it.

Turkey Day appetizers? Nah. Pretzel sticks or Chex Mix is all you need. The main appetizer should be booze, to assist in the creation of memorable emotional meltdowns later.
Fnarf, tamales are delicious year round, so I'm down with that idea. I usually make a "mexican-few", which is about 250 a few times between now and new years. And yes, coarse masa is the way to go (I hand grind mine, so it is always just how I want it).
@4, oh, crap. You grind your own? Teach me.
...but Appetizers is one (or two) of the important Thanksgiving Day meals!

The schedule is determined by Dinner, but the meals of the day should work something like:

Early Prep (morning) - "tastes" of all the food safe to eat while cooking with caffeine and breakfast drinks (mimosa, Irish coffee, greyhounds, etc.)

Appetizers (football to about 90 minutes prior to dinner) - Snacks and dishes auditioning for future holiday dinner.

Dinner - Enough food that people can avoid the turkey, although mine is great.

Dessert (90 to 210 minutes after dinner) - Pies and ice cream featured, but there is nothing wrong with a major spread.

Leftovers (if dinner was early) - Favorites and things that don't keep well.
As a California native I can report that tamales are a traditional Christmas dish for Mexican(-American) families, and lots of white families have incorporated them as well.

Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are essentially identical, so sure throw in a few tamales with your herb roasted Tofurkey.

Here, have some pumpkin tamales.
Hmm... perhaps calling myself a "California native" on Thanksgiving of all days is a poor choice. I meant that I was born and raised in California, of course.
White people and natives getting together before the 1600s? Except for Cortez and his ilk, I don't think so. Cites, Fnarf.

Chocolate is necessary on any festive day. There was a wonderful chocolate cheesecake at my dinner today which outshone the pies. Not too sweet, not too heavy, fluffy-ishly delicious.
Rules-Schmules. If somebody happens to have brought a platter of Devils On Horseback to nosh on in the hours before the official meal, I'm not going to berate them for their "transgression".
My dinner's appetisers included raw oysters. The best appetisers ever!
@9, start with 1598, in what is now Texas:…

Then go back to 1565, in Florida:…

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "Cortez and his ilk"; if you just mean "Spanish", see above. They're white. Indians partook. I think the conditions are satisfied.