What New Jersey absolutely must have on the Thanksgiving table (Opinion)
I never had any idea that this was actually a question or a choice until I started working at New Jersey 101.5. One night while crossing over with my good friend Ray Rossi the subject came up as to what kind of macaroni he was having for Thanksgiving and when he told me that they don't do that in his house, you could have knocked me over with a wet noodle.
Not only do I think macaroni should be on the Thanksgiving table, I once suggested that Gov. Murphy mandate it! Seriously, who gets excited over turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, string beans and maybe some pumpkin pie for dessert?
When was the last time you went into a Jersey diner, not in November, and ordered "The Thanksgiving Dinner?" Now people have invented the "Thanksgiving pizza!" These must be the same people who thought pineapple on pizza was a good idea! I just threw up in my throat.
As we all know, turkey is not a headliner. In fact, if you went to a comedy show and the headliner was a turkey, you'd ask for your money back. What makes a good Thanksgiving great is the macaroni and red gravy. Maybe it's lasagna, or manicotti, or perhaps some baked ziti. along with some meatballs, sausage or bronchiole. It's the natural thing to come after the antipasti.
In my house, we gear it around the football games. The Detroit Lions game at 12;30 is referred to as the "Antipasti Bowl" That's when the cold cut and salad platters come out followed by the macaroni and gravy-covered meats in the second half.
Then the Dallas Cowboys game at 4 p.m. is "The Turkey Bowl," what team could be more fitting? The third game, Bills-Saints would be the "Dessert Bowl" or "Make a Sandwich out of the Leftovers Bowl."
That's how we do it in the Trevelise household and from my wife Deneen, my sons Lennon and Abert as well as myself, We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving you and your family. How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?
"Manicotti is a headliner."
Tiago Miguel Graca:
"This shouldn't be a question. It's a must. U just have to have macaroni."
"The antipasto and the macaroni rule!"
"My Turkey and my Macaroni say 'Why can't we all just get along?'"
"What is red gravy."
Kieran Thomas Gormley:
"I’ve never heard of red gravy either."
Betty Kordes Samuels:
"Never heard of this until I had an Italian neighbor. Still can't comprehend how you can eat pasta and then turkey and all the trimmings! Gag!"
"We always have a pasta dish before our turkey! Lasagna or stuffed shells or baked ziti… All delicious."
"Bring it on says the Jewish guy who grew up in Long Branch!"
"We always have a macaroni course. Every holiday. And for all those asking. Tomato sauce is sauce. Yes. Back in the day, my grandmothers would put all leftover meals into the sauce and cook it slowly on Sunday. This was called a Ragu in Italian. Our ancestors wanted to assimilate and learn English but there was no English translation for Ragu. So the Italians from the jersey city, Bloomfield, Nutley, Newark areas had the loose translation of meat sauce which became Gravy. Their gravy was their 'Sunday sauce' or 'Sunday gravy.' Once all the meats are out it, boom, gravy."
"Growing up with a Cuban mom, I never had mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving OR gravy (the stuff that goes on your turkey and potatoes); we had our own special stuffing and always a certain Spanish rice and bean dish (congri) and our 'gravy' was meat (pernil) drippings with lemon juice, olive oil and fresh garlic."
"Steve Trevelise, you may agree with me. In Italian tradition, if there’s meat in it, it’s gravy, no meat then it’s sauce. Sigh!!! Some people just don’t understand."
"Anti pasta and macaroni!!!!!!!!! My grandmother even put out the gravy meat!!!!! lol."
"Lasagne of penne vodka is always at my table with the Turkey!"
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7-11 p.m.. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.