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New Tradition - Having a Tropical Thanksgiving

This year if you are looking to create a new tradition or celebrate in a new way, why not let us inspire you to try something new this year—having a tropical Thanksgiving. The last few years have been stressful for many of us and for many we love. We may not have had the ability to visit or see our family, and Thanksgiving presents an opportunity to visit or see those we may not have had the chance to for a long time.

Any family needs to treasure these moments and create memories that will last. We want to help you make a unique, unforgettable Thanksgiving this year that will remain in your family's hearts for years to come.

Planning

Of course, the first and most important aspect of making your idea of a tropical Thanksgiving come together smoothly is to plan as much as you can ahead of time. Whether you will be lucky enough to visit an actual beach that day or will be transforming your home into an island get-away for the time, figuring out what to make, how to decorate, and inviting everyone weeks before will take a lot of day-of stress away.

Sit down and talk with your family about what you plan to do, either via video, call, or in person. Talk about the parts and food of Thanksgiving that are your family's absolute favorites to help you begin to plan the meal.

Next, ask your family about any favorite memories of any traditions done during Thanksgiving. Games, watching a parade, family movies after, and so on. These traditions that may have been lost over the years could be worked back into your Tropical ideas.

If you'll be heading to the beach, one aspect of your planning that will be different is how to condense everything to make it more portable. For instance, instead of baking one entire large pumpkin pie, consider making bite-sized or mini pumpkin pies. You may want to carve the turkey and carry the turkey slices or meat instead of the entire turkey, for example.

Another thing to think of when planning a tropical Thanksgiving taking at the beach is:

  • What will you eat the food on? A board, a portable folding table?
  • Something to set under the table surface to keep it sturdy and steady.
  • Any tablecloths or décor?
  • Utensils and cutlery
  • Plates and dishes to transport
  • A cooler or basket large enough to carry everything

• Seating: will everyone be seated on the ground? Will there be pillows or chairs for those with mobility issues?

• For both home and beach: What will you use to decorate for a Tropical atmosphere?

Décor Ideas and Inspiration

Faux or Genuine Tropical Plant Decorations

The unique beauty of Tropical regions is the abundance of beautiful plants that decorate breathtaking vistas and beaches. To capture some of that magical beauty yourself, adding a few faux or genuine tropical region plants either as a centerpiece or around the table will help create the atmosphere you're looking for.

For leafy Tropical greens, some suggestions to incorporate are split-leaf Philodendron, Fan palms, Bird of Paradise leaves, Areca palm leaves, Papyrus fronds, Banana leaves, Aralia leaves, or Fern fronds.

For flowers, one of the most popular go-to floral arrangements includes the iconic birds of paradise flowers with vibrant oranges, deep greens, and glorious purples. Other flowers that would work perfectly as a tropical table centerpiece or décor are Amaryllis, Bougainvillea, Canna (Canna Indica), Clivia, Flame of the Forest, Frangipani (Plumeria), Hibiscus, Orchids, and Torch Ginger (aka Porcelain Rose) for a small example of riotously bold, beautiful colorful tropical plants.

Plates and Dishes

If possible, lean toward a more casual tone with your plates. Don't be afraid to pick the most colorful bright plates you have, and don't worry if they are mismatched either. Coral hues, bright turquoise, sunny yellow accent pieces make a colorful, bright, casual tropical feel for your Thanksgiving.

Tropical Food Ideas

Blooming Flavor

Edible flowers add a visual appeal to nearly any all-time favorite dishes. When it comes to color, adding a few of these gorgeous edible blooms to the bright sunniness of mashed sweet potatoes is an easy and straightforward tropical touch on a traditional Thanksgiving dish. You might love to try a few edible flower examples: Cornflower, Pot Marigold, Shasta Daisy, Viola Tricolor, Honeysuckle, Lavender, and Nasturtium are all safe to eat.

Upgrade the Ham

Take your traditional glazed ham and elevate it to something more tropical by using fresh fruits and citrus juices. For example, create a glaze from the juices of mango, pineapple, combine with red pepper flakes, or a chopped jalapeno for zing to glaze or baste the ham in.

Other flavors to use you could consider are apricot, fresh ginger, lime, coriander, and fruit chutneys.

Try a Pavochón Turkey

Pavochón is the combination of the Spanish word for Turkey, pavo, and the phrase lechón, which means suckling pig. Roasting a turkey for Thanksgiving in the manner of lechón has been a tradition in Puerto Rico since the island became an American commonwealth.

On Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands, the meat of choice for the holidays is usually roasted suckling pork, so it makes sense that this tradition of the islands became merged with an American classic. This is a flavor-packed recipe that will offer a nice change of pace and the perfect tropical Thanksgiving main dish. So, how do you make it?

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of garlic
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons adobo
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 roughly 12-14 lbs turkey

How to Make:

  1. Gather ingredients and preheat your oven to 325 F.
  2. Mash garlic cloves into a paste using mortar and pestle.
  3. Add peppercorns and adobo and crush into the paste.
  4. Stir in olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
  5. Pat the turkey as dry as possible inside and out, then rub the mixture under the turkey's skin and inside cavities, rubbing anything leftover over the skin. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
  6. Place the turkey in a roasting pan and roast for roughly 3 hours, or until the thickest part of the breast meat registers 165 F, and the widest part of the thigh is 175 F.
  7. Let rest for 30 minutes, uncovered, then carve.

At Lime Ricki, we know how vital family, Traditions, and how engrained the water and the beach are to so many of you. We hope we've been able to inpire a new holiday tradition this Thanksgiving and hope you enjoy your tropical Thanksgiving this year!