Canadian Thanksgiving and a Recipe for Apple Crisp

This weekend is the Canadian Thanksgiving.   Yes, you read that right - Canada does indeed have a Thanksgiving  Day and it is exactly like the American holiday - minus the Pilgrims.  (FYI - Canada was a French colony back in the early days and although we did have Jesuit Priests, we did not have zealous Puritans.)  In fact, the early French settlers and fur traders with their native wives ( for some reason, French women weren't flocking to live in the mosquito-plagued wilderness of New France) celebrated a yearly harvest feast in the European tradition decades before the pilgrims arrived in Plymouth.

For centuries, the celebration has been held around the end of October or early November depending on the harvest.  In 1879 it was declared a National Holiday, and in 1957 it was pinned down to it's current date of the second Monday in October which means, in practical terms - bales of straw, scarecrows and pumpkins are permitted for the first two weeks of October, then you can add the ghosts, witches and all other spooky Halloween decorations for the last two weeks.  Then it's straight into Christmas decorations, but that's a whole other post.

So... (getting back to the subject at hand) except for the buckled shoes and funny hats, Canada's Thanksgiving is the same as the American holiday and I'm sure my American friends will agree that Thanksgiving has a very defined menu that has to be strictly adhered to lest you cause an uprising amongst the clan.  This is the Canadian menu:  a roasted turkey stuffed with a bread dressing and served with a cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes with gravy, fall crops such as squash/sweet potatoes/apples in some form or other, and of course, pumpkin pie.  There MUST be pumpkin pie.

Now, because I like you all very much, I am going to share with you my family's absolute requirement for each Thanksgiving dinner, a cherished family recipe for The Very Best Apple Crisp ever.

4 cups/1000 ml sliced apples
1 cup/250 ml white sugar
1 cup/250 ml water
3/4 cup/175 ml all-purpose flour
1/2 cup/124 ml butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1.  Place apples in a greased 8"x8"/2 litre baking dish and sprinkle them with cinnamon and pour the water over top.
2.  In a bowl, cream together sugar and butter.  Stir in flour.  Sprinkle over apples.
3.  Bake for 30 - 40 minutes at 350 Fahrenheit or 180 Celsius.
4.  Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.

So tell me, is the Canadian menu much different from the American menu?  Are there any Thanksgiving dishes that are essential for your dinner?


  1. AlpenwasserOctober 07, 2011

    But, is there football?

  2. There is very little difference in the menu! And, of course, there will be football on television!

  3. susan swiderskiOctober 07, 2011

    The menu is pretty much the same. I like veggies of all colors so they look pretty on the plate. (I know. Weird.) Oh, and in addition to all of that, we also have homemade kielbasa and sauerkraut. When our younger son was away in college, he always requested a pan of lasagna on Thanksgiving, too. (Talk about eclectic!)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. keilbasa and sauerkraut?!

  5. Yes, there will be football - only the CFL, not the NFL.

  6. Of course there's football! 1 pm on Monday the Toronto Argonauts VS the Montreal Alouettes.

  7. Alberta WoodOctober 07, 2011

    Yes, American version is much the same. My Aunt Sofie would make dinner rolls with cardamom. We would also have broccoli and maybe cauliflower, but usually all the rest of mentioned vegetables. My Dad would always make a tomato aspic, while we would have a molded salad containing a jello with grated carrots and crushed pineapple. Sometimes there would be a mince pie along with the pumpkin pie.

  8. Oh! I remember that jello salad! My mother used to make one similar.

  9. Our menu is very similar. We also include broccoli casserole, rolls, and pecan pie.

  10. Bloody hell Kara, that dinner sounds like what we have at Christmas (except pumpkin pie, but I would love to try that). You have got me all hungry now - umm turkey, roast potatoes and gravy [dribbles a bit]. Have a happy thanksgiving chick!

  11. I'd lost my mom's recipe for apple pan dowdy and your crisp looks really similar. Thanks for sharing it.

  12. ImSoVintage Laura WalkerOctober 09, 2011

    Thanks for the recipe. As an American child who grew up in Canada, I got to celebrate both holidays. Yummy. Happy new follower from the over 40 blog hop.

  13. Stopping by from the blog hop and now a new follower thru GFC ,RSS Reader and sent a friend request on Facebook. I would love a follow back when you get a chance. I have my very first 2 giveaways up and running and would love for you to enter one or both. (one is okay for Canada) Thanks for your help and have a great day!


  14. I'm still full from dinner with friends last night. There was apple crisp, pumpkin pie, some chocolate pie thing, turkey and a ham. I'm sure there were some veggies sprinkled in there, too... :-D

  15. Apple pan dowdy? Now I have to go Google that...

  16. In my family it is my great-grandmother's pumpkin custard pie that is required. And let me tell you...it is SOOO delicious.

  17. Les BotcharOctober 11, 2011

    oh yum - thank you! Best part of Thanksgiving is always the leftovers! It's hard to believe it tastes even better on Day 2. LOL Butterscotch pie is also a family favourite at our place. The men have been known to fight over the last piece.