The North Star Project, 2013-2014 Report Number Twenty-Five — Thanksgiving (US) An American Tradition With Global Connections by Delaney Babich

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The North Star Project, 2013-2014 Report Number Twenty-Five — Thanksgiving (US) An American Tradition With Global Connections by Delaney Babich

Every year since I was born we have had our thanksgiving at my grandmother’s house, in Robinsdale, Minnesota. She always fills the house with warm welcomes including festive decorations, pre-feast snacks and a Julia Child marathon on the television. It is the typical American Thanksgiving. Turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, fruit salad, sweet potatoes, cranberries and of course the stuffing. What I like about eating here every year is that we always have our traditional dishes, but yet my grandma tends to create one or two new dishes to try out every year. This year, she served us Swedish meatballs with a twist; they were coated in pecans and had a sweeter taste then normal. Her family came from Sweden, so for her to recreate a recipe into something modern was exciting and fun to try! So finally, with our stomachs rumbling and our sparkling cider poured, we dig in and devour everything on our plates, some times even going back for seconds. After everyone has eaten to their hearts content, we go around the table and say what we are thankful for, whom we love and our greatest accomplishment in the last year. The come the pie, oh the pie. My grandmother always makes each one from scratch, and I have yet to find any that taste better than hers. After all is said and done, we reminisce and say goodbye, hugs and kisses, waves and honks as we head back home to take naps and spend more time with each other. Once back home my mother and I have a tradition we picked up while living in Belize, and it consists of making flan together with a caramelized topping. We received the recipe when we spent Thanksgiving in Belmopan a few years back. No matter what we are doing we are doing it together and that is the most important thing to me. I have to say, Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday.

For all of the North Star Project 2013-2014 Reports, see

For all of the North Star Project 2013 Summer Reports, see

The North Star Project 2013-2014 School Year Reports: The Middle Ground Journal’s collaborative outreach program with K-12 classes around the world. We gratefully acknowledge North Star Academy of Duluth, Minnesota as our inaugural partner school, and the flagship of our K-12 outreach program. We also warmly welcome Duluth East High School and Dodge Middle School to our collaborative program.

Under the leadership of our North Star host teachers and student interns, The North Star Project has flourished for two years. For a brief summary, please see a recent article in the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:

Having re-tooled and re-designed the collaborative program, we are drawing on the experience of our veteran student interns, ideas from our host teachers, and new projects provided by our incoming student interns. This school year The Middle Ground Journal will share brief dispatches from our North Star Project student interns, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. As of the time of this report we have confirmed student interns who will be reporting from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, northeastern China, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, England, Finland, Russia, and Haiti. We also have students developing presentations on theatrical representations of historical trauma, historical memory, the price individuals pay during tragic global conflicts, and different perceptions of current events from around the world.  We will post their brief dispatches here, and report on their interactions with the North Star students and teachers throughout the school year.

Hong-Ming Liang, Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, USA, 2013-2014 School Year

(c) 2013 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 7, Fall, 2013. See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy.


Filed under Delaney Babich, Professor Hong-Ming Liang

3 responses to “The North Star Project, 2013-2014 Report Number Twenty-Five — Thanksgiving (US) An American Tradition With Global Connections by Delaney Babich

  1. Brianna Curtis

    I love that your family tries to add something different to thanksgiving each year! It’s nice to “spice” things up a bit. It is also refreshing that you can tie this in globally. Although many people around the world don’t celebrate our Thanksgiving traditions, it is surprising to realize how many of them have similar celebrations.

  2. It’s so cool that you guys have these specific traditions that you follow every year! I really like that you all add something new each year and the Julia Child marathon. I also have found a similar effect with pie because my Mom makes hers from scratch every time too, and it’s true that no one else’s compares!

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