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Thanksgiving: an annual celebration oriented around food.

By Lou Craven and Phoebe Altman, Food Editorial Team

Thanksgiving is a largely American tradition celebrated annually on the 4th Thursday of November (25th this year) as a way to give thanks and blessings for the year just gone.

The origins of the tradition relate to the Pilgram’s harvest meal, giving blessings for the recent harvest; hence a central part of the modern celebration is food and what better way to bring people together than a table full of delicious, comforting food! Since the pandemic, these food-oriented traditions have become more important to us than ever so now is a great time to reflect on this and make the most of near-normality by appreciating and participating in your own traditions, like thanksgiving, in the coming years.

One way to do so could be by having a go at making your own traditional spread for friends or family! A few key contenders in the Thanksgiving meal are roast turkey, stuffing, cornbread and pumpkin pie, most of which are not the easiest to whip up in a student kitchen. So, here’s a super simple recipe for cornbread to try out yourselves - go all out and make a full roast turkey and all the trimmings to accompany it, or simply use it to mop up chilli or dip in a warm bowl of soup.

Cornbread The Croft / Phoebe Altman

Cornbread Recipe:

It’s very simple and quick to make, the method is much more cake-like than bread-like so don’t fret!


200g polenta

200g plain flour

2tsp baking powder

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp sweet smoked paprika

½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

75g butter, melted and, slightly


400ml buttermilk

2 eggs

100g cheddar cheese, grated

170g sweetcorn (tinned or


Top tip: an alternative to buttermilk = mix 400ml milk with 2tbsp of lemon juice, leave to sit for 10 mins


1. Preheat your oven to 180C and grease a 20cmx20cm square tin with butter and

line with baking parchment so that it hangs over the edge, making it easier to lift out of the tin once cooked.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the polenta, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and paprika,

salt and pepper until combined (have your butter on the hob gently melting

whilst you do this)

3. Measure your buttermilk into a jug and whisk in the eggs.

4. Add this to the dry ingredients along with the slightly cooled melted butter and mix until you have a smooth batter. Don’t over mix – just until the lumps have gone.

5. Gently stir in the grated cheddar and sweetcorn and fold into the batter until evenly distributed. It will be quite a wet batter, but don’t worry that’s how it’s meant to look!

6. Pour into your prepared tin and place in the oven for 40-50 minutes until the top is golden brown and a

skewer comes out clean.

7. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

Best eaten warm!

Featured image: Phoebe Altman

What/who are you thankful for this year?