The warm and familiar autumn aroma of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger escaping from Canadian ovens at the beginning of October signals one thing: a Thanksgiving pumpkin pie is baking in the warmth within.

Pumpkin Pie
Canadian Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without a pumpkin pie fresh from the oven. (Photo Credit: Tanya Braaksma)

Canadian Thanksgiving is officially celebrated on the second Monday of October but Thanksgiving dinners are family affairs which take place on any day of the long weekend. It is traditionally a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest season or to simply reflect on everything else in life for which you are thankful for.

Before dinner graces the table, the kitchen is always a frenetic hub of activity. It is a family effort to ensure the golden, crispy-skinned turkey is carved, the potatoes are mashed with milk and butter, the gravy is silky smooth, the cranberries have gently burst into a ruby red sauce, and that it all comes together at roughly the same time.

Canada’s first Thanksgiving dinner can be traced back to English explorer Sir Martin Frobisher and his 1578 voyage to find the Northwest Passage, a sea route through the Arctic Ocean. He anchored in Frobisher Bay on the coast of Baffin Island, part of the Canadian territory of Nunavut.

Nunavut covers much of the Canadian Arctic and if you ever fancy trying your hand at dogsledding or polar bear hunting, be sure you arrive dressed for the elements.

The moment the turkey is removed from the oven, pumpkin pie, a classically Canadian Thanksgiving dessert, takes its place. Roasted, puréed pumpkin is whisked together with eggs, sweetened condensed milk, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, baked, and left to fill the house with an aroma best associated with the crisp months of autumn.

Pumpkin pie alone, and especially when served warm with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon, is something to be thankful for each and every Thanksgiving.

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About Tanya Braaksma

Tanya is an avid traveller who is happiest when using her camera to discover what delights the world has to offer. She originates from Canada, currently makes her home in the Netherlands, and is on an everlasting journey to visit all corners of the world.


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