The Jamaicans in the United States generally celebrate the 4-day weekend in the same style as Americans, but a little “Iriemon.”added in. This gives them the the opportunity to gather for a reunion, a day of thanks, and a festive meal.
Often individuals or families will end up with two or more invitations to join other families for the day. Family and friends contribute to the occasion by bringing various dishes or help with the cooking in the host kitchen – all part of a happy, communal meal. So when I hear that "Jamaicans don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I usually laugh." It might not be the "traditional Turkey meal," however we still give thanks.
Many other Thanksgiving traditions adopted by Jamaicans include the watching of the world-famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade; and shopping in the Malls as stores begin the pre-Christmas shopping season with sales and discounted prices.
below is a special twist to the Turkey Dinner.
Jamaican Turkey Rub
1 tablespoon allspice berries or powder
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoon vinegar
1 cup orange juice
2 teaspoon lime juice
In a large bowl, combine the allspice, thyme, black peppercorns, dried thyme, sugar, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and garlic. With a whisk, slowly add the soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice, and lime juice. Add hot pepper sauce to taste. Add the onion and mix well. At this stage you may wish to reserve a small amount of this sauce for dipping.
Marinade the turkey breasts overnight, or for at least a couple of hours. Grill or barbecue for 6 minutes on each side, basting with the sauce, or alternatively bake turkey in sauce at 220 for about 25 minutes. No oil is needed.
Put some butter under the skin (if not using butterball) for more flavor and moistness.