Thursday, November 16, 2006
Food was always important to our family while I was growing up. I guess it's logical to say, then, that Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday. Oh, Christmas was always fun, but no gift could compare to the smell of roasting turkey and oyster dressing. Forget the pies--I wanted some of that bird.
We spent almost every Thanksgiving of my youth at my grandparents. They lived in a small, kind of rundown house (complete with outhouse) in the middle of nowhere. I'm not sure how this got started, but for some reason, my mother always made the turkey, dressing, an a pie to take to my grandparents'. I guess that's not unusual--my grandparents were quite elderly and didn't have much money--except that my aunt and uncle lived much closer. I don't recall, however, that they ever brought anything. Grandma would make a couple of side dishes and more pies, so we were never at a loss for food.
Since I left college, I think I've missed making Thanksgiving Dinner once. It didn't matter whether I was going to be alone (hey, it freezes) or with friends, I couldn't go a Turkey Day with the smells that were so familiar to me. So, I'd try to do everything my mom did so I'd have the same result. Okay, sometimes I'm a little slow about things. My mom used to get up in the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning to get the bird into the oven. So, I did the same thing. Note to self--it doesn't take nearly as long to cook a 10-pound turkey as it does one that weighs close to thirty. Imagine my surprise when my Thanksgiving turkey was ready mid-morning! Oh well, lesson learned, and learned quite well I might add.
Tomorrow is my last day at my full-time job. This is making the financial situation quite strapped, as I am sure many of you can imagine. At first, I thought about skipping Thanksgiving and the turkey this year. After all, it was just going to be me. But then I'd recall the smells--and the memories--of the Thanksgivings of my childhood. How could I go without those? After all--think of how many meals I can make from one turkey? And I really don't need all of the sides. Turkey and stuffing will do me, thank you very much. And besides, I do have things to be thankful for.
I'd like you to take a minute and reflect on what you have to be thankful for. Perhaps you, like me, are going through some financial difficulties. Perhaps there are health issues, relationship difficulties, or some other truly difficult times. But, if you can put together a Thanksgiving dinner, I'd like you to consider those who can't, and perhaps donate the cost of a meal to your local food bank, or to America's Second Harvest (you can click on the link at the bottom of this page to learn more about America's Second Harvest and to make a donation). You'll be helping someone else have something to be thankful for.
Have a blessed holiday.