Thanksgiving. Here’s a proper nod to what Thanksgiving in modern times has evolved to and the one you envision.
For some, perhaps it’s the oppression of Indian’s you take from this Holiday, or the oppression of apronned women sweating over a roasted Turkey basted like clockwork. I prefer to take from it an unlikely joining of two visitors sharing the same table, the proverbial breaking bread or nibbling the corn they themselves grew, an introduction of strange new tastes, maybe a sour berry that pairs so nicely with an especially wild untamed poultry whose brain seems to be absent from it’s feathery head. Maybe the food is the reason you make the drive or the flight? Maybe this day is just the yearly epiphany that wine is not enough, that there must be more?
The culinary comforts of the tummy won’t quell what is lacking from any holiday. One still must medicate to dine with certain family members and perhaps this year it’s time to change, upgrade to Prozac? For many homes It should be put out with the spread beside the salt and pepper- as abundant as the mashed potatoes, or corn pudding or the Tofurkey gracing your best table cloth. It’s here like it or not, it’s that late Thursday in November where you pause to give thanks.
For fun, let’s run through my favorite descriptions of the offerings at your feast, these I have actually heard: “sweet potato balls” “a good Kalua Pork, ” bourbon pecan pie, or for my Sicilian favorite Italian Mix Giardiniria- Who knew cauliflower could be this good? Lest we not forget the happenings the tradition. A walk after dinner, watching Planes, Trains, and Automobiles for the 40th time, and always a a game of cribbage minus the chain smoking grandpas this year. A lively table is pure bonus. Ours was classic, arguments as plentiful as gravy-“thanks Dad” or the first dinners to the new family’s house and that dumbstruck look on my face when I realize, no they indeed don’t have gravy?!
Gravy or not……it is the day to honor all the abundance we take for granted. Let us not blindly disregard who is not here, maybe a tear even followed by another piece of pie but nod to that fact that we are indeed very much here. Alive, grateful? Some healthy some not. Don’t just honor the thanks there is the Giving. it takes the focus off of you for once. Giving. Say it with me. Giving is human and people need practice.
Happy Thanksgiving, readers. Please savor it. What is it for you? Perhaps it’s being rebellious and ordering take-out. Perhaps it’s changing tradition out with the old in with the spicy! Maybe demanding potluck style and parking your old mother in a chair despite her wish. You are allowed to make it the least laborious day of Winter on the calendar-go on-do it. Channel your version of Thanksgiving, it’s yours. Don’t stand for blah. Make it special, gosh darnit? You want real whipped cream-find the other beater! You want a jello mold, don’t let them judge you. Perhaps like me, you always get assigned everything BUT the main dish? The clearance Turkeys are half the price tomorrow-quit your pouting. Who me? At 40 something I still want the Thanksgiving I recall from my childhood. Rolling around on the carpet bored as ever, but “good” bored. A day of peace where you smell food cooking, hear football game commentary, muffled laughter, an intermittent cheer at the TV…. the contentment of awaiting guests to crack nuts and jokes with….sneaking in to put your finger into the bowl of whipping cream, sneaking off to stare out the window and trace your name in the fresh steam clinging to the November world through that cold glass pane. It’s your Holiday, this year, do it right for once.