Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and it has gotten me thinking a bit about traditions and how they are formed and kept. The Thanksgiving holiday has always been a time of family for me, although as I have gotten older the traditions have changed a little. We usually try to spend the day enjoying the time off with family, and a large meal of home cooked foods is usually involved. Aside from a couple of years that I spent Thanksgiving beachside in Mexico with my dad, this is how it has always been. I find the simplicity of it comforting and look forward to it every year.
In the past couple years the family dinner has expanded to include close friends, and I love the feeling of camaraderie that ensues. I’ve always considered my friends to be close like kin and it seems to be a natural extension to have them seated at our dinner table. Besides the obvious joy of having their company making new memories, it is a blessing to share old holiday recollections with them. Somehow stories of Thanksgiving antics past always seem to come up and it makes me happy to know that years from now when I share these holiday memories they will now be a part of the story.
As for the food we serve, we typically don’t stray from the traditional basics. This year we will have a turkey and a ham, as well as the age-old traditional green bean casserole made from canned green beans and Campbell’s mushroom soup. (My mom is more than a bit chagrined that she has been asked to provide the casserole this year. She enjoys creative cooking and finds the recipe too simple. I, however, cannot wait to see it steaming on the tabletop!) We usually have a creative side dish or two as well to spice things up. We inevitably have way too much food, even for our large group and I’m thankful that folks have started wising up to bringing their own to-go dishes to take home some of the leftovers.
The best part of any holiday meal is obviously the dessert, and this year I will assist my dad in making three types of pies; pumpkin, apple, and pecan. One of my favorite things to do is bake and it makes me happy to be making my dad’s recipes and creating beautiful sweets to end our meal. My grandfather’s signature phrase always comes to mind as I prepare them. “Life is uncertain; eat dessert first,” he always says.
This holiday season I look forward to making new memories and enjoying the company of my lovely family and friends, and I wish you the same!