Thanksgiving would not be right without mother’s rich gravy. I was always in charge of standing on a step stool at the stove to carefully attend to it, constantly stirring out the lumps with an over-sized spoon and carefully adding just the right amount of broth to make it the right consistency. It was my favorite part of the day because my little fingers were the very first to take dips into the dark brown pool in front me and quickly and surreptitiously gulp down those little pieces of darkened turkey skin or bits of crusty stuffing that had fallen prey to the same roasting pan. Being first at anything in a family with five children was always a supreme accomplishment and I delighted in being the first to taste the best part of the meal.
Making do with what we had, including the time honored and heavily stained holly printed, linen table cloth and chipped goblets that had been washed by too many careless ”volunteers,” all added to the familiarity of the day. It was a time when the gathering of family and friends meant more than the latest decor or gourmet food item. It was a time when Grandfather, looking dashing in his bow tie and impeccable three-piece suit, sat at the head of the table, happy that his offspring were fortunate enough to provide such a wonderful bounty of food and to enjoy another wonderful Thanksgiving together.
Today as I pore over my many recipes, trying to assemble just the right menu for Thanksgiving, I feel urged to first include those dishes that deliciously bring back memories of my childhood and life as it was back in the fifties, a life that was much slower, sweeter and simpler. As I conscientiously attempt to duplicate those days, I am reminded to enjoy the process; enjoy the hunt at the grocery store for those “oddball” holiday ingredients, enjoy my time spent in the kitchen preparing for the big day, enjoy setting the table that will soon be the center of activity for another memorable Thanksgiving day filled with food, family, friends and good times. It is a time to happily fill the bird feeder, hang the wreath on the front door and sweep off the welcome mat. It is a time to open the Christmas puzzle and place it on a card table in front of the fireplace in anticipation of the lively conversation it will spark.
As one allows the “process” of Thanksgiving traditions to slowly take hold and the news of the day becomes more and more like a disdained and uninvited house guest, life seems to take on a softer edge, to slow down, become more optimistic and, like the Plymouth Pilgrims of old, center on the celebration of life’s good fortune. For those less fortunate, food banks and church members increase their efforts to make sure the disadvantaged do not go without. The tradition of Thanksgiving helped form and make America what it is today, a nation filled with good-hearted people ready to give thanks, share, and recognize God as the true provider of their many blessings.
Have the five million plus illegals been taught the history behind the Thanksgiving celebration and the significance of the words “Thanks” and “Giving”? Did Barack Hussein Obama grow up learning the significance of the American tradition of “Thankful Giving”….or did he instead learn “Ungrateful Taking?”
While giving thanks this Thanksgiving, let’s pray that Obama and his ungrateful cohorts will stop taking ….for it will be far easier for us all to give even more!
A wonderful Thanksgiving to all and do not forget to stir the gravy!