Almost four hundred years ago, the Pilgrims established a colony on land that was only vacant because Europeans brought in diseases that the native people were unable to survive. The Pilgrims too might have succumbed due to their own ignorance and ineptitude in this new world if not for the aid of the Wampanoag people. Because of a romanticized notion of the harvest celebration that followed, today Americans set aside the fourth Thursday of November to gather with family and friends and binge eat, sometimes also overindulging in drinks and football.
While I despise the ignorance and arrogance that got us here, I appreciate a day dedicated to appreciation. I’m thankful for a holiday whose focus is bringing people together in gratitude, as well as focusing on another of my favorite things: food.
As cooking rolls along Thanksgiving Day, the Aromatic scent of turkey will creep out of the kitchen and roll through the house. Baking bread will send a side order of scent. Cranberry sauce made from fresh cranberries will savor its tang until served. Vegetables will simmer on the stove, while sweet potatoes, baked earlier, will reheat in the microwave. Dressing and mashed potatoes will arrive with people to eat them. Pies will rest to the side, waiting to be the finale to a fine meal.
At the table, smiles will be exchanged while dishes and laughter are passed from hand to hand. My dog will beg, then park herself at the feet of the one who slips her the biggest pieces of Thanksgiving goodness. We may need a break before dessert, loosening our belts and regretting the seconds or thirds we served ourselves. Stories will be told, armchair quarterbacks will be on duty, and recipes will be exchanged. Finally we’ll all stand at the door with goodbyes, hugs, and packages of leftovers.
Wishing you all many reasons to be thankful, an abundance of good food and the company of those you love most.