There are so many great blog posts, articles, even entire books dedicated to the biggest food event of the year, Thanksgiving. At our house we usually keep it very traditional, serving pretty much the same meal every year. With so many resources about entertaining and menu planning and recipes on Thanksgiving out there, I just wanted to share with you some of what I am truly Thankful for.
When my grandmother hosted it at her house, she managed to make the entire meal herself and every year, it was impeccable and exactly the same. Some of it was a little…different. Like lime jello salad with shredded carrots and pineapple. Without fail, it was always on her Thanksgiving table. Along with the cornbread stuffing and turkey giblet gravy with chopped up hard boiled eggs in it and tamales. The tamales became part of the tradition over time due to living in Arizona. It was one of 2 meals of the year that were served in the formal dining room with the fancy china. Christmas was the other meal served in there. Of course my brothers and my cousins and I were all banished to the “kids” table. That is where all the fun happened I’m sure! I am thankful for those family traditions that helped to form who I am today.
My family life changed over the years, fracturing with divorce and tragic accidents and deaths, and growing up and making a family of my own. The one thing I have learned over the years with all of the difficult times that have occurred with my family is to really focus on the part of the holiday where we give thanks and count our blessings. This will be the first Thanksgiving after my Mom has passed away, and it certainly will not be the same, even though we mostly just talked on the phone about what our plans were, what we cooked and who we were spending time with since she lived in Arizona. I am thankful for those simple conversations.
As I write this, my Dad is in ICU after being in a motorcycle accident. He is going to be ok, but he is pretty banged up and gave me quite the scare. He is planning to move here to Colorado in about a month, which I am very thankful for. To be able to spend more time with him will be a gift that I was not able to have with my Mom before she passed away. My Dad is a sometimes Thanksgiving baby, having his birthday on the 28th of November. I made him this from scratch carrot cake at his request last year. I must say, it was extremely decadent and delicious. His move to Colorado is going to bring with it change and a whole new chapter in life for us. Kind of like when I moved to Fox Cottage after my divorce. All I wanted to do at the time was give my kids a stable home, and that I did accomplish.
What are your Thanksgiving traditions? Some of the traditions that I have started or continued for my family are my Mom’s cornbread dressing, homemade cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes. I also include a side dish usually that is new. There are so many recipes to try! Usually we have something with sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and pecan pie and couple of nice wines to drink. This year though, the girls go with their dad and me and my sweetheart will go to a hotel in Golden and have someone else do the cooking. It isn’t the same of course, but it gives me a break every other year and for that too, I am thankful.
Wherever you may be this Thanksgiving know that I am also thankful for you. Enjoy those you love and have a blessed holiday.