The ritual is One
The food is One
We who offer the food are One
The fire of hunger is also One
All action is One
We who understand this are One.
The above blessing is a new one for me this year; how timely that I should come across it in my reading just in time for Thanksgiving.
One of my favorite Thanksgiving stories was new last year. It comes from my Aunt Sue, known in her family as NeeNah, who was writing to share some recipes and tell me about how Thanksgiving Day had turned out for her, her husband Joe, and some of their kids, grand kids, friends, and neighbors. I love her description of packing the carry - all! I can nearly taste each bite, can't you? Here's what she wrote:
"I hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving day. We have so much to be thankful for.
I cooked as usual and had Austin, the oldest Grandson and his Dad, Steve over. They always look forward to NeeNah's cooking on the holidays. Then one of Joe's trooper buddies stopped over and though he couldn't stay or come back for dinner, since he was working the plaza on the turnpike very close to here, he said he could come back and pick up a plate if that was o.k. We said sure, so that's what he did. I have one of those nice covered carry - alls that has several sections in it and I filled each of those, then put his pie, orange fruit salad, cranberry sauce and rolls in other containers in a bag. Joe called him and told him it was ready for pick-up. He took it back to work and said he shared with someone else.
When he finished work and brought the containers back, he said, 'You must be from the South to cook like that.'
I said, 'I am from Missouri.'
And he said, 'Well, that's the South!'
I told him that my Momma was a wonderful cook and she could cook anything and everything. I guess I learned from her!"
I was also recently reminded of a long - ago Thanksgiving when my lovely friend Elaine and I decided -- in the spirit of over the river and through the wood -- that we could make it all the way from Northwest Arkansas to Northeast Missouri in her unheated vintage BMW. The fire was hot within us, but the temperatures outside were frightful (yes, even in the South) and the car was freezing. After twenty - five miles or so of trying unsuccessfully / unsafely to see through the perma - frosted windshield, we faced reality and turned around. Of course, planning to be elsewhere, we had prepared no Thanksgiving food of any kind, aside from an experimental fruitcake baked the week before in a tin can in a crock - pot. We were feastless! So we gave thanks that night for one of America's finest traditions:
these previous posts about Southern Cooking
and the women in my family:
Tomatoes and Gravy