November 27th, 2013

Think About It…….                                                                   November 27, 2013

There is something unique and almost mystical about the transformation this week of places we clutch to our bosoms for their warmth, comfort and familiarity.  Maybe it’s our home or the place where our parents live or have lived. Maybe it’s a sibling’s apartment, a friend’s condo or the old maple dining table at your grandparents’ house.

We watch in warm wonder as an elegant butterfly of tradition emerges from its cocoon and takes its timeless grasp of our lives for one more glorious year.  This is Thanksgiving week, and you see each day our most special family holiday being born anew in a practice as measured and honor-driven as any you can name.

This metamorphosis may have begun last week or a few days ago or maybe it will begin an hour from now, but we can’t ignore its presence, its aromas hanging in the air like the essence of a sudden summer shower.  Kitchens that may typically at midweek be quiet and singular places of daily routine are becoming laboratories for science and experiment, classrooms for generations of cooks and entertainers, all in homage to the famously familiar feast of Thanksgiving.

This is the meal at which neophytes become epicurean experts, appreciating more and more those who stir our sauces, create our casseroles and baste our turkeys. Those family cooks who are ever more memorable for their lacings of love.

Thanksgiving is the one repast of the year that matters most.  Evidence is in the details, the effort and the painstaking wonder with which Thanksgiving dinner all comes together. Yes, every chef wants every meal to be unique and unforgettable. However, with Thanksgiving, that same cook wants the feast to be lived and absorbed as a personal gravy that will be tasted for a full year.

At Thanksgiving, you see, there are no presents, no costumes, no need to stay up late.   At Thanksgiving, the meal is the deal.

Is this your favorite holiday of the year? It should be, because it’s purely and simply about family, love and our heartfelt tidings to the Almighty for the bountiful feast he has provided.  We join hands, count blessings, offer thanks and share thoughts. Then we commune and consume and take our lovely time in doing so.

That’s the way the pilgrims began it all, and who could argue with how far the pilgrims’ pride has progressed.  It’s doubtful, though, our founders could have envisioned a day so important that it inspires consenting adults to endure dining doubleheaders – like two plates full to the brim – and feel more stuffed than we can imagine.   But that’s the sort of gastric drastic that must be endured.

Christmas is about country ham, prime rib and rye bread – though turkey also is around – but Thanksgiving is all about gobbling a gobbler, and, of course, the most wonderful gatherings of family.

But no matter where or how the meal is spread, there must always be turkey and delicious stuffing cooked inside the big bird.  My number one favorite part of the meal is a side-dish created by my Mom.  Corn and Oysters!  Mmm Mmm!   You can choose whatever side dishes you prefer – even those blasted sweet potatoes – but  turkey stuffing and corn with oysters defines my meal.

And that leaves us with dessert. The tradition for most at Thanksgiving it to serve pumpkin or pecan pie, but I’ve never had a much of a taste for those buds and have, when asked, always requested apple or cherry pie, hot and topped with ice cream.

And that’s what this week is all about!

Think About It….and give thanks!       John Davis    11-27-13

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