On our first Thanksgiving in Boston we were invited to friends and I was dumbstruck by the amount of food on the beautifully set table. I was used to feasts. I had sat at the table for many Seders, Rosh Hashanah dinners and Yom Kippur break-the-fast meals. This was much more extensive.
I loved the cornucopia filled with fall vegetables and fruits. I was struck by the abundance of starches – the potatoes, mashed and sweet, the corn casseroles, the mushroom green bean onion casserole, and the wild rice dish. I loved the shiny red of the homemade cranberry sauce and the dishes of yellow and green pickles. And then there were the pies of every variety. The hot, mulled wine and cider went down smoothly and warmed the body
The feeling I remember about that Thanksgiving is the warmth on a cold, snowy Boston night. Our friends’ home was small and the table took up most of the space. But we managed to crowd around it and eat and drink. The conversation flew back and forth. Our young kids played in the bedroom.
What I love about Thanksgiving is that it is the quintessential American holiday. It is everybody’s holiday, the citizen, the immigrant, the Christian, Jew, Muslim and atheist. Yes it is based on the biblical holiday of Sukkot, the bringing in of the harvest. And yes it is celebrated in other countries, but not in quite the same way. Yes it is a feeding frenzy but that is only a part of it. It is mostly a gathering of people, a coming together.
My turkey is cooking, as is my special carrot soup (the secret is light coconut milk) and we will leave soon to gather with the family. This year I wish you all a day of peace, especially in the Middle East, and wherever you are and whoever you may be.
This deer arrived at the bottom of our garden this thanksgiving morning. It sat for about an hour and then stood, stretched and ambled away. It with the rest of the family visit often.