Thanksgiving 2013

Glory be! I lucked out of cooking turkey again this year. With the kids grown and living in a different state, there’s no reason for me to cook. Besides, my sister-in-law proclaimed everyone is to be at her house. Cool.

Then the dreaded words came: “Katie, would you bring your chocolate truffle pie and wonderful dressing?”

No problem. I got up on Thanksgiving morning and whipped it up. Unfortunately, the memories swept in, fast and hard.

Let me explain. The dressing–or stuffing–is my grandmother’s recipe. As I stood in the kitchen, hand slicing carrots and celery, my thoughts went to all those years of preparing it to stuff the turkey. Hearing my grandmother’s German accent: “Not too thick, it won’t cook. Too thin, and it will be mush. Don’t put so much salt on it, the turkey will give it the flavor. More pepper. More herbs. Now taste.” Heavenly. I found a recipe, similar, but nothing beats years of knowing exactly what to do. Yes, Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks for many things; it’s also a day of tradition. It’s up to us to pass this on to our children and friends.

Along with these memories came another one. I always knew I was a Mayflower descendent. Heck, through my ancestor alone, there’s 92,000 of us. But after spending two years researching that time between 1620 and 1645, it really hit me this year. My great-great-(etc.)-great grandfather was there. So as I’m cutting up the vegetables, I thought about those first people who braved the huge Atlantic and broke bread with Native Americans. No, it wasn’t like the glamorized versions you see on television, but it was a new beginning that started our traditions.

The stuffing is almost done, the pie is cooling, and I’m getting ready to enjoy this day with my husband’s family. A new tradition, and a welcome one.

And I’ll teach this extended family about the nuances of American football.

GO RAVENS!  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!