Thanksgiving is here to be celebrated with people I like and love. Traditions, especially this holiday, are so important to me. This is an American holiday accompanied by a story of overcoming and survival, of one society coming to the aid of another – a beginning compelled by the desire for self-determination of faith.
Pilgrims came in search of the American Dream, in the words of scholar and author, Dinesh D’Souza, to be the “Architect of one’s life”. We are free to create better solutions, new traditions, to evolve.
Versions of delicious foods that have traditionally blessed my family’s table for generations simmer and scent the air. Soon I will set the holiday table with beeswax candles shining their warm light and music will accompany children’s laughter. Hot spiced apple cider will be ready to serve.
My family is from the mid-west so we will have cornbread dressing with the turkey. The Thanksgiving traditions have evolved, but the best parts remain.
On this dark early morning, I muse about the evolution of our meal tradition and how things have changed for the better. My Grandmother and mom packed the turkey with stuffing and baked the bird for four or five hours basting the thing repeatedly with the burns to show for their sacrifice. I am a modern woman. I crockpot the turkey baking the dressing separately along with the oat bread and whatever else I am serving that needs baking.
My mom and her mom smothered the sweet potatoes with those little white marshmallows, margarine and brown sugar. That has been replaced by sweet potatoes cooked with gala apples with a touch of stevia and light cinnamon, clove and nutmeg to finish.
Mom always served jello salad and shredded carrot and raisins in mayonnaise. I don’t serve those. My side dish is Savory Sautéed Carrots. Steamed and Buttered Broccoli replaces Mom’s cooked canned peas.
My grandson’s need for gluten-free compels the introduction of fresh baked Oat Bread replacing white dinner rolls. Evolution.
The meal will be complete with daughter Karuss’ home baked Pumpkin Pie for desert.
Everything will be organic. Such is our evolution back to our roots when everything was organic. Chronic diseases such as diabetes, hyper-tension and cancer were rare then. Evolution toward healthful sharing.
After Pie there will be music, as we pull out our instruments and share our songs.
The kids will dance as we play and sing. I guess I love that more than anything. I am truly grateful.
‘Over the River and Through the Woods” begins to play in my mind. This song is a reminder of what our ancestors did to celebrate with family. There were no cars when this song was written. They really did pull out the horses to pull the sleigh, bundle up the family and sit for hours in the cold as they traversed the snow bound trails and dirt roads to get to “Grandma’ house.”
Somebody really had to catch, kill and clean the turkey, bring the wood for the fire and the stove, bake the bread and pies in a wood stove, juice the apples for the cider, milk the cow and separate out the cream for the butter … From the candles to the pudding, it was all an amazing lot of work. These are the American roots of our Evolution.
What is good remains and I allow the rest to fall away. I still remember the traditions, my history and this allows me to appreciate the many blessings of my good life. I am so very blessed and I send to you a Thanksgiving filled with song and my wish for a holiday blessed with abundant health and happiness shared with loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving!