A Turkey Day Celebration In The USA
What Is Special About The Thanksgiving Feast
Today I looked at the calendar hanging in my kitchen, and before turning the page to the next month, I said to myself, in exactly one month from today, it will be Thanksgiving Day. Of course I am referring to the most popular American Tradition that influences families nation wide here in the United States of America to gather together and share a meal together. It's not even like Christmas, where you bring Presents. You don't have to have any decorations to dress up the home. Most people think that it is focuses on the common meal that everyone eats after a long day of watching traditional games of Football on television. It is a marker day on the calendar that precedes the biggest shopping event in this country, called "BLACK FRIDAY".
If someone is enthusiastic about American History, that person my start a conversation at the dinner table, especially for the little ones to hear about the true first Thanksgiving when the new British settlers had peaceful exchange with the native inhabitants that lived in the colonies of the new world. If someone is religious, that person may encourage every family member to hold hands to pray before the meal and get each one to share a thought of what is to be most thankful for. Then there are traditional hungry people, for example, my niece and nephew who physically fight over the spoon and bowl of their Mom's Mash Potatoes or like the memory of their grandfather who would yearly claim the drumstick of turkey of the plate by reaching over everything to grab it with the hand (May Pop Pop John rest in peace).
I believe that because of the calendar date this is the time to plan ahead. I love the traditions in our family, and I excitedly look forward to the love, and fellowship and the meal that is so well planned out. By the way, the battle of the mash potato eaters in the family has subdued since now my niece assist in the preparation of the meal (She makes delicious pumpkin and apple pies.) Last year, I watched her make the mash potatoes and they are just as tasty as her Mom's.
So, get ready for the day when you have to wake up at dawn to baste the turkey as it slow cooks in the oven at 275 degrees,Farenheit. The turkey is filled with warm wonderful stuffing made of cornbread, pecans, raisins and onion. Well, at least, that is one version of the recipe. Take time to get your ingredients together- and don't be stingy on the seasonings. Unless of course you have to consider a seating of the few with health concerns. But usually, most people retire from their limitations on this day.
The best way to plan your multiple course meal is to plan it on paper, because the people who write traditional cookbooks have no idea how many to the set the table for. That is where Math skills come in handy. Usually the typical meal in our family includes:
- One turkey, Roasted and stuffed with dressing that is made of cornbread, pecans, raisins, and onions.
- One Fried turkey. My brother just loves his Turkey Deep Frier.
- Light Salad.
- Pickle and Olive Tray.
- Three kinds of cranberries.
- Green Bean Casserole
- Mash Potatoes
- Sweet Potatoes, Candied sauce
- Petit peas with onion pearls.
- Lots of Rolls with butter
- And don't forget the Gravy!
I think I've included everything that I have seen with my mind's eye. And after the meal is over, and the conversation has dwindled and the occassional scrap is handed to the family dog under the table, my niece's homemade pies will be served with lots of yummy whip cream for dessert. She also likes to serve fresh blueberries and strawberries in whipped cream.
Now that I have had a flash back on last year's meal, and I anticipate this year's coming celebration, I know that the somber attitude of Thanksgiving is placed in my heart. This year has turned out to be so different than last year. And even though my heart is set on tradition and keeping things the same, I know it will be different. With certain chairs at the table which will be empty, due to loss of life, or separation, I continue to promise to Remember to Bring the Lord to the Table. He is the reason for Families to be together and the season for the celebration of His Son's Birth is Coming, so let us start with the basics. The Lord always remembers us. This is the time to remember Him.