Like the savory smells that linger in the kitchen after Thanksgiving Day, the memory of a lovely Thanksgiving feast leaves a residual glow in the heart. There are many pieces to the mosaic:
- The sparkle of fine crystal and the patina of well-loved silver
- Mom's tangy-tart cranberry sauce
- A pause for praise, offered from honest lips
- Lighthearted word-play over a game of Apples-to-Apples
- Grazing on leftovers in the evening, while perusing a fat newspaper
- A bedtime meditation and prayer
I like best to celebrate Thanksgiving in my own home. Even during the years when we traveled 3 hours to be with family, we rose early to host a Thanksgiving breakfast in our home for the waifs and wanderers who found their way to our table: A Japanese student. A young military man. An aspiring rock star. The elderly widow. A middle aged divorcee...Some guests have faded from memory and others have become "regulars"at our table.
The food on the table might be traditional...or not. This year I carefully roasted the turkey using Cook's Illustrated instructions and I tried a new recipe for fennel stuffing (a keeper!) But other years we've had quiche, pumpkin soup, stuffed pork loin, or grilled sirloin. No pumpkin pie because I cannot make good pie crust, but a pumpkin cream cheese cake roll or a marbled cheesecake will make a worthy stand-in.
Recalling my Grandmother's feasts, I might try to duplicate her famous spanish rice. Somehow, I can't pass a Thanksgiving holiday without thinking of her! Oh, she took this holiday seriously. There were l-o-n-g tables set up in her basement, enough to accommodate all of my aunts and uncles and cousins. Together we sang the "Doxology" before digging in. Sometimes there would be a goose alongside the platter of turkey--seems that dark meat was more popular back then!
I am grateful that God has blessed me to be able to hang yet one more happy vignette in my museum of memories. What a joy to have such a holiday in our heritage, one that links us to past generations and yet extends outward to enfold orphans, widows, and strangers.
Blest be the tie that binds,
Our hearts in Christian love.
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.