Thursday, November 28, 2013
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I think it's because of the traditions that surround it. In a world where things change constantly, it's comforting to know that on this day there are things that will not change from year to year.
First, of course, is the menu. I remember my mother getting up early to make the stuffing, whose principle ingredients were loaves of white bread and cream of mushroom soup, and put it in the turkey. The turkey always seemed tremendous, certainly much larger than any roast we had during the rest of the year. She'd have it in the oven by mid-morning and proceed to work on the other elements of the meal. In our house, that included mashed potatoes and turnips (also known as rutabagas), creamed onions, candied sweet potatoes, and a green vegetable. She'd make up a relish tray containing celery stuffed with cream cheese and pimento, olives, and pickles to sit at the center of the table. I loved olives, but we didn't have them very often, so I would scoop a bunch onto my plate.
The appetizer would vary from year to year. I suppose this depended on the state of my parents's finances. It might be a salad or fruit cocktail or, in a prosperous year, shrimp.
After dinner, there was pie. The pies would have been baked ahead: apple and mince, usually two of each. I only discovered pumpkin pie when we spent one Thanksgiving at my grandparents's house. I had never tasted anything so wonderful! And there would always be a big bowl of nuts in the shell. My brother and sister and I loved the walnuts because, if we were careful when we opened them, we could turn the shells into boats which we colored with crayons and floated in the bathroom sink.
While dinner was cooking, we watched the Macy's parade on television and savored the delicious smells coming from the kitchen. Back then it was more of a parade and less of an extravaganza. I always liked the marching bands. You don't see much of those now. There are too many Broadway shows and big name entertainers who have to stop in Herald Square and perform.
In the afternoon there was football. I wasn't a big football fan, but my father was. I suppose I read a book. I was always reading back then.
And, of course, there is the whole idea of taking one special day to thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed on us during the year. My life has not always been easy. Like most people, I've gone through hard times both emotionally and financially. But, with God's help, I have always found a way to get through them. This year has been a year of transition for me. It's had highs and lows. But I thank God that I have a roof over my head, eat regularly, the freedom to create stories, my church family, and relatives who may live far away from one another, but are still my family.
So, in celebration of all that I have been given, I'm running a sale this weekend on the ebook version of Faith, Hope, and Murder. For this weekend only, you can buy it for 99 cents at all the major ebook sellers: Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.
I hope you'll try it!
Happy Thanksgiving courtesy of nongpimmy via www.freedigitalphotos.net