A MORE SIMPLE THANKSGIVING
Thanksgiving for most of Americans is a time for family and close friends. A tradition that has been brought into our consciousness through history. A history that isn’t really ours anymore. It’s just something we do.
As a kid I never thought about Thanksgiving in any other terms but a gathering of family and a very big meal. Grandparents and cousins. Some years just us, some years more people. My mother always cooked and am not sure why she was elected the chef of Thanksgiving. My grandmother brought yams. My dad didn’t cook nor did I or anyone else for that matter. That tradition didn’t start until we were quite a bit older. My brother is a chef so he started to take over a bit, I made pies, and we all sort of chipped in.
If I didn’t get home it felt off and not the same. Friendsgiving was never quite the same and as much as the people were great, the familiarity was not there. Hanging out all day at home with your family, watching football or not, but in the same room. Being so comfortable that there was no need for small talk. Relentless teasing and tear inducing laughter when reminiscing about our childhood. These were not fancy dinners. The standard stuff, a turkey, canned green beans and canned cranberry jelly, homemade mash potatoes, and pumpkin pie.
The fancy stuff didn’t start until us adult kids took over. Then brussel sprouts with pancetta made the menu along with roasted acorn squash,a pie station and a couple of nice bottles of wine. We still had to have canned green beans for my parents, canned cranberry jelly and a sweet wine.
This is what a simple Thanksgiving means to me. As the world seems to be spinning out of control this one mainstay in my life is important. I have a beautiful family and for this I am the most Thankful.
THIS YEAR FEELS DIFFERENT
words by Milli Dawson
Last Winter my family lost a very important family member, my grandmother Georgi Dawson. She was the heart around most holidays as she was the one with the unmatched cooking skills and the strong spirit to get her five rambunctious children and eight grandchildren all in the same room to celebrate whatever holiday came up!
Although I have not been with her for the past several holidays because I live rather far away from the rest of my family, this year feels a bit different. As we miss our precious Georgi this year for Thanksgiving, here are a few of my favorite simple Thanksgiving treasures I will keep close to my heart.
My grandmother taught me how to set the dinner table and my earliest memory of doing this was on Thanksgiving. We would set the table with all of the fancy things. The crystal heirlooms, the real silver, and her mother’s lace tablecloth. She always made homemade cranberry sauce and this was often my favorite thing on the table. Sweet, tart, and something to savor! Georgi was also very famous for “Georgi’s Potatoes” which involves an old secret family recipe (sorry that I cannot share). This time of year I am always craving her famous potatoes!
Thanksgiving has never been my favorite holiday, but this year I will channel my sweet Grandmother and do the best I can to honor her. I will keep my spirit strong, make something delicious for my friends and loved ones, and I will not forget to set the table with the fancy things!