I LOVE that Thanksgiving is about family, food, and being grateful! I love seeing my family on Thanksgiving. We dress nicer then usual but not formally. We talk about what's happened since Easter and generally have a nice time together. My Mom makes a fantastic dinner. My four requirements for Thanksgiving dinner include turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. They taste delicious and familiar every year. That's comforting.
We start off dinner saying what we are thankful for. The list is usually about at least one loved one at the table or something good that has happened that year. What we want is love, those who need help to get it, the hungry to be fed, the homeless to be sheltered, and those who are sick to get better.
Tradition brings comfort for me. I don't worry on Thanksgiving. I help out preparing the dinner where my Mom lets me. I LOVE helping out! I love being a part of creating this wonderful celebration.
I like shopping for Christmas presents. I'm more interested in what people think of the gifts I carefully choose for them then what's for me. My Mom says I wasn't one of those kids that spent the Christmas season asking for a lot of toys. She said I always had a short list and it was what I wanted, not necessarily what was popular that season. I always looked forward to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners. The food might be different but the feelings they create are the same feelings that Thanksgiving gives me.
Thanksgiving is the start of the Christmas season for most people. We can't remove Christmas from Thanksgiving completely. But I'm going to try to push Christmas back until the day AFTER Thanksgiving. Note to retail stores.............THAT'S WHERE IT BELONGS!!!!
We know the story. The Pilgrims came over on the Mayflower. Squanto taught them how to grow food. After the harvest, they shared the meal. It was about appreciating each other and the bounty before them. On Thanksgiving I like to think about what that first Thanksgiving was like. I think about the conversation and the food. I spend the morning excitedly waiting for the meal. There is a reason Thanksgiving is when I announced I was pregnant with Zach. My favorite holiday deserved the special right to be the day of the big announcement. I have a lot of wonderful Thanksgiving memories. None of them are about Christmas. It is it's own holiday and needs to be treated that way.
My Mom's Stuffing Recipe (Vegetarian)
This gets made separate from the turkey and so you can make it with a ham or whatever roast you want. It also is completely vegetarian and features fresh ingredients. it will be on everyone’s plate – for seconds and take home portions too.
I package Pepperidge Farm cubed Country Style stuffing
2 large onions
1 large green pepper
3 stalks of celery
1 lb mushrooms
6 tbs butter
2 cups water
Dice the onions, green pepper celery and mushrooms. Melt butter in large frying pan. Saute onions and green pepper but do not brown. Add celery half way through. Add mush rooms and complete sauté. Add the stuffing and mix well. Add the water – 1 cup right away and then gradually until well mixed – well but not drenched or soggy.
Arrange in a sauté pan or casserole dish. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.