After all the planning and food prep, Thanksgiving has come and gone. I have to give a shout out to my mom who is a one man band in the kitchen, turning out buttery mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with candied pecans, spicy sausage bread stuffing, green beans almondine, sweet corn, cranberry relish, applesauce, apple pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate torte with strawberry coulis, thick gravy, and a turkey to die for. All from scratch — like bake-the-bread for-the-stuffing scratch. Thanks, Mom!
Every time she does this, I keep meaning to take notes. As I’ve said before, it’s the only way to get a “recipe” out of my mom. But cooking for Thanksgiving is a week long affair, and I always find something more pressing to do than follow the whirlwind that is my mom in the kitchen. Maybe next year.
We actually have two Thanksgiving celebrations this year. Tomorrow we celebrate with Pete’s family, over the river and through the woods.
At Grandma’s Thanksgiving table, the first thing on your plate is a dry kernel of corn. Before we fill our plates with anything else, each person shares something they’re thankful for and drops their kernel into a jar.
Sometimes thanksgiving is seeing the potential in lifeless kernels, planting the corn and trusting God for next year’s harvest.
Every year when that jar comes my way, it’s hard to pick just one thing. So I’m giving myself three virtual kernels here:
- I’m thankful for a sister-in-law coming through chemo and radiation with a clean bill of health thus far, for hair that grows back and life that returns.
- I’m thankful for trees blown down by the hurricane that missed our homes, the kindness of strangers and neighbors, shared floors and shared food, candlelight family time, rooftops of refuge, linemen from Oklahoma, running water, and sunshine after the rain.
- I’m thankful there’s a coming home for the Prodigal, for waiting hearts and open arms, for hope and reconciliation, and love sprouting new again.