There are only two holidays of the entire year that I like. Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. I love Thanksgiving for the tradition of making a big feast in celebration of and gratitude for abundance. I’m not fond of its origin story, though, because I call bullshit on the Europeans putting themselves in any kind of heroic light when it comes to their bloody invasion of this land. They were absolute evil to the people who were already here. Nothing will change that. I suppose the one salvageable part of the Thanksgiving story is white people actually acknowledging the help and kindness they received from the Native Americans they encountered. Still, it always leaves me feeling sick with the aftertaste of colonial self congratulation. Taking Thanksgiving away from its mythical origin and culling from it the ideals it purports to celebrate makes this is a holiday I can completely endorse and fully enjoy.
Food + Gratitude = Satiation of Body and Spirit
I will say that the American tradition of stuffing yourself until you’re practically sick is gross. It’s very Early-Roman of us as a nation to go way overboard with the abundance of food part. I may be fat, but I don’t over-stuff myself on Thanksgiving, ever. That people treat that as a goal of the feast is weird and stupid. Just eat smaller portions, people, and you can have some of everything.
Here at our house we rarely make traditional Thanksgiving fare. Often we make a vegetarian stuffing but it’s been years since I made my mom’s yam dish, or since we’ve made gravy, or mashed potatoes, and I’ve never made a green bean casserole in my life and the one time I ate it was when my Michigan relatives came to visit and they made it from canned green beans and all I could think was “Really? People get excited over this?” Most years we’ve made a completely vegetarian dinner. But in the last two years we’ve made chicken because Max, for the first time in his young life, actually cared about what food was being made. So for the third year in a row we’re having chicken, Max’s favorite meat. We’re making grilled chicken with a savory blueberry sauce from Chef John’s Food Wishes blog. We’re having roasted beet salad with walnuts and feta and lettuce. And we’re making fondant potatoes (also from Food Wishes, Max’s favorite recipe site). and I’ll be making cheese and mushroom toasts for snacking on. Dessert will be little sour cherry turnovers using the first harvest of sour cherries from our own tree.
I have been working really hard at my part time job in the past month. Especially the past two weeks. It’s been kind of brutal – but overall a good thing. Now I have 4 days off. I’m so pleased I kind of want to stay in my pyjamas and watch tv all day from my couch. I’d end up regretting it though. Sour cherry hand pies don’t make themselves. Later today I’ll make a list of all the things I feel grateful for, as I generally do.
To all of you celebrating today – you have my warmest good wishes for a wonderful day.