04 Oct The Beauty of Thanksgiving
Any topic that involves food can be discussed for hours.
Certainly, Thanksgiving is no different. Where shall start?
Growing up in a Lebanese , French speaking house, Thanksgiving was not part of our culture. This was not a traditional holiday for our family. As we got older my sister, brother and I, our parents didn’t want us to feel left out so they created a special meal for that occasion. Turkey, the traditional dish for most people, was replaced by the biggest chicken my Mom and Dad could find, they stuffed it with rice and minced meat, roasted almonds and chestnuts. This looked familiar…It was a Mediterranean dish, with Tabbouleh, Fatouch and hummus of course!
Many years later, after meeting my now husband’s family, I joined in their tradition. Pauline, my mother in law would make a roast beef and gravy, ham and sweet potatoes and of course the turkey with all the trimmings…stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce. Let’s not forget the most anticipated pies, apple and pumpkin with whipped cream. She still makes them today at the age of 86!
I believe having a few special holidays to celebrate is very important. It allows us, reminds us, to slow down.
It’s more and more difficult to keep up with the speed of life. We don’t even take time to talk anymore, we text instead. It’s quicker.
Whether it’s a faster internet provider, the new Iphone or the latest video game. It seems we’re always waiting or expecting the next thing. Technology and fast lifestyles are not always what we need. They cause us to lose sight of what we have right in front of us.
It’s nice to take the time and be grateful for all the beauty around us and remember how it was when we were growing up. What was our favorite dish? What did Grandma make that was so special that we still remember it year after year? The pies? Maybe the potato mash, turkey and gravy? Every smell triggers a memory. Cinnamon, apples, melting butter and brown sugar? How about burning bread? Hahaha!! That’s a good one for me! Someone always managed to burn the bread in our house growing up 🙂 This makes me laugh today!
I believe that keeping our best memories alive and passing them on to our children, family and friends are what the holidays are really for. Re living our youth, creating traditions with our loved ones will do the same for them. This will help them keep our spirit alive after we are gone. This teaches them to do the same with their family and friends.
For your special celebrations to happen with the least amount of stress,
here are my five tips:
1- Create your guest list
2- Plan your menu several days earlier (accept help from your guests, let them bring a dish if they offer)
3- Decide on the dishes or items you can prepare ahead of time. (This will help free your oven the day of the event)
4-Inventory check! What’s in your fridge and pantry. Keep the bare necessities always on hand.
5- Make your grocery list and make sure you bring it with you 😉