When families gather around the Thanksgiving table, many will pause for a few moments to express a few words of thanks.
What are most people grateful for? A Google search revealed the following:
Children’s smiles, family time, freedom and good health, dogs and football…and, you guessed it, food glorious food.
Families (dogs included) gathering around a table of favorite traditional Thanksgiving fare is a most cherished time for all. The time and love that goes into homemade traditional dishes is special. Where memories are made and the spirit of Thanksgiving is found.
Thanksgiving is a holiday that has been adapted by many ethnic cultures. Our country’s immigrants from the first legendary Thanksgiving in Plymouth to November 22, 2018. I thought it would be interesting to share some personal accounts from four American ethnic groups and their personal stories of Thanksgiving celebrations.
Mexican-American Thanksgiving by Patricia Martinez
“Mexican Thanksgivings are always lively (read: loud). You’ll always find siblings talking over one another, grandpa telling his stories and your mom asking if you want seconds—sometimes all at the same time! If you walk into a Thanksgiving celebration and grandma has a big pot of champurrado stewing, you know you are in a Mexican household. This chocolate-based drink is thick and prepared with the same type of dough that makes up tamales. It can also include water and milk and is usually flavored with cinnamon and sugar. It’s a very thick version of hot chocolate.”
Italian-American Thanksgiving by Marc Bona
“First course: A broth with pastina, tiny pieces of pasta that work well in soup. Sometimes she would opt for wedding soup. Antipasto would come out next – cold cuts, roasted peppers, artichokes and tomatoes. Then came the lasagna – never meat, always cheese – a few inches thick with gravy (we never called it sauce). Followed by traditional turkey and side dishes. The greatest part of the meal came the next day – leftovers. We could feed a small city for weeks with what we had, and there were only 4 of us! Nothing ever went to waste.”
African-American Thanksgiving Table by Michael Twitty
“The Southern groaning table and the shadow rhythms of the antebellum past were reflected in what I knew growing up in Maryland, starting with the stale corn bread dish known as kush that became corn bread dressing. The table rarely included just one kind of meat, and turkey and ham often vied for the position of favorite, while only the strong ate the chitterlings and pigs’ feet. But if I could get past the sight of those, there was always the hot, slightly sweet homemade rolls glistening with butter and softer than fresh cotton. Greens, never seasoned with vinegar by either of my Southern grandmothers, were kissed by the frost and therefore at their peak at this time of year, and this was also black-eyed pea and sweet potato time, and we could count on sweet potatoes making more than one appearance on the table.”
Arab-American Thanksgiving by Batool Jaffer
“Food has a special place in our hearts as Arabs, so Thanksgiving was the one American holiday we most love. Along with the traditional foods, my family will always provide that side dish of timan wa marag (a rice and stew), hummus, and most probably dolma. Dolma is stuffed vegetables such as onion skin and grape vine leaves stuffed with a sort of ground beef, soaked basmati rice, pomegranate molasses, garlic, pepper, and a blend of spices. For dessert, bring on the kanafa! Kanafa is a sugar-soaked pastry that is either layered or filled with cheese or cream, soaked in a sugar syrup flavored with rose water or orange blossom water, and then topped with ground nuts like pistachios.”
I wish I could include all the ethnic groups our country is so proud to include. This writing would be way too long! I think a multi-cultural thanksgiving celebration would be great. What fun would that be! Talk about leftovers.
To conclude I asked our team what they are most thankful for on Thanksgiving.
“Thanksgiving – to me it means friends and family sharing food, wine, traditions, stories and laughs together”. Dana Moos
“The time with family and friends before life changed in a moment with Scott’s passing. And I am most thankful for 31+ wonderful years with the love of my life. Not everyone gets that.” Marilyn Bushnell.
“I am incredibly thankful for family, especially this year. My 95 year-old mother had some health issues, but with everyone lending a helping hand, she’s doing great again. Can’t beat that!” Peter Scherman
“I’m thankful that our kids really do want to share Thanksgiving with us and that I still have the will and energy to do all the cooking!!” Peggy Scherman
“I’m most thankful for the people in my life that love me unconditionally, believe in me, lift me up and give me a little kick in the fanny when I need it”. Julie Pankey
“Baby smiles! I am thankful for family time. Now with the addition of our new grandson, a true blessing.” Janet Wolf
“Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year and I am always grateful for so much… My family, my friends, my business, my home…and especially grateful this year for a happy, healthy, and growing Grandson, Jonah. Growing up, I was instilled with a deep love of family and I think this is one of the greatest joys to have and to share.” Rick Wolf
“I’m thankful to see the gifts that all these years have given me: the health to enjoy who I want to be, the absolute joy and wonder of my family and friends, the kindness of strangers and the everyday mystery of the natural world.” Eliot Dalton
“I am thankful for Thanksgiving’s abundance: abundant friends, abundant family and abundant food!” Tish Dalton
“This Thanksgiving I am most thankful for family and good health. My husband and I will visit each of our combined 5 children and their families plus my father. Traveling to Florida, Alabama and North Carolina sharing meals, stories, laughter and a puzzle or two! The time with all of them is very special.” Linda Hayes
Wherever you are from, the spirit of thanksgiving is universal. “One last note, a desire and the yearning for the world to work together towards becoming a better place and for that we would all be thankful.” Rick
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us,
Peter and Peggy, Rick & Jan, Eliot & Tish, Marilyn, Dana, Linda and Julie. The B&B Team