Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Feast Fit for the Family!

Ah, yes....here we go!

This is the week of Thanksgiving, a week full of cooking and baking in a warm, fragrant kitchen, culminating in the traditional feast we call Thanksgiving Dinner, at a table full of family and friends.

I love to cook, I love to decorate, and I love large gatherings, so for me the holidays are sheer delight.  I'm really not sure what I love more---the delicious anticipation of planning and preparation or the actual event itself.

Definitely my Thanksgiving traditions have morphed over the years, changing with the seasons and stations of life.  When I was a child, grandparents were never really part of our holidays.  We never went "over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house."  We moved a lot while I was growing up and our family dynamics changed a few times, so that meant our holiday gatherings changed too.  Different locations, different people, but always constant was our little family unit and lots of really great food, a masterful mix of classic dishes and something new, flavorful and unique.

When I married, I entered a family whose traditional gathering was exactly the same every year...same location, same people, same menu.  Because I lived in my husband's hometown and not my own, his family traditions became mine, so my own children were born and raised like my husband had been...same location, same people, same menu.  Except my nomadic background slowly infiltrated the sacred sameness.  I introduced new dishes and new ways of preparing old dishes.  I suggested moving dinner out to my sister-in-law's log cabin at the lake.  I invited other people to join us.  I wasn't doing it to be defiant or push my way, it just sort of naturally evolved from who I am.  And I'm happy to say my husband's traditions worked their way into me as well.  Doing things the same way every year brought a sense of stability and security to my soul that I had not known growing up.  It was then I decided that the best aspect of tradition wasn't which tradition you kept but that you kept tradition...your traditions, even when they evolved over the years to fit the times and seasons of life.  And now, in yet a different season, our family has forged new traditions that we have now kept for the last five years...and I love these traditions every bit as much as I loved my childhood roaming holidays and my young married years of sameness.  I love them because they center around food and family and friends, and all those "F's" spell fellowship to me...nourishing body, soul and spirit.

So join me these next few days as I prepare a feast fit for a family!  I'll post recipes and how-to's for those of you who like to cook, and I'll post decorating ideas for those of you who like to decorate.  And I'll blog about the richness of family and friends who gather at my table for those of you who simply like to read about the joys of others because it reminds you to enjoy and appreciate the special people and traditions in your own life.

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. The "over the river and throw the woods" song is a Christmas song Mom! I remember singing it in Music Class at St. Matthews!

  2. Wikipedia says this:
    "Over the River and Through the Wood" is a Thanksgiving song by Lydia Maria Child. Written originally as a poem, it appeared in her Flowers for Children, Volume 2, in 1844. The original title of the poem is, "A Boy's Thanksgiving Day." It celebrates her childhood memories of visiting her grandfather's house. It is sometimes presented with lines about Christmas, rather than Thanksgiving. For instance, the line "Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!" becomes "Hurrah for Christmas Day!" As a Christmas song, it has been recorded as "A Merry Christmas at Grandmother's."