Thanks for food and generosity

Published 10:18 pm Monday, November 21, 2011

I have always loved Thanksgiving. Between getting to see members of my far-flung family, not having to worry about work or schoolwork for a day and Clint Eastwood marathons with my grandfather, its safe to say that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

In my opinion, food is the key aspect of this glorious holiday.

From tart cranberry sauce to sugary sweet potatoes to coma-inducing turkey, it has always been all about the food for me.


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When I was younger, this conviction about the food resulted in me following around the matriarch of whichever family I was visiting, waiting for her officially to announce the beginning of the feast. One grandmother used to slip me a bowl of olives and pickles to get me out from under foot. Others explained the ins and outs of their recipes as they cooked.

As I got older, it struck me that what I loved so much about Thanksgiving wasn’t the commonalities, but the different food traditions.

One grandmother shunned turkey in favor of pot roast. My grandfather insisted that honey and cranberries were keys to a proper stuffing. And the treatment of sweet potatoes — Fresh or canned? Marshmallows or brown sugar? Pecans or walnuts? — reveals as much about the cooks as any other part of their preparations.

When I was finally old enough to make my own Thanksgiving meals, I strove to combine my elder’s food lessons with my own unique ideas.

This has led to me imagine recipes for things as diverse as spaghetti squash au gratin or candied bacon and sweet potato hash for my holiday table.

With so many good food-related memories wrapped up in my idea of Thanksgiving, it’s difficult for me to remember that there is more to my favorite holiday than just food.

That’s why I’m grateful for groups like Impact Suffolk and people like LeOtis Williams. Their efforts to make sure the needy have food to create their own Thanksgiving meals and memories remind us that Thanksgiving really is about being thankful for what you have and mindful of what others do not.

Through their efforts, everyone will be able to truly enjoy the most mouthwatering holiday of all.

To all Suffolkians, have a delicious Thanksgiving, complete with all your favorite foods and more than your share of happy memories.