While Thanksgiving always comes at the same time, this year its timing could not seem better. As a country, we are in dire need of a day that focuses more on the past than the present.
As much as talk of Thanksgiving concentrates on food (And, as a foodie, I applaud this.), the real attraction is the memories that this meal evokes…memories of people and past times. At least we have this in common…a shared memory of a soul-feeding meal. Perhaps it is really the recollections associated with the taste and smell, more than the taste, of that corn pudding that makes it one of our favourites.
I will let you have your pumpkin spices, and I will take the smell of celery and onions simmering in butter. If Starbucks could produce a morning “Bulletproof Coffee” by using butter infused with sautéed onions and celery as their octane for a morning jolt, we could start our day fortified, or “Bullet-proofed”, with energy as well as a narrative for success.
While Yummly devotees or those modern chefs with a file on their laptops for “Turkey Day Recipes” may have progressed from paper and pen, much of a Thanksgiving meal began as clippings from old newspapers or 1970’s copies of Gourmet Magazine. Those old yellowed newspaper clippings or stained recipe cards may be a thing of the past, but they are perfect for this holiday that more than any other-honours the past.
Many cooks treasure dogeared index cards with recipes because they are one of the few written reminders of their mothers and grandmothers, schooled in the days when ornate cursive writing was taught in classrooms. I had my young daughters copy my recipes onto cards, and every time I cooked, I started with a smile. We all have our own small memories underpinned by a foundation of smells, sounds and tastes of this holiday. Boy, do we need it!
Written by Margaret Pendleton & published with permission.