Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, probably because it has less to do with the marketing madness of Christmas, and more to do with family. Turkey Day has always been a big event in our household. We would get the kids up early to watch the parade on television, prepare the meal, feast, then close our eyes while watching football. In the last few years, we've started to invite friends over to the house at noon, which we call "halftime" before the big meals start, at which time we serve up Bloody Marys and cook up deep-fried turkeys for anyone interested (a southern specialty).
As a kid, I loved the white meat of the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and turned my nose up at just about everything else, such as cranberries, string-bean casseroles, pearl onions, beets, sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts, even stuffing. Now, of course, I'm a sucker for these delicacies, but to me, I've found the real trademark of the Thanksgiving dinner is not the bird but the stuffing instead, something that is unique to each family. In fact, unless it comes from a box, I believe no two families fix stuffing exactly the same, there is always some nuance that differentiates it from family to family.
Some people prefer a corn bread type of stuffing, others like stale day-old white bread or sourdough, some like to add oysters or perhaps sausage, ground beef, even venison. There is also wild rice, apples, raisins, cranberries, etc. I understand there is also an excellent recipe involving White Castle hamburgers I would like to try some day. The list is practically endless and is only limited by your imagination.
Despite the many combinations available to us, when it comes to stuffing, we suddenly become pretty picky about what we eat and loyal to the peculiarities of family recipes. Even the slightest suggestion of changing the stuffing recipe is strongly rebuffed by family members. You would think you were preaching heresy. If you really want to try a different stuffing, you have to either go over to a friend's house, or cook a turkey some other time and away from prying eyes. The only other food item I can think of that commands such loyalty and devotion is the family's Chili recipe, but that will be the subject of another article.
Yes, we should be giving thanks during Thanksgiving. Thanks for having the family and friends together, and for a bounty of food to share and enjoy. Thanksgiving is definitely a personal thing which is why it is endearing to me.
But I still hate those damn cranberries.
Such is my Pet Peeve of the Week.
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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