Cross-posted from the Witchy Chicks Blog.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. To me it has little to do with the traditional Thanksgiving story, (which is revisionist history at its worst), and everything to do with the straightforward name of the day—giving thanks.
Every Thanksgiving is the same for me, has been for years. I get up, make coffee and curl up on the couch to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s a yearly tradition that has grown sweeter with the addition of my daughter, who sits rapt beside me under a blanket, staring at the floats and waiting for the Radio City Rockettes to do their rendition.
Toward the end of the parade, I’ll be getting up occasionally to prepare the turkey and put it in the oven. We always host Thanksgiving because we have a large Amish-made dining room table that seats many. I don’t mind hosting, since I love to cook and I love having my family over. I’m never alone in the food preparation, however. I do the turkey and the sweet potatoes (recipe below) and others bring side dishes and dessert. I make the sweet potatoes the day before not only to save time, but also because the ingredients taste that much better when they’ve had time to thoroughly blend in the fridge overnight.
Sometime around noon my family shows up. The wine and conversation flows freely. Before dinner we talk about all the things we’re thankful for. My list goes a little like this:
I’m thankful for our continued ability to help others less fortunate make their Thanksgiving plentiful.
I’m thankful for the good health of myself and my family.
For my daughter, who makes my world shine brighter than I ever thought possible.
For the roof over our heads and the food in our cupboards.
For my ability to find joy, peace and happiness in simple things and simple acts.
For my cats, who never fail, not even one day, to make me laugh and my heart to swell with affection and love.
We eat. YUM. Turkey, stuffing, scalloped potatoes, sweet potatoes, steamed veggies, biscuits with melted butter.
Then comes dessert. Usually we keep it traditional. Sometimes my mom bakes a pumpkin pie, but oftentimes we choose instead to purchase a few gourmet pies instead (the pros can do it so much better than we can). I warm the pies up a bit in the oven, top the slices with whipped cream or drop a dollop of ice cream beside it. You can’t beat that for dessert.
Thanksgiving is always a day filled with good food and good company. I look forward to it every year. May your Thanksgiving be filled with all the things and all the people you love.
Anya’s Sweet Potatoes
4 cups sweet potato, boiled and mashed
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped walnuts and/or pecans
1. Preheat oven to 325F.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the boiled/mashed sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish.
3. In another bowl, mix the flour and sugar. Chunk in the butter and the walnuts/pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.
4. Bake for 30 minutes.