Thanksgiving holds the prime spot in my heart for holidays.
When our family was young we tried to fill the table with other transplants to Denver. I embroidered a special table cloth to fit the table with all of the leaves in it, and loved setting a pretty table. We were all young and everybody brought something to round out the meal. One bachelor brought his coffee cake and ever since we enjoy Wacker cake as we prepare the meal.
When we moved away we became guests instead of hosts. I was grateful to enjoy other families' traditions. It reinforced my opinion that Thanksgiving is the best holiday. Here are ten reasons why.
1) It’s less tainted with commercialism than Christmas. I’ve never heard grandchildren clamor for a giant inflatable turkey.
2) It’s an important reminder of our country’s origin, the desire for religious freedom on one hand, and the conflict with Native Americans.
3) Our communities noticeably pause their frenetic pace of life. I've actually seen adults and kids at play in their yards. Until recently, stores have had shorter hours.
4) The day is used to share ourselves — time, traditions, a feast.
5) We add others' traditions, like the Wacker cake. In North Carolina women make home made macaroni and cheese to place on the side board buffet. Oh, yum. I’ll miss that this year.
6) The traditional menu is as close to a symbolic meal as we Americans get, short of Passover. Our menu at least has roots in what we think Squanto and the ninety warriors brought to the Pilgrims: wild turkeys, pumpkins, probably corn, and mussels and lobster. Check out this Smithsonian site for more information.
7) The day is relaxing. We don’t rush. The meal is designed for conversation. (And our TV doesn't go on until after.) And there's even time to make a craft with the kids like these turkey cookies.
8). Thanksgiving sets a time boundary to keep Christmas at bay until December. I savor each holiday more that way.
9). Even if I’m in charge of the meal, it means no-cook days later. I look forward to the left-overs as much as the fresh dinner.
10.). Thanksgiving has fewer expectations than Christmas. We can roll with no pumpkin pie easier than the disappointment of gifts missing the mark.
I have some holes in my arsenal of Thanksgiving foods. Please share your best pecan pie recipe, best mac and cheese, and favorite “rite”, or special observance of gratitude.
Cream 1/2 pound softened butter and 1 cup sugar.
Add 3 eggs and 1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together: 2 1/2 cups flour, 3 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp. baking soda. Add to the creamed sugar mix.
Fold in the sour cream.
Put into greased and floured bundt pan.
Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of cake along with chopped nuts and about 3/4-1 cup chocolate chips.
removing from bundt pan.