Before I get started in the kitchen, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on what it is we are doing out there in the kitchen up to our elbows in pumpkin pie and all the rest. We Americans are blessed to have a national holiday devoted to Thanksgiving, and it’s a wonder that it is still recognized. The obvious question that such a holiday should provoke is “Thank whom?”
Though Thanksgiving is not a day on the Christian calendar, it is still a very happy providence that He, our good and gracious God, arranged to have us Americans thank Him for our manifold blessings by sitting down at a table once a year and rejoicing together around an abundance of food! My memories of Thanksgiving stretch back to the shining white table of my mother with Dad standing at the head carving the turkey. Mom’s crystal and china and silver were polished and sparkling. We children were dressed up in our Sunday best. I can see it now!
Mom always started the day before Thanksgiving by making the cornbread for the dressing and simmering the turkey neck and giblets for the gravy. I confess that though I have made that dressing from start to finish (it also required cooking up bacon, sauteing the veggies, etc.), I have adopted the short-cut box of cornbread dressing now. But it is always cornbread dressing in honor of the way Mom did it. And I imagine all of you have certain protocols for Thanksgiving that date back to your own childhood, some jello recipe or special side dish that reaches back in your family tree of recipes. I always make at least one pecan pie because that’s what we had growing up, and it is undeniably fabulous.
My table never reached the same glory of Mom’s, but she set the pattern for me and always made the day a sweet one. Now my parents sit down at my brother and sister-in-law’s table with their children, and I know their table is loaded down with my sister-in-law’s loving preparations. I smile thinking about all the many tables across this country all serving up basically the same menu on the same day in November each year. Tradition is a wonderful thing!
So we thank God for His kind provisions for another year. We thank Him for sustaining us and keeping us from our infancy, childhood, and beyond. We thank Him for this wayward country that He continues to hold together with His hand. And we pray for Him to kindly turn us back.
And we thank Him for our parents, our children, our grandchildren. We thank Him for our warm homes, for the glistening snow and the shocking blue sky above it. We thank Him for abundance of food, for the cranberry sauce and the hot rolls and the steaming mashed potatoes. We thank Him for the pools of gravy splashing over it all. We thank Whom? We thank the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Have fun in your kitchens today! May you have a sweet day of preparation, so that you can rejoice around your tables tomorrow! You are bestowing an important memory on your children. You are establishing them in their faith. Don’t underestimate the powerful impact of a slice of pumpkin pie slathered in whipped cream!