As I sat down at the table yesterday, I realized how fortunate I am to be so connected to my food, to those that grow it and that we now have the ability to host family and friends at our house to share the bounty.
The act of preparing the meal was the result of months and months of work of many people in my community. The butternut squash was gifted to me from my intern, whom was sad to discover that the squash I grew this year were infected with disease (our soil needs a lot of love). She came in the next day with armloads of squash for us that she had picked up at a local farm in her town. The potatoes were gifted to us by our neighbor who runs a small farm, she knew we loved potatoes and dropped off about 30 lbs of potatoes on Monday afternoon and said to stop by soon, she had plenty more for us. The stuffing, was made by Mike and I, first we baked some gluten free bread with eggs from our friends pastured chickens and with raw milk from another friends farm. The turkey came from yet another friends farm, raised on pasture since July. They processed them on Sunday using the same equipment we had borrowed from them to process our pastured chickens the week before. We grew the garlic and the onions and apples came from another local farm, where we visit regularly to stock up on fresh raw milk ice cream. The only distant food was the organic canned cranberry sauce. I know that this is one of those weird foodstuffs that have made it to the table that is bizarre but I grew up eating it and it was always the favorite of my sister and I. I think it was because it was like candy served as a dish in a main meal, and as a child that has great appeal. I was beyond excited when I found an organic version!
It was the first Thanksgiving that Mike and I prepared and hosted, and it was the first Thanksgiving that it dawned on me that this was the one truly seasonal meal that people all around the country were enjoying as well. It shocked me that it took this long in my life to realize the seasonality of this particular feast, because I’ve never hosted and had the ability to bring a Thanksgiving meal to the table with such intention and connection. It dawned on me that the symbol of tradition has triumphed meaning and connection to what the dishes even represented all these years. It is not much different than how we eat every day because we eat in season and each meal, three times a day, is just as connected and filled with stories as this one. But what makes this meal different, is that it is the one time, you can bring a bunch of folks together, that aren’t necessarily thinking about food and connection as much as I might be, but we all sit down and share the same amount of gratitude. And then we feast.