Thanksgiving is a very special holiday here at gatheredtable. It celebrates gratitude – one of our core values, and it embodies our mission. Jonathan Safran Foer in his afterword to Laurie David’s The Family Dinner said it best:
“Thanksgiving is… the meal we aspire for all other meals to resemble. The Thanksgiving table is not a sanctuary for the world, but a representation of our best hope for it… More than any other meal it’s about good eating and good thinking. And it’s about transmitting values.”
As we wrap up one holiday and head into another, I hope to bring some of the joy, togetherness and tradition of Thanksgiving into my own family dinner every day of the week. And it’s my personal wish that each of you are able to do the same.
I’d also like to take this chance to thank you all for being part of our gatheredtable community. We hope you enjoyed the holiday, and we’d love to hear about any special traditions that you may have.
And now a bit about my Thanksgiving table…
The Thanksgiving table comes in so many shapes and sizes – from large extended families, to friendsgivings, to the many mixed groupings that include people meeting for the first time that day… every table is a chance to converse and connect long after the food has been eaten. As Nora Ephron said “a family is a group of people that have dinner together.”
I love hearing about different Thanksgiving traditions – one of my new favorites is a friend whose family hosts an annual Thanksgiving potluck for new immigrants, each bringing a dish from their traditional cuisine while the hosts roast a turkey and introduce their guests to the history and spirit of American Thanksgiving. My husband immigrated to the US as a teenager and the first Thanksgiving turkey he ever had was at my parents’ home when we were dating.
Personally, I embrace some aspects of Thanksgiving “rituals” and resist others. I love a table full of friends and family (we’ve had as many as 25, this year we were nine), and setting a “fancy” table because I think it says “holiday”.
However, I do resist the notion that Thanksgiving has to include 20 dishes in order to be special! We usually have turkey, stuffing, a squash side, a green side, fresh cranberries, and two desserts (my one concession to Thanksgiving abundance is double dessert options). You have to have squash, greens and cranberries or else it’s just such a brown plate with turkey, gravy and stuffing! This year some friends brought their turkey and it was amazing – stuffing rolled inside it like a stuffed chicken breast – thanks Dave O for the amazing bird we’ll feature your recipe next year on gatheredtable!