Thanksgiving is such a magical time when family and friends come together in a spirit of harmony and peace surrounded by a bounty of comforting food.
Growing up in my house, Thanksgiving was always special. My dad was a great believer in family holidays. We always laid out a huge spread and invited all to join. My mom—the best cook ever to grace this planet, in my humble estimation—would make an incredible turkey, homemade mashed potatoes with luscious gravy, string beans with roasted sliced almonds. She would serve fresh, hot rolls, the ones that are soft inside like butter with a crispy, outside crust. The stuffing was always moist. And for dessert, we would have fresh pumpkin and apple pies, topped with plenty of vanilla ice cream along with whipped cream.
One year, after I got out of the Army, I decided to be vegan and I remember it to be equally as enjoyable. My family respected my choice and I gorged on all the goodies except the turkey. It was a delicious time.
Years later when I married and had two sons of my own, I tried to embrace those special holiday traditions. And since I was the cook of the Whitmore clan, I always prepared the turkey with all the trimmings, just like mom. Not as good but close. She taught me how to cook, and as long as I followed her lead, the food was the best.
Alas, I always made way too much, but one of the great things about the Thanksgiving meal is the leftovers. They always seem to taste just as good the day after as they did the day of.
Also, we made a point of inviting anybody who wanted to join us, and there were always takers—those who couldn’t be with their family and honored us with their presence. For some reason, that always made Thanksgiving a little more special.
I want to take a quick minute to thank those that extend their hospitality during the holidays to those in need. This can be a challenging time for many. The good news is there are places to go that offer refuge during the holidays. I want to thank all the people for always burning the midnight oil, so to speak, to help those that need help. You are an inspiration.
The Whitmores have always been so lucky when it comes to family and for that, I am eternally grateful. For there’s nothing quite like a warm house swarming with kids, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews, nieces, friends and neighbors. All just being together. To me, it makes life worth living. Happy Thanksgiving. Talk soon.