Thankful. This time of year causes me to stop and count my blessings. Of course there are the obvious things I am thankful for, like most folks, my health, my home, my country and my family are at the top of the list. And then the less obvious, like what seems like a chore, but should be seen as a blessing… for me that’s making dinner. I mean, I am grateful for the food we eat and the oven to prepare it in…but the whole process of grocery shopping, meal prep and actually cooking it is lost on me, not something I generally add to the top of my blessings list.
Except in the case of our Thanksgiving dinner, a blessing I often reflect on. We only prepare this particular meal combo once a year, which makes it special to me. It’s not that the recipes are all that complicated or gourmet, but it has been curated over the years by all the loved ones, and that sticks to your heart, not just your ribs. Everyone has a favorite item that must be included. I remember the year we left off the Blueberry Yum Yum because truthfully only me and Squirrel Girl’s brother really eat it, and after all, how many “jello salads” does one meal need? But oh my goodness, you would have thought we forgot the turkey itself! And speaking of turkey, even though we are generally an all white meat crowd, you must have the whole bird, regardless of the fact that you could save time and money by simply cooking a couple of breast and calling it a day. There have been other years where we tried introducing a new item, but with the exception of deviled eggs for Squirrel Girl’s hubby, they just don’t make the cut - sorry carrot soufflé and corn pudding, we are just fine with our green bean casserole and five cup salad! The great thing about our Thanksgiving meal menu is that it doesn’t change, it brings consistency and assurance in a world gone mad! Everyone has a dish that they make or job that they do every year - Squirrel Girl makes said Green Bean Casserole and her brother carves the turkey - the whole 22 lb. bird. We always eat at Nan’s house and there is always a ton of leftovers. Perfection!
I am so thankful for this meal and it is never a chore to prepare it, but truthfully it is not just about the menu, although I am grateful for the comfort and familiarity it brings. I am truly thankful for the family and friends that share it and the memories that are made around it. After all, to count our blessings, we should consider it all joy, the “chore” of the journey, the comfort in the destination and the sweetness of the memory it brings.
The Local Squirrel Thankful Finds
1.The Giving Plate - bring a Thanksgiving dish on it to your dinner destination and leave it with the hostess - spread the “thankfulness”
2. Leather Feather Earrings from Joy By Design - the perfect Fall accessory and a “give back” company
3. Rifle Journal and Pretty Pen- count your blessing by jotting a few down each day through out the year
4. Zest Cozy Throw - after that delicious meal, snuggle on the sofa for a well deserved rest!