Cooking for family for Thanksgiving
Lately all I want to do is snuggle up with a soft blanket, sip coffee and binge watch TV.
Hibernation mode has begun as the weather has begun to turn. Fall is slowing fading and before we know it winter will be here along with all the holiday and hustle and bustle that accompanies it.
Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love Christmas and almost everything that comes with it. I just feel like it’s rushed more and more each year. But, this may be because I am a big fan of Thanksgiving. I enjoy cooking, eating, and spending time with my family. I also enjoy that the Thanksgiving season embodies family rather than gifting. For me the smells of a Turkey cooking, while pies are baking are pure heaven. Which leads me to family traditions.
For years my mom-mom cooked the thanksgiving feast for our whole family of 21. I don’t think I ever even experienced the holiday in anyone else’s home for the exception of splitting the holiday with my husband one year while we were dating. But for the past few years since COVID-19. I started cooking here at home. I now host my immediate family and mom-mom comes here.
The first year I hosted I was beyond unprepared. My mom made the turkey, I made the sides, we ate off of paper plates and mom-mom made the pies. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves but I felt very green in my hosting abilities. It was nothing like dinner at mom-moms. The second and third year I decided to go big and treat myself by ordering Columbia II’s Thanksgiving meal (its fabulous and worth it) and I set the table with actual place settings. I even bought the sculpted turkey butter to put on the table just like mom-mom had when we were kids. For the past three years something has been missing, and it was more than the family recipes that have been passed down for decades.
I never asked mom-mom how or why she made the dishes she made in thanksgiving, but I plan on asking all those questions next week. For the first time ever I will be making the whole meal this year by scratch. Our menu will consist of: turkey, honey spiraled ham (new addition because my kids hate turkey), mashed potatoes, honey yams, garlic string beans (no one likes string bean casserole but me), homemade sausage stuffing, corn, rolls and turkey sculpted butter because it’s a must.
I’ve cheated on the pie front, those are coming from the amazing Eagles flik team chefs. I love to bake but the pies literally can’t be beat. Pumpkin, apple and Oreo.
I think the more I keep on creating my own traditions as well as carrying on some of hers I will eventually make Thanksgiving my own. Anna Morano is a legend with holidays. The more I think about why I can’t compare to her the more I realize how much I appreciate and love all the effort and work she put into every holiday she hosted.
Thanksgiving was more than the food, it was my mom-mom making everyone feel welcome and eventually one day I hope my future grandkids will look at me with amazement like I do with her. I know I don’t have the Lenox, the fancy linens, the plastic table cover that covers those linens (lol) but I’m lucky enough that mom-mom joins my family and now I get to host her. Secretly I think she enjoys it.
I hope everyone has a wonderful thanksgiving and I can’t wait to hear about what you all cooked, ordered or baked.
Loraine Griffiths is a fifth-generation Hammontonian, graphic designer, wife and mother of three. She can be reached through email at LifeWithLoraine@gmail.com.