Today is one of the few traditional holidays here in the States that has remained relatively sacred and untouched by so-called 'modern' times. Most people are away from their jobs, unless they are employed in a service oriented industry, and families try to spend time together, for the most part. I believe that this long weekend is the most heavily traveled of all. We are giving thanks for our bountiful harvests, and I also like to think that we are pausing and reflecting on all that is good in our lives: our families, friends, and so much more that makes life complete and good.
Thanksgiving was the first holiday that I can recall that I helped my Mom prepare the meal. Because she worked when I was growing up, I enjoyed getting home from school the day before Thanksgiving and baking the cranberry nut bread and grinding up the cranberry orange relish. We lived on the south shore of Massachusetts then, and cranberries were a very big part in our holiday feast. I no longer make the nut bread, but I still consider the cranberry orange relish to be a huge part of our Thanksgiving. We are fortunate to be invited to my husband's cousin's home for the big meal, but I always bring two things: Pumpkin Cheesecake and Cranberry Orange Relish.
So yesterday afternoon was no different than any other Wednesday before Thanksgiving for me. I washed the berries and navel oranges, and while they were draining in my old colander, I assembled my food grinder.
I guess you could say I'm a sentimental old soul, as I find that I must use this ancient and very heavy Universal grinder, which is just like my Mom's but had belonged to my mother-in-law. The food processor just makes a pureed mess of the berries, and doesn't grind the orange up quite enough. I want my relish to be like it always has been! And, as you can see in my first photo, it is indeed the perfect consistency....in my humble estimation anyway!
What holiday traditions do you hold dear? C's cousin has many traditions as well, and before we sit down to eat today, the blessing will be offered by the youngest child there. Thirty years ago when we first moved here, that child was our daughter, but last year it was a very young man who's father delivered it for him, in Yiddish. We have also enjoyed the blessing in German. We are an eclectic crowd, but we always pause to join hands and give thanks, and then enjoy a lovely meal of traditional fare from many different households and countries around the world.
No matter where you are, I am thankful for you....and I hope you will enjoy this day, and take a moment to give thanks for the many bounties in your life.