Thanksgiving: An Underappreciated Holiday

It’s here, folks! The start of the Holiday Season in America. Actually, the season started before the candle was blown out in my jack-o-lantern, but whatever. Thanksgiving heralds what has become America’s most contradictory season. Many people face November and December with a feeling of dread. The holidays are seen by them as a time when we spend too much money on people we’d don’t especially like, we consume too much food and alcohol, and commercialism poisons what is supposed to be a holy and festive time of year.

On the other hand, the glass-half-full crowd views Thanksgiving/Hanukkah/Christmas/New Year’s as a time to re-connect with far-flung family members. You get to break bread and celebrate with friends old and new. People decorate their homes in November to celebrate the year’s bountiful harvest. In December they then fill their houses with lights and wonderful smells to commemorate the miracles of their various faiths.

Like most people, I take a contradictory position too. I do end up spending too much money on people I don’t like or on those who don’t really need anything. When you’re 95 do you really need an anti-aging cream? Come to think of it, wouldn’t an anti-aging cream be counter-productive? Isn’t the goal to keep on aging? Hello? The alternative is death, people. Anti-aging cream = Death. Seems quite simple to me. I’ll have to mention this marketing scheme to the suits at Estee Lauder. Anyway…yes, it is tiresome to see Christmas decorations while the snot-nosed kids are still unloading their trick-or-treat bags.

thanksgiving-decor

But the reality is that I love this overblown contradictory season. And I love its opening salvo of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a holiday that everyone can enjoy regardless of their own religious traditions. Why? Because it’s about being thankful and joyful and gathering folks together. And, as it has gratefulness as its main theme, even a dear vegetarian friend of mine even appreciates the holiday. While this may seem a contradiction in terms, considering that the central role of the festivities is, well, a dead animal, he soldiers on and makes a beeline for the vegetables.

So it is my wish for you that you may see Thanksgiving (and the upcoming holiday hysteria) with a glass-half-full and for what it is meant to be: a time to be thankful for what you have in an increasingly weird world.

All right then. What to eat for this great holiday? Since I have once again been relegated to the Island of Misfit Cooks even after last year’s culinary triumph, (i.e., I’m not hosting), I’ll be doing one of my famous pies for dessert. The ceremonial spatula has been knocked from my grasp. My roasting pan has been benched. Ah, well. There’s always next year.

Dutch Apple Pie

  • 1 9-inch pastry shell
  • 5-7 tart apples, peeled, cored, and cut into eights (about 5 cups)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons butter or margarine

Arrange apples in unbaked pie shell. Mix the ½ cup sugar with the cinnamon; sprinkle over apples.

Mix flour with the 1/3 cup sugar; cut in the butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over the apples. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

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