Preparing The Feast

by Randy Murray on November 23, 2011

Today, the day before Thanksgiving, we start (or in some cases, continue) the preparation for our Thanksgiving feast. The girls will be coming home from college and we’ll cook, clean, and eat together.

It’s in this preparation, the care and love that goes into everything that leads up to the feast, where the real joy lives. We’ll be around the table for only a short hour or two. The food will be wonderful, but the feast will be over quickly. Too quickly.

Thanksgiving is an important but simple feast at my house. Cooking with love and care are what make it special for all who take part in it.

I think back on that first Thanksgiving that Diane and I celebrated together after we married. That was thirty years ago. We were in our senior year at college in a small town in Iowa and decided to spend it there, with our friends, rather than make a long and hurried trip to spend it with either of our families. We prepared our little apartment above the hardware store there in Lamoni, Iowa. The four burners and the tiny oven were fully engaged for hours. And we shared our meal with a small crowd of friends. While we ate we cooked loaf after loaf of pumpkin bread from a gigantic batch of batter one of friends brought over, cooking the loaves in coffee cans. Everyone left stuffed, carrying still-warm round cylinders of fragrant bread. That evening Diane and I took a walk in the nearly abandoned little town. It was cold, quiet, and completely at peace. It was a very good start to our own holidays together.

I learned to cook from the women in my family, my mother, my grandmothers, and my aunts, women who cooked not because it was a chore and had to be done, because they loved their time in the kitchen together. Cooking for others is a special kind of gift.

Don’t avoid the work. Help out with the dishes. Share the love.

And give thanks.

The Preparing The Feast by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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Mari November 23, 2011 at 10:19 am

I enjoyed and appreciated your warm reminiscence. Thanksgiving and food are inextricably intertwined for me as are cooking and love. In planning and preparing for this feast I gleefully anticipate the ample smiles and the crescendo of satisfied sighs for the finale of the forks.

Randy, thank you for your superbly written expressions of wit and wisdom, and for your friendship. I wish you and your family a lovely, delicious and memorable Thanksgiving. All my best, Mari


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