My dad has a saying, ‘Once you get a good thing, why change it?’ This saying applies to hats, jackets, coats, flashlights… and the list goes on. Electronics, of course, are excepted from this adage. Which means that when a hat wears out after 20 years of use, he looks for a new one just like it.
This also holds true for Thanksgiving dinner. And while some might think that I would chafe against the sameness of our family menu year after year, the truth is that I love this meal just the way it is. I wouldn’t change the gravy or my mom’s stuffing or the Aunt Annie Rolls (in the Maine Ingredient this week) that were adopted by the kids several years ago.
Those tastes that we grow up with are the measuring stick against which we judge all other versions. I’m sure you’ll agree that MY mom’s spaghetti sauce with meatballs is the best in the world, right? What, you mean YOUR mom’s is the best?
When I was small and would go to a friend’s house for dinner and found out that they were having spaghetti, I could barely contain my excitement. Until I sat at the table and tasted the sauce. Not. My. Mom’s. I wanted my mom’s sauce, not a different, maybe really nice version of someone else’s mom’s sauce.
And I want my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Because it’s delicious, and tastes like home, and warms my soul and makes me feel close to everyone who sits at our burgeoning table. I want the sameness of it because at some deep soul level, those tastes nourish me.
Can’t wait to see you all, family!