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Food for Thought: Thanksgiving Memories

Joined: 11/28/2014
Posts: 1
Faith Barge
Food is the glue in family holidays, bringing close friends closer in fellowship while filling our bellies with Dad’s famous turkey, Mom’s creamy potatoes, and Auntie’s classic apple pie. Words of thankfulness flow from every mouth at the table, while eyes delight in the steamy piles of mouth-watering deliciousness, ready to dive in. Food is what brings people together. What would Thanksgiving fellowship be with no food to savor? Food gives us the chance to come together and experience new things. It helps people remember the past through what they are tasting at the moment. Certain meals or traditions can bring back wonderful memories of family and friends, love and laughter. Food is a big deal in our lives, as we eat it multiple times a day, but when it comes relationships, food knits us together in a special way.
With the thought of this upcoming Thanksgiving, joyous memories of years past spring forth in my mind. Each Thanksgiving for five years during my childhood, my family had a tradition of spending the day celebrating with three beloved families to which we were closest. Military families with no relatives within thousands of miles, the four households would come together under one roof with great love, all sharing what we were most thankful for. Each family contributed our signature dishes that everybody else relished. I remember my friends and I bubbling over with laughter over silly jokes as we sorted through our favorite savory meats, breads, and side dishes crowding the tables. After long and sincere prayers we would stuff ourselves with plate after heaping plate of delightfully aromatic food, unsuccessfully saving room for dessert.
Afterward the dads would lounge on the couch, and no one would be surprised to find them in the middle of a food-induced coma. Moms chattered in a tight circle around the table while kids retreated in huddles over games with raucous laughter. Dessert time brought enthusiasm, but also skepticism about being able to handle copious amounts of even more food. Ignoring the groaning pleas of our over-stuffed bellies, we would charge in, hoping to get a slice of homemade berry pie or the latest cookie invention.
Late in the night we would say our goodbyes, no one really ready to leave each other’s company. Piling in to cars, each family would drive home loaded with leftovers, myself looking forward to weeks of turkey sandwiches. At home, food-logged drowsiness overtook us as we descended into deep calorie-induced sleep. Yet another wondrous Thanksgiving Day gone by, I thanked God then, even as I thank him now for bringing such beloved families into my life. We have all since moved long distances from each other, but this tradition our family shared with dear friends has given me countless memories which will forever remain, especially while eating Thanksgiving dinner. Food memories are some of the best memories, wrapping up all five senses within the delicious bonds of love, laughter, goodness, and kinship.
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