A Thanksgiving Wish

“Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go.”

Or maybe not this year.

Thanksgiving will feel a little different for many of us in 2020. I apologize if I seem like a Pollyanna, but I’m going to do my darndest to be thankful anyway.

Abraham Lincoln mandated the first official national Thanksgiving in 1863, during the Civil War. His official proclamation setting aside the fourth Thursday in November as a “day of Thanksgiving and Praise” was written by Secretary of State William Seward.

It urged Americans not just to give thanks but also to use the day to ask God to “heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and Union.”

If Americans could find time to spread thanks in the middle of our nation’s bloodiest and most divisive war, we can do it now.

It may not be easy. We have just come off an election that highlighted rifts in our society. We are beset by a disease that has sickened and killed thousands and that will keep many of us from celebrating Thanksgiving together in person this year.

Since March many of us have become accustomed to physical isolation. Nevertheless, solitude may be a bit harder to bear over this holiday. After all, the most familiar Thanksgiving hymn is “We Gather Together.”

In contrast, others long for a little isolation after spending months stuck in the house and sharing work and living space with partners, children, dogs, and cats.

Many of us are beset by worries about health and finances.

In short, we may have a little trouble feeling thankful this Thanksgiving.

Even so, we need to try to give thanks more than ever. Here’s my advice for the big day.

If you are used to preparing a large Thanksgiving meal, cut down your recipes … and give whatever additional funds you would have spent on the meal to a food pantry or to another group working to nourish our community, literally and figuratively.

Keep your eyes open for neighbors who are feeling overset by the current times. We can’t invite them to share our tables. We can reach out by telephone to share our lives and our thanks.

Despite COVID, despite political divisions, we have much to be thankful for: the love of our friends and relatives; the bounty of the harvest; the beauties of the area in which we live; and the stories we tell to inspire ourselves and each other to be just, thankful, and kind.

Recently, I saw a late-night interview with New Jersey Senator Cory Booker. I have adored Booker since he was the mayor of Newark; I still stand ready to marry him as soon as he sees the light and dumps his movie-star girlfriend.

My future fiancé told host James Corden, “I’m always going to be a prisoner of hope.”

My Thanksgiving wish is that we can all find ourselves in that prison.

Below I share a simple recipe that doesn’t feed a crowd but will make you feel well nourished on Thursday. If you have leftovers, share them with anyone you know who is feeling isolated this week! Happy Thanksgiving from my kitchen to yours.

Corn Casserole

This simple, nourishing pudding-like dish is in my “Pudding Hollow Cookbook” and came originally from my college roommate Kelly Boyd. It may be as hot or as mild as you like, depending on the number of hot peppers you add. Feel free to double the recipe if you’re serving more people.

Ingredients:

2 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper to taste OR (for more spice) 1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1 green, yellow, or red bell pepper, diced
fresh or pickled peppers to taste
1/2 of a 4-ounce jar of pimientos, drained and diced
1/4 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 11-to-15-ounce can whole kernel corn, undrained

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the eggs together. Stir in the flour, the salt and pepper, the pepper pieces, the pimientos, the cheese, and the butter. Add the corn, along with its liquid.

Bake in a 1-1/2-quart casserole dish for 45 minutes. Serves 4 as a side dish.

Here is my corn-casserole video from Mass Appeal. I also reached into the archives of this blog and made my beloved cranberry upside-down cake.

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10 Responses to “A Thanksgiving Wish”

  1. Cara Hochhalter says:

    Thanks for this, Tinky…lovely and poignant to think of you there in Pudding Hollow with your good neighbors and yet in separate homes. Jeff and I send you love and thanks…and prayers that Cory Booker comes to his senses!
    I am making a “Roasted Maple Brined Turkey Breast”….😊

  2. John Fennelly says:

    Your recipes and the stories you share are ALWAYS such a treat, thank you!
    I was planning to make corn pudding as my mother always made it, but this is a great this with the add ins.
    I will of course be making your cranberry/key lime squares, such a wonderful treat!
    Thank you and happy Thanksgiving,

    John

  3. Meredith Lein says:

    Dear Tinky,
    In the spirit of giving thanks, I thank you for your heartfelt and personal, often humorous, always entertaining writing that I so often enjoy. My husband and I have been on a plant-based diet for the past 4 months for health reasons (It’s not so bad and not forever, I reassure myself), and I delight in your Recorder column and newsletters. Even though I’m not gathering the ingredients for now, your recipes in every detail feed my imagination!
    I appreciate your community focus and expressions of humanity.
    All my best and Happy Thanksgiving,
    Merry

  4. Betsy Kovacs says:

    I love Cory, too!

    Have as happy a Thanksgiving as possible!

  5. Margie says:

    Love corn casserole. Wish I had a pepper to make yours. I just picked up groceries from Kroger yesterday, so it’ll be a couple of weeks before I order again. I’ll try yours then because corn is just plain tasty. I’ve used the recipe with Jiffy corn bread mix, and it’s good. I really don’t like sweet cornbread, but it works in that recipe.
    Liked seeing the picture of your mom and Michael. Sure that Michael has gotten a lot taller by now. Has he finished high school?
    Staying in this Thanksgiving—just can’t risk being with a lot of people. I’m making turkey chili for tomorrow, so I’ll have turkey. I’m sure that my daughter-in-law’s mother will send me some turkey and dressing.
    I’m making a chocolate pie to send them. Not traditional, I know, but this is what they’ve requested.
    Pray your day is good tomorrow. We do have so much to be thankful for!

  6. Jill says:

    Beautiful sentiment, Tinky. Happy Thanksgiving. And as someone who doesn’t really like turkey (must not have had a good one), I say let’s order sushi!

  7. tinkyweisblat says:

    I’m not a big turkey fan, Jill, but I do love the leftovers. Thanks to all who have commented. Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Wendy says:

    Tinky
    I laughed out loud at your Corey Booker description -I like him as well-he’s an inspiring speaker
    Enjoy your Thanksgiving in whatever shape it takes
    All my best to you and yours,
    Wendy

  9. Donna Hill says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you Tinky. This was just the kind of blog post and recipe I needed for this year of trials and tribulations.

    Corey Booker is awesome and I wish you both a very happy future together!

  10. Thank you, Tinky! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing this recipe and your thoughts with us today.

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