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Remembering Thanksgiving Day at Grandma Opie's

Cranberry sauce, recipes the below

My inability to not overeat on this festive occasion represents one of my most vivid Thanksgiving Day memories. My dad's mother from Virginia could really burn and if I close my eyes I can see the mountain of food that she would put on a plate in front of me: gorgeous slices of turkey, cornbread stuffing, rich turkey gravy over the top of both of them, green beans seasoned with hammocks, candied yams with mini marshmallows on top, collard greens, a deviled egg, and homemade cranberry sauce on the side. My grandmother, who was "big boned" as southners say, gave her three grandchildren large portions. Knowing her family history, my theory is she did so because she grew up a poor child in the South with only the ability to dream of a plate full of food like the one she gave us on Thanksgiving Day. In addition after she migrated to New York and married, my father’s mother spent time in a Westchester County mental institution because of the emotional anguish she experienced when she couldn't provide food for my father—her first born—During the Great Depression. After demolishing the man sized portion grandma placed in front of me, I then moved on to dessert: sweet potato pie and layer cakes. After overeating I went into labor as waves of pain went across my almost bursting stomach. The excruciating contractions led me to repent of my gluttony. I would pray (and I was not a child who prayed regularly), “Oh Lord please take away this pain and I promise I won't overeat next year.”  This ritual of gluttony and repentance went on for years! I tell my students that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and thinking you will get a different result.  I am a person prayer now and  part of my Thanksgiving day prayer is similar each year, "Lord  give those of us around the table the wisdom and restraint to eat until we are comfortably full."  My mother insists that cranberry sauce from scratch is easy, below are some recipes. May you and yours have a happy Thanksgiving and please share your holiday food memories in the comment section below.


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