Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What Really Matters on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving at the Tappletons'
by Eileen Spinelli

When I was about nine years old, there was a Thanksgiving morning that I remember very vividly. My grandmother, Mimi, a tremendous cook who was also phenomenally organized, had made the dressing several days in advance and put it in the freezer. She froze it in a huge glass pyrex-type dish. Early morning on Thanksgiving, Mimi pulled the dressing out to thaw and CRASH! the bottom of the pan broke and dressing spilled all over the floor. "Oh, no!" Mimi cried dramatically. "What will we do? We can't have Thanksgiving without dressing!"

Our ever calm Boppa raced to the store for the necessary ingredients and somehow together Mimi, Boppa, and my Mom pulled it off. We had a delicious, fragrant pan of dressing for dinner and to this day we are careful about what type of dish we put in the freezer. Years later, I found this book and sent Mimi a copy, because it reminded me of that Thanksgiving that Mimi was so sure would be a disaster. This book helped me see that with or without the dressing we would have been OK.

The Tappletons have a series of hilarious mishaps that lead them to not have any of the traditional Thanksgiving foods available. They wind up eating liverwurst and cheese sandwiches and pickles, with applesauce for dessert. They come to realize, though, that the real heart of Thanksgiving is being with people who matter to you. The food is secondary. This is the prayer that the Grandmother says at the end of the book:

Turkeys come and turkeys go
And trimmings can be lost, we know.
But we're together, that's what matters-
Not what's served upon the platters.

I hope everyone is with people they love tomorrow, and that we all remember to be thankful for family, friends, health, and happiness. We have done lots of cooking this evening, so far without major catastrophes. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Reverent Reader


At 11/26/07, 4:48 PM , Anonymous PAM said...

I love this story about Mimi and Boppa! It made me remember them with fondness! I hadn't heard of this book and have already ordered it. It should be one I have for school! THANKS!

At 11/27/07, 10:07 AM , Blogger Reverent Reader said...

Hey Pamster - I promise you will love this one! Hope your Thanksgiving was mah-velous.


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