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It Was Really Truly Worth It

November 28, 2011

One thing I’ve noticed is how fervently people feel about adhering to certain holiday traditions – especially the food. Over the past week, I heard more than one debate on various shows that addressed the preference of canned versus cooked cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce? I didn’t realize folks would get so riled up about something that you can’t even consider a side dish.  It’s more of an accompaniment – kind of like butter or chutney.

So when I began deciding on the menu and gathering the recipes together that I needed to prepare our Thanksgiving meal, I remembered those debates.  There were 15 items on my list – and none were negotiable. Leaving off any one item would have resulted in disappointment on someone’s face – just as if I served canned cranberry sauce to a homemade sauce aficionado.

But whose fault is it that I had that much to cook? I have to confess – it’s mine. Why? Because I actually asked what everyone wanted – and no one said “whatever you prepare will be fine.” And, everyone had a favorite side or dessert, etc. So, I cooked. Everything.

And, every minute I spent was worth it. Why? Well, first of all, I really do enjoy cooking food that I know others will enjoy. But also because it underscored my understanding of the importance of food as a bonding agent and the associated and future memories that comes from that bonding.  I believe it all boils down to the fact that food keeps us connected to our past as we live our present and futures.

Oh, and just for the record, I served homemade cranberry sauce – and no one was disappointed.

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