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Thanksgiving Growth

alec vanderboom

This year I'm hosting my first Thanksgiving. We've had happy Thanksgivings on our own as a little family. This year it's the first time we have company counting on eating our Turkey!

My husband requested that I get "Grandma Ida's" stuffing recipe. I happily called my Mother-in-Law and nearly fell on the floor in mirth. My own maternal grandmother's stuffing recipe is simple. Buy 1 Package of seasoned Pepperiage Farm bread crumbs. Add onion and celery. Bake in a casserole dish next to the turkey.

My husband's maternal grandmother recipe calls for an extremely long complicated list of instructions which begin with hand drying the bread 48 hours in advance and ends with the reassuring statement, "Don't worry Abby, you probably won't get it right for the first DECADE!" 10 years?

Anyway, at that moment, my panic exported. A stuffing recipe that takes ten years to master? Last year, that would have seemed ridiculous. This year, I embraced that cross with love.

I pictured teaching my girls at 11 & 15 how to finally make Great-Grandma Ida's stuffing. I saw myself explaining the complicated concept of "mealy-ness" to my future daughter-in-law. Grandma Ida is the reason that my family is Catholic. (On Ida's deathbed she made my mother-in-law swear a promise to get my husband confirmed in his faith.) This stuffing recipe seemed just such a special way to keep her close to our family's heart.

Despite my careful notes and my days of prep time, I couldn't reach my Mother-in-law at the crucial stuffing the turkey juncture. We ended up with chive flavored soup instead of stuffing. Thankfully, I had some hard Pepperiage Farm bread crumbs on hand. It won't taste like Grandma Ida's recipe this year. Yet in the November that we performed indulgences for both Grandma Ida and my Grandma Jean, it seems fitting to have a stuffing which reminds us of how much maternal love we have in heaven.

God thank you for the gift of family. Help us grown in love on this day.