Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Thankful

It’s that time of year again, Thanksgiving is upon us (and as I did last year a shout out to my thanksgiving peeps). For me it is the most sentimental time of year. My connection with the food and the people I love is forever present.

Thanksgiving for me and my family used to mean a giant gathering of us at Rice Lake (just outside of Cobourg, ON). Friday through Monday, my Mother and her siblings brought their individual clans together at a group of rental cottages in Harwood, ON. It was arranged by my uncle, this was his deal, as much as I anticipated this yearly event I had no idea then how much these memories would mean to me now.

Our traditional meal consisted of turkey and all the trimmings, but also my Mother’s famous macaroni, twenty-four hour and pea salads. A lot of prep time goes into about 20 minutes of gorging, but it is so worth it. My aunt made this awesome no-cook cheesecake covered in cherries that rocked. Beer was unlimited. One of my favourite pictures is that of the guys standing around the fire pit, beers in hand, it looked like a hunt camp. Some even attempted a swim in those icy cold waters (it was more of a dare).

Our families have grown-up, kids now have kids of their own having kids and we don’t get together anymore. I miss them, the occasional phone-call, once yearly visits is never enough, but sometimes that’s the way families happen.

I am wishing the whole crew happy days where ever they are this weekend and hope when they gather around the table with their families this Sunday that they remember when we all gathered around a table together and how much it meant to us. I am thankful for each and every one of them.

What are you thankful for?

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Giving Thanks

Turkey imageAs I prepare my Thanksgiving weekend menu, I always tend to reflect back on Thanksgiving past. It is my favourite holiday of the year, and I think the most beautiful of all the long weekends. The best and most anticipated Thanksgiving weekends were the ones my Mother’s brother organized on Rice Lake, just outside of Peterborough, ON.

We rented well worn cottages, with a big fire pit outside and the best part was actually pulling up to the site and seeing Uncle Bill, dressed in his cottage garb, a cold Labatt’s in his hand waiting for us. As soon as we unpacked the car, and dispensed with the necessary greetings the eating and drinking would commence and the festivities would last for three long splendid days. Between my aunts cheesecake, my cousin’s shrimp dip and my mom’s famous macaroni salad it was a decadent foodfest and each night we would roll into our beds in a food and fresh air induced coma. I loved every minute I spent with my cousins, aunts and uncles. The best thing about the whole weekend was the turkey, while it cooked away on Sunday it’s intoxicating aroma drifted throughout the campsite.  It had everyone (especially Uncle Bill) anticipating their first bites, not an hour would pass when there weren’t comments made about its arrival to the table and like true food addicts we were all waiting for our fix.

Its been a lot of years since we have all been together like this, these weekends softly went to sleep when we lost that lovable man 16 years ago, but thats okay, because thats what good memories are made of and I am so thankful for that.

Below please find the recipe for a very retro pasta salad, that has endured the test of time…..

Mom’s Macaroni Salad

I large bag of small pasta shells

2 cups of diced celery

1 1/2 cups of diced red onion

2 cans of crabmeat (or 1 can of crabmeat, 1 can of salad shrimp)

3 cups of good mayo (or your desired creaminess)

Prepare the pasta according to package directions and drain really well. When cooled mix all ingredients together and refrigerate. Prepare the night before (trust me on this).