Over the years, I have examined Thanksgiving from countless angles. However, I have embarrassingly neglected to focus on the MVP of any Turkey Day celebration. Let me explain…
I once read a quote that advised men to wear a suit and tie to Thanksgiving dinner out of respect for the painstaking lengths that the cook(s) went to prepare the holiday meal. Although I personally don’t go that far, I think it is important to properly appreciate and recognize the “architects” of the Thanksgiving feast.
There is a lot of pressure on the person who is responsible for preparing the bulk of the Thanksgiving meal. Not only is the menu expansive and many of the items tricky to master, but Thanksgiving is a special occasion. Because of this, people naturally will remember the day for years to come. Making sure the food is a positive memory is important to many cooks.
I vividly remember holiday dinners at my grandma’s house. Adults would do their best to barricade the entrance to the kitchen so my grandma could cook in peace.
“Your grandma gets nervous when people are in the kitchen,” my mom would say.
Nervous? No way. My grandma’s cooking was so superb that I doubted anything could rattle her. However, I do remember one time breaching the invisible barricade that was the warnings of my elders and coming pretty much face-to-face with my grandma as she did her thing in the kitchen. The look on her face told me that the very last thing she needed was a kid with no cooking chops taking up space in her kitchen.
I feel like a useless slouch in the respect that I have never prepared a Thanksgiving dinner before. Perhaps you are in the same boat as me? Although I am sure we would both do our very best to make the meal if we were called upon to do so, something tells me that our families are just fine with us sitting on the sidelines (although my cooking is improving). With that said, I think the very least we can do is be the biggest cheerleader for the cook and help out in non-culinary ways.
As you enjoy Thanksgiving tomorrow, make sure to seek out the cook to offer assistance and properly convey your gratitude for his or her efforts. May everyone have a blessed holiday. Don’t Blink.