Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

Friday, November 26, 2010

When Jeff and I moved to New York from Toronto many years ago B.C. ("before children"), Jeff's uncle's family, in Westfield, NJ and Nyack, NY, welcomed us into their homes and hearts and invited us to join them for Thanksgiving dinner. Both the invitation and the experience itself were, at least to us, straight out of a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. The food was, of course, delicious, memorable and plentiful. The atmosphere was warm, welcoming, familial and festive. We were so thankful to be part of such a meaningful celebration with such extra special people. We were delighted to be invited back the next year. In the years that have followed, spending Thanksgiving with the Chernicks and Maleks has become one of our favorite annual traditions.

Yesterday, we finally had the opportunity to repay the kindness and host our adoptive family for Thanksgiving. There is an indescribable feeling that sets in when you are able to use this particular holiday as a way of genuinely saying thank you. Together we feasted and ate ourselves into oblivion. How, then, is it possible that I was hungry when I woke up this morning?! I must have a parasite or several! In any event, hosting Thanksgiving means you get the majority of the leftovers and sweet potatoes are delicious, hot or cold, the next morning, even if the kids have already scraped all the toasted marshmallows off the top. After re-tasting every dish we served last night and basking in the memory of our children goofing around unselfconsciously with their great uncle and our hostess from the last several years finally having the time to relax and enjoy the holiday, it was easy to conclude that our Thanksgiving celebration was a great success. Good food, good times!

And don't forget the good books! For the Pre-K through 3rd grade set, I have always been particularly fond of the Franklin books and, not surprisingly, there's one befitting the holiday. Stepping outside of the box, though, given that food is a major component of the holiday, it's nice to consider some great food-related books that don't necessarily have a Thanksgiving theme. Here's an interesting hodge-podge:

Keith Baker's awesome picture book is a great take on the alphabet with a little help from some beloved veggies.

Judi Barrett's legendary tale from the land of Chewandswallow never gets old!

Rozanne Gold's tantalizing new cookbook is already an award winner in our home. Her Creamy Potato Gratin  (p.278) made it to our Thanksgiving buffet and is a great representative sample from a book that boasts "Brilliant Flavors with Breathtaking Ease" 

I'm not one to shy away from controversy. While Thanksgiving and excessive eating conjure up good feelings in most of us, this has to be an excruciatingly difficult time for the many people out there suffering from eating disorders. Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls is an emotionally wrenching, important book for the 12 and up crowd. Anorexia and bulimia are serious illnesses that kids need to understand and Halse writes in a style that speaks to them.

No comments:

Post a Comment