Friday, October 8, 2010


I know it’s fall….because it’s Thanksgiving. The colours as the deciduous trees don their harvest golds, reds, yellows, oranges and russets giving the Thanksgiving time of year a special glow! The smells - the farmers markets with the heady aromas of newly harvested apples and pears. The pumpkins in the fields all glowing a miraculous orange; the hay bales awaiting entry to the barns! The anticipation of a feast!

I understand some of my friends across the pond don’t celebrate this holiday. Oh what they are missing!

I won't bore you with the history of thanksgiving origins, just a summary of how this day of celebration came to be.  In Canada we attribute the first thanksgiving in 1578 to Frobisher who had been sailing the Arctic looking for the evasive Northwest Passage. His thanksgiving was for a safe homecoming; after having endured the arduous journey he held a feast for all.

In the United States the first thanksgiving has been attributed to the settlers at Plymouth Plantation in 1621. And over the years immigrants to both Canada and the United States have added their traditions and celebrations to Thanksgiving.

A time for celebrating the harvest, for gathering in the fruits of one’s hard labour; and for the settlers it was hard labour - clearing land, tilling and planting - growing with hand hewn implements, backbone, brawn and determination. A time to say thanks for the harvest and the support of friends and family; although the harvest was not sufficient to see many through the hard winter months ahead of them.

Of my many passions in this life, one is cooking for family and friends. and I love Thanksgiving for this opportunity to do just that. I’ll start early Friday to prepare the meal; making many dishes ahead of time….cabbage rolls can be made ahead, pastry for pies ahead of time and on the list goes. I will be cooking for two days. I love to have as many people as possible for Thanksgiving although the numbers are dwindling now to family members. I always found it a great time to celebrate with friends who may otherwise not be able to attend a Christmas feast. I will not be able to prepare as much as past thanksgivings … my daughter has her husband on a rigid diet and exercise regimen; she is determined he will not depart this earth before her; but she will allow him one piece of pie…no cream though! And, my daughter-in-law has my son on a strict diet … because he does not exercise!

I am very thankful for these wondrous people in my life; and especially thankful my granddaughter will be in attendance. She writes her law entrance examinations that day; so I know she will be thankful by the time she arrives for dinner!

I have always asked those at my table what they were most thankful for – just in case anyone thought they were going to get away with a free ‘gorge’….no sir, I wanted to hear the ‘thanks’. I don’t believe Thanksgiving should be consigned to strictly eating. It has been interesting over the years the comments that were made - from prosperity during the past year, to improvement in health, to finding new friends, to sharing with family… and finally my eldest son who was always, always most thankful for the turkey and pumpkin pie; and still is! I believe we should be thankful every day, if only for having been given the chance of another day – but at least Thanksgiving brings this to the forefront of our mind.

It is with joy in my heart that I prepare our feast; it will include homemade pickles and relishes; all dishes made from scratch in my kitchen; prepared with love for those who will share. All are welcome to my table for Thanksgiving. And on this blog I give thanks to those of you who show tolerance for my blog and who have supported me throughout this year as I quest after producing my form of ‘art’.

Happy Thanksgiving whatever your heritage or religious affiliation; take time to celebrate a day of 'thanks'.


  1. Well I will not be at that table but I sure would love to be. What would I give thanks for. Now that would be dead easy I would just give thanks for your friendship Ruby simple really.

  2. What a wonderful post, Ruby! Now I will be looking for a recipe or two! Soon I will post my stuffing recipe. I am thankful for every breath of air. to just wake up in the morning and realize that I am still here! It is all pretty amazinmg really!