Thanksgiving came a bit early for me this year. Last weekend, I spent time with family celebrating my aunt’s 90th birthday. My mother, sister and I hopped a plane to Winnipeg, where both my parents are from, and enjoyed a lovely long weekend with family – sharing great food and great stories and having a truly memorable time. As is typical for many families, much of our celebrating centered around the table – food prepared with love and consumed with laughter and joy. Early mornings were spent with my cousin, sharing recipes and cooking techniques while everyone else slept in. The holidays are such a beautiful time to spend with family from near and far and those that you have adopted along the way.
A few days ago, I had thanksgiving part two. I cooked for a lovely older client who has been struggling with digestive issues and severe weight loss for the better part of a year. Over time, her appetite has waned and even when food is not a struggle physically, it can be so limited that she just does not truly enjoy it. Through much collaboration and her very restricted diet, we came up with a thanksgiving menu that she could enjoy – roasted turkey breast stuffed with apples, celery, onions & fresh sage, with steamed green beans and butternut squash puree. Her eyes lit up as I showed her the finished turkey. She asked if she might sample just a taste as I was cutting it up and packing it away – soon a bite, led to another bite, and then a plateful along with her green beans and squash. Suddenly, I saw a kid before me – delighted to be licking the juices off her fingers. Her energy was lifted and she ate with abandon for the first time in ages.
It is these times, that I remember that what I do for a living is such a true gift – I go to work every day and make people happy. I bring joy to times where there is often a list of can’t have’s and must-do’s. I am so fortunate to have great people who work with me and amazing clients who make most days feel not much like work. May the food of the season bring you to a table where you will share stories, a kitchen counter where you will pass along or learn those traditional favorites or next to a loved one or friend where you will help bring some unexpected joy to their life, even if just for a moment.
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