I am thankful for the many Thanksgiving meals where I have grazed over some of the best food I will ever eat, and spent treasured time with family and people I love the very most. As a child, I spent countless hours around our family table. That big wood table is an heirloom – a solid oak vault if cracked open would spill out a lineage of countless memories, conversations, tears, and the magic of what makes a family a family.
Around that table our Thanksgiving meal was the meal that had no end. Second, third, and fourth helpings. There was even dessert after dessert. How can you have a piece of pecan pie and not follow it up a few hours later with a piece of pumpkin pie? And there was never much hurry to clean up. Just lots of lingering, sipping coffee in china cups over a devoured table. Discussing, bantering, and solving the world’s problems. Seldom was heard, “Can I be excused?” rather a reluctance to miss out on good conversation and a priceless good laugh. And there were many of those.
In any instant I can transport myself back to that table. I hear the clink of china amidst the chatter, smell hot bread, turkey, and eggplant casserole, see the sunlight stream through the ice tea glasses watching the sugar swirl down. I see the faces of my family, friends, hear laughing, conversing, enjoyment, and peace. There is warmth and welcome, and I belong.
It’s true, something magical happens when you gather each year around a table over a warm, Thanksgiving meal. There is ceremony in it, sharing, gratitude, and a pause in time to consume love. It’s where legends are passed down, jokes are rendered, where family values and culture is cultivated.
I can’t explain the sacred thread that runs through all the meals we shared together as a family. This year at Thanksgiving that same thread will continue to weave through my home and with my own children. We are thankful, grateful, and celebrate together the goodness of God – from whom all our blessings flow.
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 stick butter
- 1 ½ cups crushed saltine crackers
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 5 eggs
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Peel and dice eggplant. Steam in a covered saucepan with 1 inch water until very soft. Drain water completely. Add stick of butter to eggplant.
- Cover and let butter melt. Smash eggplant with potato masher. (Do not use a blender)
- With a mixer, mix together eggs, milk, salt, pepper.
- Fold in crackers, cheese, and eggplant mixture. Pour in a greased casserole dish.
- Sprinkle generously with Parmesan. Bake @400 for 45 min to 1 hour, until the center rises and evenly browned on top.