The Magic of a Thanksgiving Meal

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.

Eggplant Casserole
eMeals Plan: Entree
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. Cover and let butter melt. Smash eggplant with potato masher. (Do not use a blender)
  3. With a mixer, mix together eggs, milk, salt, pepper.
  4. Fold in crackers, cheese, and eggplant mixture. Pour in a greased casserole dish.
  5. Sprinkle generously with Parmesan. Bake @400 for 45 min to 1 hour, until the center rises and evenly browned on top.


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