Thanksgiving. More than once, I have to stop and think. The very word tells us, but we get off the track.

Thanksgiving means giving thanks. It’s a hard time for doing that, but when we truly stop and think, we have a lot to be thankful for, in spite of the times.

Some of us who have reached a later time in life talk about how happy we are to open our eyes in the morning and realize we’re still alive.

But remembering to give thanks is hard to do, sometimes, because Thanksgiving becomes the magic word that symbolizes one thing. Food.

Do we have turkey or ham? Or both? Will there be real, homemade cranberry sauce, or stuff you tap out of a can and slice into individual pieces?

The can, probably.

Will the turkey be baked in an oven, smoked over an outdoor grill, and currently popular, fried in a deep fryer?

I have friends who do fried birds for themselves and their friends, all with no problems.

I have also known those who have terrible accidents and terrible fires attendant to creating fried turkey.

I like to put mine in a cooking bag in the oven. I used to use a greased paper sack. It makes a delicious juicy bird, but that’s just me.

One of the most interesting conversations I’ve heard lately had to do with dressing. And you can really go to war about dressing.

In addition to the regular around-the-table-at-somebody’s-house, there are group celebrations in lots of different places. One such potluck happening will be at my apartment complex.

And therein begins the battle. Describing the plans for the upcoming shindig, one lady said, “Lots of people bring their own dressing, because it’s the only kind they like.”

Aye, there’s the rub. I used to make the worst dressing ever. Just ask my children. Then I graduated to Stove Top, which they equally loathed.

I had a friend who made dressing with torn up biscuits. It was wonderful.

Many, many cooks like to use cornbread, especially here in the south. I heard one cook the other day describe a combination of cornbread and toasted bread.

Some folks get the packages of dried bread, broken and ready for mixing. That usually works pretty well.

Twice I have made dressing from a recipe by Emeril Lagasse, which involved French bread and oysters. It was marvelous, and my children fought over it when the dish began to get empty.

It was my highest achievement, but I don’t think I could do it again. It was a lot of work.

A lot of people on TV talk about Thanksgiving dinners that turn into family battles. Some occasions spark feuds from which many kinfolks don’t recover.

Go around the table and let each person tell what he or she is thankful for.

Remember the thanks in Thanksgiving.

Cathy Gillentine is a Daily News columnist. She may be reached at

(1) comment

Jarvis Buckley

You are so articulate Ms. Cathy. You should write a book of short story's
about your life. I sure would buy one.
Happy Thanksgiving Ms. Cathy & may you have many more.🌹

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