The holiday season (which I acknowledge as starting around Thanksgiving and running through New Year) is a special time. Ever since I moved away from Albuquerque to go to college in Kansas and then onto graduate school in Minnesota, Thanksgiving and Christmas meant spending time with my familia. I know that as a lesbiana family means many things, it means the ones who birthed, love and care for you, your blood kin and it means the family that you choose to make. And this year while sad that I was unable to be with those who I am proud to have shared blood running through our veins I was able to fully enjoy my own family including A and Sandie and JoJo. I also had a chance to cook my very own first turkey and enjoy the three-day-long preparations involved with putting together a feast of this magnitude.
As a Chicana, Thanksgiving is a holiday that is about remembering the importance of reclaiming and acknowledging histories that are often silenced. For me, it is about remembering losses and confronting US colonialism alongside honoring familia. I like to think about the ways that participating in an event across the nation can one day move us to a place where those of us who voice our opinions about the tradition of Thanks-taking are no longer the minority, rather the norm who acknowledge the pains of our past as a nation and create meaningful dialogues on healing wounds and ensuring these cycles of violence do not continue both within and beyond the US national context. In that way, the meal is important to me, knowing that how a single day can be defined by a meal in such concrete ways so that I know that my neighbor down the street is probably enjoying just about the same meal as I, myself am. Not to elide the very real class disparities that exist in this country, but I am struck by the possibilities of many people sharing in the same meal in many places. I know many have such different connections and/or problems with this "holiday", for me it is but another of many of the contradictions that lie within my soul.
I promise to get back to providing some recipes alongside my thoughts about cooking in the very near future, my life has been so full lately that new recipes have been put on the back burner (pun intended) and I have been rolling with many staples. In fact, all of my Thanksgiving items were completely standard fare, a foil-wrapped turkey slathered in butter, just like my mama does it, green bean casserole, candied sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, rolls and a pumpkin pie, so I don't have any exciting recipes to report back. Also, this meal preparation happened within application and writing deadlines so my documentation of the recipes was unfortunately not a top priority, maybe next year if we host the meal at our place, I'll try to attend to these details a bit better. However, I would like to share some pictures of the big event, because as I mentioned, changing history also means the proper documentation of of stories, so here's mine in pictures.
Of course, the picture A takes of me I'm doing the mundane chore of chopping up potatoes to be boiled.
Sandie trying to find some pre-dinner morsels on my immaculate kitchen floor.
My first turkey, notice how the skin on the right side totally got stuck to the foil, oh well, learned a valuable lesson, when mama says tuck foil around edge of bird she doesn't mean the breast.
An amazing meal on an amazingly sunny November in Minnesota.
A- My amazing partner, so glad that she is part of my ever-expanding familia.
J- My wonderful cousin who was able to spend time with us, enjoy a meal with us and take a nap on the couch following the main event. Followed by, a new tradition - watching Elf and enjoying pumpkin pie.
Sandie wondering if she can have some more turkey.
More recipes are on their way, I'm very much looking forward to doing some major baking in the near future, nothing like Christmas to make you want to gorge yourself on sweets and candies, oh wait, that's every day for me, now I just have an excuse for my behavior!