Thanksgiving Message: Be the food.


Something for everyone. Same table.

Same plate. Same table.  Photo Credit:  Cousin Margy Roberts, Foodie extraordinaire.

My hope for this Thanksgiving: Americans become like the food the holiday represents. I’m pretty sure at most Thanksgiving meals, there are dishes people like and dishes people don’t like, yet all the food is welcome at the table. Nobody would dare put up a “fuss,” as my mother would say.

In my childhood family, my mom cooked all of the Thanksgiving food, rising early to get “the bird” in the oven so we could eat by 3 pm. All of us kids snitched tastes from the batch of stuffing she made from heels of bread she collected and froze over the course of the year. She drenched the bread pieces in Imperial margarine and sautéed onion. Once the raw egg went in, we had to stop the sampling, lest we come down with a case of salmonella poisoning.

All turkey parts included.

Turkey for everyone!

My brothers and sisters and I would have been perfectly happy being served nothing but turkey and yummy stuffing for Thanksgiving. We might fight over the drumsticks but otherwise, there was a turkey part for everyone.  But that’s not how my mom and dad liked their dinner. My dad insisted on a carry-over from his southern roots, green beans flavored with bacon grease, an “ok” dish by us kids. My mom’s favorite, the pearl onions drowned in Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup and topped with crushed saltines. This was the one dish most of us kids skipped. If she ever stopped making it, the table would seem a bit empty. We got used to the creamy lumps in the 9X9 Pyrex pan co-mingling with the bowls of mashed potatoes and green beans on the table.

My absolute Thanksgiving favorite is the pumpkin pie I make from scratch. I could eat it for three meals a day, suiting me best for breakfast because my stomach is most empty; I can eat more! My friend Kim, she is not a fan of pumpkin pie and I can’t fathom Thanksgiving without it. She prefers pecan pie, an extension of her Texan roots, another part of America and very well deserving of a piece of the American pie.

Yet, I like my friend Kim and her family. We share the same taste in Pinot Noir and sparkling Rosé. We both love Italy, America and California. Our husbands like each other and so do our kids. Celebrating Thanksgiving together seems so natural given both our extended families live out of state, except for the pie part. We eat together anyway, appreciating each other’s differences.

I love Thanksgiving because every American can participate. By sharing a special meal we build community and tradition even if we like to eat different things, something we can model in other parts of our lives. My hope for our great nation: To be like a Thanksgiving table where everyone gets a pumpkin pie and accepts the creamed pearl onions. No fuss.

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12 Ways to Get Happy During a Crazy Election

Dare to keep a straight face.

Let’s get happy. I just can’t take the media frenzy any more so I’m going on a happy diet. I’m not going to eat cookies or a pile of pizza, although those things make me really happy in the moment. Then my jeans are too tight and I’m unhappy. Stop reading about you know who,…

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5 Things I Learned Hosting a Garage Sale

Art to some people.

  Garage Sales are a lot of work.  I knew that going in but decided freeing up the space in my garage was worth the effort. I was tired of opening up my car door into a box of something I clearly didn’t need as it had been sitting there for four years. At least…

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The Superwoman in My Hometown

Remember to Remember

  My hometown is host to a superwoman. Many locals sip her steamy cappuccinos or me, soy lattes with her sweet barista stamp: a heart swirled into the milky froth. Most of us in town had no idea the owner of Café Papillon was a heroine in her home country of Cambodia, saving her family from…

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Music: What the World Needs Now.

Music made it better.  Friends since preschool.

Something is burning inside of me. I bet something is burning inside of you too. Crazy, crazy acts in our country and around the globe are making us feel as though we are living multiple decades all at once: wars, riots, twisted politics, discrimination. Times I only knew through school or movies and made me…

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Italy Highlights 2016

Hubby says I stopped it from leaning in my photo.

For two weeks, my family traveled across Italy experiencing to-die-for wine and food, breathtaking views, impressive architecture and art, and a people so friendly we wanted to convert. ROME We started in Rome/Pompei. Hired guides educated us on the Vatican and Roman sights. Our heads were stuffed with historical facts, enough to last a lifetime….

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Pope Francis at Vatican City and Me

Dang! Hubby is good!

At last, I finally got to see my favorite celebrity in person: Pope Fran! He was on his own turf, right in Vatican City. I wish I could say we sat down with a nice cappuccino. Instead, it was just myself, my family and 30K other crazy Pope Fran fans from all over the world.  …

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New Stress Release: Coloring Books

collection of coloring books

“I feel like a kid again,” says anyone doing something they haven’t done in years. Eating cotton candy, riding a skateboard, watching the movie Cinderella. There is something about doing “kid” things that brings back fond memories of a worry-free life. Playing games with your kids or watching a Disney movie gives you permission to…

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Girlfriends Are The Best!

Our first night in SF

You know those moments when you think, “Wow! I have the best girlfriends!” Sometimes I’m driving in my car thinking about how a friend who solved a problem for me. Or I might think about an acquaintance who gave me the low-down for writing a book and becomes my friend.  Girlfriends are the best in so many…

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I Wanna Be A Millennial

Hipster ideas form here.

Millennials are cool. I want to be one, based on the two I met. I can also say I had a parenting epiphany at the same time. We can learn a lot from these hipsters.   I connected with two very bright ladies through my high school friend, an exchange student from Sweden from way…

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