Hello! There are many moments do go deeper and try to make sense of the world. I was going to write all about the sordid past of Thanksgiving from a day of mourning described here and by watching Gather (on Netflix). We would even take note of the pandemic in times of Thanksgiving like this article from last year, and I treasure this piece about kids and approaching the complexities of Thanksgiving with your family (empty chairs, conflicting history lessons, God’s presence in our wrestling of thoughts). And-finally!-the Thanksgiving story told from a Native community here.
The truth is, there is a lot of information we can access to read about the absolute abuse of Native Americans and Indigenous people at the hands and hearts of White people (“Christians”) and others in positions of power. It’s pretty disgusting. So let’s continue to learn and hear the stories of the oppressed, marginalized and hurting. Let us find ways to be a part of the healing, hope and change. Full stop. (And check out those links above in the first paragraph!)
Today, though…right now in this minute…I imagine many of us are just tired. We are weary from all of it, what we’re facing in life, expectations, our busy schedules; we each have stories and need rest and rejuvenation, so let’s lighten a bit right now. (And I name my privilege for being able to set the Indigenous peoples’ hurting aside for a moment.) Now I TRULY believe levity comes from God via us, and this is a moment to have some levity, a bit of humor to get through the day. As I flip through some wonderful-looking recipes passed from Indigenous chefs for Thanksgiving (can’t wait to make a couple of these!), I also would like to share with you some dishes that a few of my friends and SPOON UNIVERSITY (*not an actual college) mentioned as their weirdest Thanksgiving Foods. Here we go:
Top 7 Weirdest Thanksgiving Foods:
- Celery and Cream Cheese (someone forgot to go to the store)
- Lasagna with Fish
- Ham Mousse (lemon jello with ham and eggs)
- Peking Duck (not that weird if you aren’t into turkey)
- Pearl Onions in Cream Sauce (in a bowl, with a spoon)
- Pastel-colored Salads (anything containing Cool Whip, marshmallows or sweetened condensed milk–is this really a “salad??”)
- Tomato Soup Cake (this is a real thing!)
And with that, I’ll leave you with a poem from Joy Harjo, a beloved poet with more accolades than I can name here; she is also a member of the Muscogee Nation and is a true wonder. This poem seems an appropriate prayer and message for our week, where we begin and end with a Table. May we keep learning, listening, sharing, and (most definitely) breaking bread together. ~Laurel
BY JOY HARJO
The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.
Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.
“Perhaps the World Ends Here” from The Woman Who Fell From the Sky by Joy Harjo. Copyright © 1994 by Joy Harjo. Used by permission of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., http://www.wwnorton.com.Source: The Woman Who Fell From the Sky (W. W. Norton and Company Inc., 1994)