Besides counting our blessings, most of us will be doing a lot of feasting this week…and feasting involves a lot of shopping.
Some will make the decision to buy and serve locally-grown foods at Thanksgiving.
Ironically, it’s not easy to find locally-grown produce in rural areas like ours this time of year unless you are fortunate enough to be a gardener or live near one who likes to share.
I don’t know of anyone selling fresh turkeys, although we could probably bag a wild one if we wanted to, and our farmers’ market has been closed now for more than a month.
However, we do have a freezer and a pantry filled with all those fruits and vegetables that we “put up” back in the summer. Thanksgiving is a great time to bring some of those goodies out of storage.
Mom makes her cornbread stuffing from cornmeal which is locally-ground after being harvested from their garden; the mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green beans, shuck beans, corn, salad, broccoli casserole, pumpkin and cushaw pies will feature predominantly homegrown items, too.
We aren’t quite the locavores that the Pilgrims and the Indians were, but we aren’t too far removed from that, either.
I think of how labor intensive the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving feasts must have been. Is it any wonder their feasting went on for nearly a week?
It probably took that long to track down, bag, dress, and roast the meats, to gather the vegetables, to grind the flour and meal used for baking. I’ll bet they knew their neighbors pretty well by the time that dinner made it to the table.
It’s gratifying to have plenty to eat, no matter what day of the year it is, but when most of the meal is a result of one’s own labors, it seems to me to feed more than the body.
There’s a sort of spiritual kinship there, to have worked in partnership with the Creator who set the principles of sowing and reaping in motion.
I’m thankful for a bountiful harvest, a reminder of those productive days of the growing season.