Whether we like this or hate this, we need to deal with it. Thanksgiving is not just stuffing for a turkey; it also is a time to stuff ourselves.
But: Thanksgiving has a deep meaning for many people, and that includes me. No presents are necessary. No cards to send. Just either cooking for friends or family or showing up to share a meal with friends. It’s the best holiday of the year. I know the fictional aura that has grown up about the First Thanksgiving is pretty much a lot of garbage, another myth our country created.
Still, it’s OK to give thanks for what we have, those we love (whether friends or family), and thinking how much better we can be in so many ways — including understanding what the real First Thanksgiving was all about).
Every food page on-line this time of year is loaded with holiday recipes, but what caught my eye was a story in yesterday’s New York Times. It’s the history of the Jell-O mold. You can laugh, but this is serious stuff for some cooks, especially if you grew up in a family that served gelatin molds either at festive events or just everyday meals. Plus, there seems to be some sort of divide over whether these molds are a salad or a dessert. I have no clue.
Writer Julia Moskin offers an historical viewpoint for the concept of gelatin, going way back in history about this magical food, which now crowns many a holiday table. As someone who loves to read historic cookbooks and learn what types of food that landed on the table, this story is both funny and serious and references books about food. (That includes Perfection Salad, which tracks cooking and cookbooks over the years, and the Jello-O mold of that name.)
I do not think a Jell-O mold will be on the menu tomorrow, but for those who cook (or who just eat), it’s a good read.