Turkey Day is tomorrow, and I'm pondering the rituals of Thanksgiving.
When I worked at the Osteopathic Medical Center of Texas (The O), we always had a Thanksgiving dinner for the staff and patients. Staff would bring things, but we also had the patients help prepare parts of the dinner--this was a rehab unit, after all. I often offered to make, or help make, the turkey and dressing.
I have to admit that this offer was selfishly motivated, because I happen to think that my dressing is the best dressing around.
I remember one year we had a patient, an older African-American lady, and she and I had several conversations about dressing. We compared recipes, which were very similar, and we both believed that we made the best dressing ever.
When the day of our dinner rolled around, I made the turkey and dressing as usual. After the dinner, this lady made a point of telling me that my dressing was almost as good as hers--high praise, indeed!
Now, I also have to admit that my dressing isn't really my dressing. I learned at my Mother's side, she learned at her Mother's side...you get the picture. I owe a debt to all the women in my family who preceded me. And in my generation, it's not just the women who owe this debt. All of my brothers are good cooks, and some are even better cooks than I. They just can't make better dressing.