This year, with my CSA, Thanksgiving sort of takes on a new meaning for me. I know as well as anybody that Thanksgiving didn't exactly start with Pilgrims and Indians being all buddy-buddy with their turkeys and stuffing and pumpkin pies (although the "first Thanksgiving" technically cited in America was a feast that the colonists and Native Americans shared after a particularly harsh winter the year before - coincidentally, said Native Americans helped the colonists survive it...) But Thanksgiving does fall at the end of harvest time, and before winter sets in, when farmers and people (well, before there were grocery stores who shipped in food from places like Brazil and China and probably Antarctica, if food really grew there much) store up food for the sparser winter months.
Regarding all of that ... I am truly thankful for local, organically grown food which I pick up in a little box each week. There's something about the shortened amount of miles between farm to table that makes me appreciate the food. Each time I cook with my CSA box, my heart is filled with thanks and gratitude, and I wonder about the farmers who grew the veggies I cook with and raised the chickens from which I get my eggs every week, how they live, what their families are like, how they learned about organic farming.
I am thankful to them for stretching my palate, for making me look and research and find ways to cook things that I thought I'd never like. I'm thankful for the superior nutritional value of locally-grown produce, particularly of the heirloom variety, and for how good it feels to know that I am feeding myself and my husband the best food we can get here.
As I'm typing this, I have a pumpkin steaming on the stove for a pie I'm making this afternoon. I have sweet potatoes stashed in a bowl, for making casserole this Thanksgiving for my family. There are 6 baby turnips, a parsnip, and two carrots that I'm planning to cook tonight (I'm a bit nervous about the turnips, I'll admit...) These farmers feed my family. The longer I've participated in GrowAlabama, the more I'm realizing that's the way it should be. Communities feeding themselves.
And while we're on the subject of gratitude, here are some more things I'm thankful for:
-My husband. He is truly my helpmate, and I love him so, so much.
-My parents, who raised me, who help me out when I need it, give me a place to stay when Mark is out of town and I need help with the puppy, and remind me of so many happy memories... I love you guys :)
-My not-so-little sister, who is a constant source of laughter when I am with her. She makes me want to be a better person, and I am so glad that we are friends.
-My in-laws, who have so warmly accepted me into their family. I'm proud to be a Skinner :)
-My puppy, who is continually teaching me about patience and love and trust, and who is a nice, warm source of cuddles at the end of a long day.
-My job. I am so grateful to get to care for my little ones at work - the NICU is a wonderful place to be.
-My co-workers. We get on each others nerves at times, but they're like my family away from home - I count myself lucky to work with such a great group of ladies :)
-Mark's new job! He'll probably start in a couple of weeks - I can't tell you how much both of us are thankful for that :)
There are so many things that God has blessed us with. Even when things seem hard, we've really got it pretty good :)
I'm gonna go make that pie now! Hope everybody has a great night!