Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Things We Carried

There is a famous story called "The Things They Carried", in which the author, Tim O'Brian, reveals stunning information about his characters by listing the small items they choose to bring with them on a long journey. 

I went on my own long journey last night- a five hour, pre-Thanksgiving celebration with my extended family before we head back to Maui. And I wondered: Does what we consume reveal anything of who we are? Can anything be gleaned from the small details of a meal or a menu? I think that the particulars of a holiday meal speak profoundly of who we are as a family. We shared: 

Herbed turkey breasts
Roasted ham 
Collard greens 
Candied yams 
Cranberry sauce
Rice and beans 
Baked macaroni and cheese
Mashed potatoes 
Sweet potato pie
Junior's cheesecake 
Chocolate mousse pie 
Pineapple mocktails 
Ginger ale

Seems straightforward enough. There are the staples, the classic American and mandatory items that every family has on their own Thanksgiving menus, but if we look a little closer we can see that we all have our own twists and spins, our own particulars unique to our traditions. Not every family opts for just the breasts of the Thanksgiving bird. Some don't bother with it at all. And there are always the multicultural aspects that most families have to consider, the dishes of those who've married in or particular to the place or time in which they find themselves.

What things will you carry this Thanksgiving? What will you serve? Share your lists here. 

No comments:

Post a Comment