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Canadian Thanksgiving 2020: What I Give Thanks For…

For all our American Friends… This is Canadian Thanksgiving – always the second Monday in October. The same as in many British Commonwealth countries, but earlier than in the U.S., I think because our northern growing season is shorter and our harvest is earlier. Nevertheless, I’d like to share some of the things I’m thankful for…

Kids Cooking Family - © activekids.comHave you succeeded in keeping the family interested in cooking during the
pandemic? I’m thankful for the inspiration that helps me come up
with new ways to keep the cooking experience fresh for
you. I’ll do my best to continue helping with that…

As you might have guessed, many of the things I’m thankful for, especially at harvest time, involve Food. For instance :

When I put on my white coat and apron, and prepare to cook…

I’m thankful for my Mom and all the older ladies in my life who passed down to the sense of joy and achievement they got from cooking.

I’m thankful for sister Erin, who is also a credentialed Chef and the best cooking buddy on the world.

I’m thankful for all my Mom’s cook books and kitchen notes which she has now passed to me, in hopes that I will preserve the ‘family’ way of preparing certain favourite recipes and, in so doing, preserve the memories of those who made them and those who enjoyed them going back generations before me.

I’m thankful for the fact that I have a well-equipped kitchen with all the basic tools and fancy gadgets I’ll ever need or want – largely thanks to the generosity and thoughtfulness of sister Erin who never lets a legit bargain go by. No recipe I encounter, from anywhere in the world, is beyond my capabilities for want of the right equipment.

I’m thankful for having had the freedom to try so many wonderful recipes from around the world – that is, for having had the access to the necessary ingredients through today’s amazing supermarkets and at times astounding specialty grocery shops.

When I am in the midst of cooking…

I’m thankful for the sense of excitement and anticipation the activity brings me.

I’m thankful for the sense of fulfillment and pride I get when things go well in the kitchen.

I’m thankful for the sense of inclusion that cooking brings me when I realize that what I’m doing is homage to, and ties me to, the millions of other cooks who have come before me and fed all of civilization.

When I’m finished cooking…

I’m thankful for having been able to fulfill a basic, fundamental need for those I love, and who, in return, fulfill other fundamental needs for me.

I’m thankful for gratitude my dining audience (usually) bestows on me for what I serve them.

I’m thankful for any help I can get cleaning up the mess that cooking has wrought on my kitchen, and restoring it to a condition in which it all ready to start start and do it all again.

When I reflect on my cooking career, such as it has been…

I’m thankful for having had the opportunity to experience Culinary School, which filled in all gaps in my cooking knowledge, corrected all the misconceptions I had about the art, and helped me appreciate just how important cooks are to the world.

I’m thankful for having had the chance to work a number of exceptional Chefs who fostered my interest in, and love of cooking, and gave me so much of their time and patience.

I’m having had the chance to work with so many other professional cooks who (with a few un-notable exceptions) were kind, collegial and mutually supportive all our collective effort.

And at certain points in a big cooking day like Thanksgiving…

I’m grateful for the friends and relations who made it possible for me to share with you special things including Secrets to Perfect Gravy, Secrets to the Perfect Turkey, Secrets to my Best Turkey Stuffing, and Secrets to my Best Ever Pumpkin Pie.

Have a great day!

Perhaps you’ll want to celebrate the last official day of the Grilling Season! And, above all, be thankful for everything and every one you have around you…

~ Maggie J.

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