boston.com Arts and Entertainment your connection to The Boston Globe
Dishing - What's cooking in the world of food
Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.
Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in Calendar.
Ann Cortissoz is on the staff of the Globe and writes the First Draft beer column for the Food section.
Stephen Meuse writes about wine for the Globe's Food section. His column on Plonk ($12 and under wines) appears on the last Wednesday of the month.
Food Mailbag
Ask a question or share an idea or recipe with The Boston Globe food staff.
Name:
E-mail:
Your question:
Week of: November 4
Week of: October 28
Week of: October 21
Week of: October 14
Week of: October 7
RSS feed for this blog
For Boston Globe restaurant reviews and food news and recipes, visit Boston.com's Food section.

« How not to overeat over the holidays | Main | The Tomkat phenomenon »

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The real meaning of Thanksgiving

The angst over the perfect Thanksgiving is getting to me. So much fuss about the way to cook the turkey, getting the pie crust just right, how to fluff the mashed potatoes. Each day my e-mail box is full of messages from Williams-Sonoma, restaurants holding classes or offering Thanksgiving feasts. Lately, those have been matched by admonitions about obesity.

It took a young woman from Southern Sudan to put it in perspective. Tuesday morning, I interviewed Yar Ayuel in her Arlington apartment about the food she cooks from home for an article on local African food. Ayuel loves to cook, and mostly makes dishes from childhood memory, since she spent years fleeing civil wars in East Africa.

Last year, she told me, she made Thanksgiving for her family and friends. The turkey takes so long to roast, she said, laughing, and she was mystified by stuffing. But she and her friends want to be part of America, so the holiday meal was important. Her Thanksgiving dinner was good, she said, smiling shyly. At least she thought it was. "There was no one to tell us it wasn't right."

Ayuel may have not grown up with Thanksgiving, but she got it. A meal with family and friends. That, not perfection, is the Thanksgiving we should all have.

Posted by Alison Arnett at 04:06 PM
Sponsored Links