Every day is Thanksgiving. That is my corollary to my mother’s cardinal rule of “every day is Mother’s Day.” Feeling gratitude is an ongoing and essential goal and should not be limited to any one day of the year. And, I love so many of the traditional foods associated with Thanksgiving like turkey, pumpkin and cranberries. As these ingredients begin to become available at our local markets, I buy them, hoping to find new and improved ways to use them.
Giving thanks is such a pivotal tenet in Judaism. Each Jewish holiday commemorates something that has occured for which we are to feel gratitude. The word for thanks in Hebrew is תודה, which is rooted in acknowledment, humility and praise. The virtue of humility is based upon showing gratitude to G-d for what we have and not ascribing all that we have to our own strength and prowess.
This particular Thanksgiving season is poignant and special for me. My father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer several months ago and my parents have moved in with our family as my father undergoes his experimental chemotherapy treatments. As challenging as these few months have been, they have been so beautiful, as well. Going through each season with my parents and gleaning wisdom and life lessons from my parents has been a treasure and a privilege. It is something for which I give eternal gratitude to G-d. I pray for strength, support and positivity to help us traverse this challenge. Focusing on the aspects for which to show gratitude has transformed these difficult times into an opportunity for Thanksgiving.
This morning, I bought the first fresh turkey breast for the season and I intended to make it memorable. I placed the turkey breast in a crockpot and topped it with sliced Vidalia onions and a handful of garlic cloves. I poured barbecue sauce and water over the top and set the crockpot temperature setting to high for eight hours.
I came home to the most delicious Thanksgiving aroma. After removing the bones, I shredded the turkey.
Half of a turkey breast on the bone
1-2 onions, peeled and cut into rings
8-10 medium garlic cloves
1 cup water
2/3 cup barbecue sauce
Place all ingredients in the crockpot. Set crockpot to high and cook for 6-8 hours. Turkey should be falling off the bones when ready.
Remove and discard bines, Using two large forks held tines to tines, shred or pull the turkey. Add several tablespoons of extra water and barbecue sauce, if turkey needs to be moistened