Thursday, November 25, 2010

On Giving Thanks

For observant Jews, every day could be called Thanksgiving. We are adjoined to thank Hashem each day for the blessings he has given us. But yes, it is nice that our secular tradition sets aside a day each year just for the purpose of giving thanks and remembering the past.

It's so nice that most of the family does not have to work today and so we can get together to see each other and share a meal. As the family has grown, with children and grandchildren and great grandchildren added, it is harder for everyone to be together over a chag. Contact is limited to what is still the impersonal method of phones or computers. So here we have a day when we can travel by car and all meet in person. A time to ooh and aah about how the little ones have grown. A time to see where the bigger ones are heading to. A time to look at the generations present and marvel that this is possible. Four generations present at the same table--yes, something to truly give thanks for.

I hope you enjoy your day today, however you are choosing to give thanks. And yes, dear sister, I am truly thankful that it's you who will be cooking instead of me.


Suri said...

Not as thankful today as I was yesterday. I had a full house yesterday but my fridge is overpacked with leftovers today. Some will obviously go for Shabbos but a lot is not freezable and won't last well for the rest of the week. Sure wish I knew how to avoid having too many leftovers. Any suggestions?

Abba's Rantings said...


"Any suggestions?"

cook less

ProfK said...


Abba is right that cooking less is what is needed, but there is a loose formula for how to decide if you need to cook less. Basically, look at the number of hot side dishes you are serving next to the main course. If there is more than one of these dishes reduce the amount of each dish you are cooking by 1/4 to 1/2. If you are serving cold side dishes do the same. So, if you are cooking a pasta, rice and potato side dish cook only 1/2 for each recipe.

Also, look at what you are cooking. If a dish is highly spiced or very sweet or is very, very unusual, cut the recipe in half. Lots of people may not eat any of these dishes or take only a taste.

My rule is also this when having company: if I make a dish that I know my family is likely not to want to eat, I only cook one of this type or half the recipe. Otherwise the leftovers won't be eaten.

Another hint: if you are serving multiple appetizers before the main meal then cut the number of dishes at the main meal. Or reverse that and only serve one light appetizer if you are serving multiple dishes for the main course. People can only eat so much, even if their eyes want more.