Counting Our Blessings For The Holidays by Ivey Levy

Especially now, at a time where some of us may feel a little dismayed, I think it’s important to list our blessings. Daily. Look closely around you, there is so very much to be thankful for. Believe me, there are few things that can put me in check or humble me like counting my blessings. Actually, I’m supposed to be dead by now, two and a half times over if you want to be technical (at least that’s what the school social worker said). I really should give that B!TC# a holiday ring sometime.

I feel thankful every time I sit down to write this column. (Insert awwww here) Who knew ten years ago, almost eleven, that I would have become part of this funny, kooky, loving, boating family? At that time the only thing I knew about boats was that my first marital mistake had one, he named her Poison Ivey. Then, after the divorce, she became Calamine Lotion. Charming, right? So many of you love food the way that I do and everyone was so receptive to me, I felt instantly befriended. Nice people, and I get to talk about food all the time. How could I not feel lucky?

I can honestly say that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There are no religious obligations, no presents to buy and at my house, you get to spend the day in your pajamas. Every year growing up, I looked forward to sitting on the floor with my sister, Mara, rolling a years-worth of change, while my father screamed at the football game on television. I wouldn’t call us the Cleavers by any means but when it comes to Thanksgiving Day, we, the Pinskers, have some serious sense of tradition. All thru my childhood, growing up, we had to have exactly the same thing every year or there was mutiny at the table.

The menu was as follows: HUGE Turkey, Mrs. Paul’s Candied Sweet Potatoes, Stove Top Stuffing and cranberry sauce in the shape of a can. (Since I got married, we have incorporated the green bean casserole thingy for Michael.) Gourmet it was not, but heaven it was. Oh, and as soon as I was tall enough to reach the stove, I made my own homemade gravy. Yeah, well, some girls play hairdresser. We are still traditionalists when it comes to Thanksgiving. After dinner; which takes three days to marinate,12 active cooking hours to prepare, and 8 minutes to consume, it’s inside the kitchen that I wanna be. Everyone that matters to me is in there. At least the female ones. My family, who left there warm and sunny weather to be there, my friends who stayed behind after dinner to help me clean up and…

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