Holiday 2016 Issue
AT THE TABLE: THANKFUL
For nearly 20 years, my brother Philip and his wife Diane have hosted Thanksgiving dinner at their house. It’s the one time all year where “my side” of the family gets together. My siblings, our spouses and all of our children (and, increasingly, a few grandchildren as well) gather around the tables crowded into Phil and Diane’s dining room. We’ve watched our children grow up in those chairs, and we appreciate the fact that when they arrive, now from near and far, the cousins still prefer to sit at the “kids table.”
The Brannigans’ hospitality is a blessing on many levels. Although I write about food on nearly a daily basis, I am not a very adept cook. Diane, on the other hand, is one of those amazing people who can plan and prep a delicious multi-course dinner for 28 people to be presented at 6pm with such ease that she never misses the town’s annual 5K Turkey Trot run on Thanksgiving morning.
More importantly, what started as a slightly spontaneous get-together has welded into a rock-solid tradition, especially for our children. It is a gift, this touchstone moment to reconnect and re-energize family ties. Part of the dinner’s tradition has come to include a toast whereby each person is required to stand and share one thing they are thankful for. As you can imagine, with toastmasters ranging in age from 2 to 88, the points of gratitude vary widely, and tears, laughter and revelation are a part of the bounty.
I once heard someone say that gratitude is the true secret to happiness. I’ve come to believe it is true. Through the highs and lows of each day, if one can take a moment to be grateful, to find the blessings that surround us in our world and in our relationships, life is brighter. Edible Jersey celebrates the food of the Garden State. We hope that as you read this issue, especially during this holiday season, that you will sense the gratitude we feel toward the farmers, chefs, home cooks, vintners, artisans and others who help create the food that nourishes and sustains us. As I prepare to stand at Phil and Diane’s this year to present my toast, I’ll be thinking of them—and of you. Thanks for reading and best wishes for a wonderful holiday.
-Nancy Brannigan Painter, Publisher