When I think of Thanksgiving, my initial thoughts are “I can finally eat all the food I want without seeming like I am pigging out.” Then, I think about seeing my family and helping out around the house. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays anyway, so preparing for it is always fun. There is nothing better than spending time with my favorite women of my family, while doing what we love- cooking.

My most memorable Thanksgiving was in 2010 before my grandmother Nellie passed away. She was the kind of grandma that cooked 2-3 days before Thanksgiving. There would be one table for sweets, and the other for meats and vegetables. The most important meats were: ham, turkey (baked and fried), Cornish hens, chicken, chitterlings, and roast beef. On the vegetable side we had: fresh peas, dressing, collard greens, turnip greens, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, corn casserole, potato salad and shoe peg corn salad. For sweets, my personal favorite, we had: pecan pie, sweet potato pie, strawberry dump cake, million dollar pie, peach cobbler, egg custard, homemade lemon pound cake, buttermilk pie, lemon squares, caramel cake, red velvet cake and Blue Bell vanilla ice cream.

My grandma would get up at 6 a.m. to start preparing the massive menu for all her family members. She recruited the girls for help in the kitchen every time, so we could get experience in the kitchen. She cooked everything in the freezer and there would be so much food that there was nowhere to sit. Walking in the house to an aroma so strong and divine makes my knees weak even now.

Enjoying all the different varieties of food for all individuals to choose from is so exciting. I love to see the smiles on my family’s faces and the smile my grandma would have after tiring herself out to make sure everyone had at least a few of their favorite foods to choose from. That is what grandmothers do. They take their time making sure everyone else is okay before they begin to eat.

I enjoyed spending countless hours talking about previous Thanksgivings and reminiscing on how our family is constantly growing. Family is important to me and I hope this Thanksgiving is just as blessed as all the rest have been. I ate well, loved on my family even more, and ate some more. It does not get any better than eating well and enjoying family. I enjoy every Thanksgiving, but the 2010 Thanksgiving is especially dear to me because it was my last one with my grandmother. I’ll never forget her bringing us together in love for a feast with each other and to count our blessings for another Thanksgiving.

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