Giving Thanks

It is that time of year – actually, one of my favorite days of the year is Thanksgiving. A day when we simply relax with family, and enjoy what we enjoy most – cooking.

I decided to dedicate this morning to begin the organizing and cooking. And while I am home, I am thinking of how thankful I am for everything we have. Wednesday is our daughter’s birthday, and we always celebrated it at Thanksgiving. She lives in Israel, but somehow I still always think of her at this time. And now, one of our granddaughters also has a birthday this week. She is named after our very special and beloved relative, Suri Muschel, whose passed away just at this time of year also, so I always reflect on what a unique personality she was and how privileged we were to know her, to be enriched by her knowledge, love, and zest for life.

So much to be thankful for. Funny, because even though my parents grew up in Eastern Europe, in a culture and place far from the American culture, we always felt Thanksgiving in our home. I think because it is simply a day to be thankful, and everyone can identify with that. Also I just LOVE the colors and the foods of autumn and Thanksgiving. So I am making some of the recipes in the book, but I am also trying new recipes. My mother-on-law who has hosted Thanksgiving in the past is till making her meatballs and her stuffing, my mother has always provided the turkey and this year will be the same, except that instead of roasting it in the store, Hungarian Kosher Foods, I will roast it in our home. So I am using my father’s recipe as I remember it, and I know it will have the moist tender, juicy and nostalgic flavor I always love. For me, somehow the turkey tastes different on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year. I believe it is the nostalgia that is infused in the flavor. I am also making sweet potatoes of course, giving it a bit of a kick with bourbon, and pumpkin pie.

I decided to try something new this year. So I am making Rice with the flavors and spices of Thanksgiving. I share it with you here, as I am preparing it.

Rice with Onions, Celery, Craisins and Pecans

Serves about 10


4 Tablespoons Canola Oil

1 cup diced onion (I used 1 large)

1 cup diced celery (I used 3 stalks)

6 cups water

½ cup wild rice

3 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons powdered chicken soup base

¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 teaspoon sage

2 cups long grain white rice

½ cup craisins (dried cranberries)

½ cup toasted chopped pecans

I used a 6 quart pot or dutch oven.

Sauté the onion in the oil for about 5 minutes then add the celery and continue to sauté for 2 to 3 minutes

Add the water and the wild rice along with the spices. Bring to a boil.

Lower heat to a simmer and cover and cook for 35 minutes. Then add the long grain rice, which cooks in only 20 minutes. Bring to a boil again. Then lower heat, cover and cook for additional 20 minutes.

When the rice is done, add in the craisins. Garnish with the pecans.

This is the first time I made this, and we tasted it in advance of Thanksgiving, and we absolutely loved it! A great autumn rice dish!

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving, a very special time, bonding with your family and creating new memories.