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Thanksgiving Dinner Even though it was many years ago, I vividly remember my first Thanksgiving dinner. I was a little kid, no older than the age of seven. I flew in that day from Ann Arbor, Michigan, where we had attended a special ceremony honoring my uncle. As a result of the hectic flight schedule, I did not have the opportunity to eat very much that day, and I was eagerly anticipating the Thanksgiving dinner. We arrived at my grandparent's house around six thirty in the evening.
As soon as I entered the house, the tremendous aroma of all the foods filled the air and my taste buds began salivating in anticipation for the meal. Normally at family meals the food came out in courses, appetizers followed by the entr " ee. However, this time all the food came out at once. I immediately reached for the turkey and proceeded to take a huge slab of meat for my plate. Coupled with gravy, the turkey seemed irresistible. It was a big piece of dark meat, roasted to perfection.
The skin had some sort of spice on it. I don't recall the name of the spice, but I can tell you that the spice was sharp. Yes sharp, I think that's the best way to describe it. After my first bite I found myself reaching for the nearest cup of water. However, after I got used to the spice, I began to realize its incredible taste. In less than ten minutes, I proceeded to wolf down this massive chunk of turkey.
Feeling the need to fill my now empty plate, I next reached for the Cranberry sauce. I had tasted Cranberry sauce many times before, but I never tasted it with fresh homegrown berries. The taste was absolutely exquisite. It busted with flavor and possessed a tangy taste I never imagined could come from such a simple cranberry. It was amazing to taste the difference between this and the Cranberry sauce that comes in a can. After consuming several spoonfuls of cranberry sauce my stomach began to feel very full.
Being a little kid, I had no choice but to make room for dessert; and what a dessert it was! As soon as the pumpkin pie was removed from the oven, the air was filled with an aroma that can only be described as sensational. I took a look at the delicious homemade pie. I could tell easily that it was made from only the ripest home grown pumpkins, and that many hours had been spent in the creation of this wonderful food. I don't remember exactly when I started or stopped eating the pie.
All I remember is that I ate and ate until I had consumed an enormous amount of pie. It was finally at the conclusion of the meal, that my stomach reached maximum capacity and my taste buds were totally satisfied. Most people familiar with Thanksgiving will tell you that as wonderful as the food is, it is not the main purpose of the day. Being able to spend a day with your whole family is truly a tremendous privilege. On Thanksgiving Day, relatives come from all over America to be with their loved ones. Members of my family from an uncle in California to an aunt in Nebraska, converge in the small town of Lower Merion, Pennsylvania in order to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Being able to spend time with family from all over the country is a fantastic experience. The fact that we can all sit and eat my grandmother's delicious home cooked food, further adds to the uniqueness of the day. However, it is at the conclusion of the night when Thanksgiving reaches its climax. After the meal, the family gathers in my grandparents' den to share stories about their very different lives.
It is at this instant that I realize how special it is to have family who love and care for each other. It is the kind of realization that will remain with me for many years to come. In fact, just last year, I found myself on a jet destined for Israel. As I reflected on the things that I was going to miss during my year abroad, I thought of how much I had enjoyed those thanksgiving dinners.
It wasn't merely the food that made this an unbelievable experience; it was also the family camaraderie. The pure joy of seeing people enjoy themselves, especially loved ones, will surely be missed. Eating a delicious meal while spending time with the people you value most, is an experience of a lifetime.
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