Thanksgiving Menu – Comfort Style

My dad has a saying, ‘Once you get a good thing, why change it?’  This saying applies to hats, jackets, coats, flashlights… and the list goes on.  Electronics, of course, are excepted from this adage.  Which means that when a hat wears out after 20 years of use, he looks for a new one just like it.

This also holds true for Thanksgiving dinner.  And while some might think that I would chafe against the sameness of our family menu year after year, the truth is that I love this meal just the way it is.  I wouldn’t change the gravy or my mom’s stuffing or the Aunt Annie Rolls (in the Maine Ingredient this week) that were adopted by the kids several years ago.

Those tastes that we grow up with are the measuring stick against which we judge all other versions.  I’m sure you’ll agree that MY mom’s spaghetti sauce with meatballs is the best in the world, right?  What, you mean YOUR mom’s is the best?

When I was small and would go to a friend’s house for dinner and found out that they were having spaghetti, I could barely contain my excitement.  Until I sat at the table and tasted the sauce.  Not.  My.  Mom’s.  I wanted my mom’s sauce, not a different, maybe really nice version of someone else’s mom’s sauce.

And I want my family’s Thanksgiving dinner.  Because it’s delicious, and tastes like home, and warms my soul and makes me feel close to everyone who sits at our burgeoning table.  I want the sameness of it because at some deep soul level, those tastes nourish me.

Can’t wait to see you all, family!

5 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Menu – Comfort Style

  1. I just realize that I am like your dad. I don’t change things that work. My grand children think my entire wardrobe is Riggin gear and except for those stuffy suits the judges require it seems to be.

    Now I grew up a Ozark hill william. Those folks are of Olde English Stock so we didn’t have that much pasta dishes in my Mom’s house but Sunday dinner was always chicken and dumplings. {Do you have a reciepe for those I can’t remember ever having them on the boat?} I was under the impression that it was a law you had chicken and dumplings for Sunday dinner. Our local priest was often a sunday dinner guest. I now realize he came not for the company but the meal. My mother liked him to come; he enjoyed the meal and it was the only time I stopped talking because you know the 11th comandment was you never interrupt a priest. My mom said that over and over and if stopped stuffing my mouth with the great food and spoke when Father R was speaking I paid for it dearly.

    So yes I am like your father and I apologize for this long comment which every one stopped reading when it really got borring.

    Have a great thanksgiving; and thanks for being the great friends you are.

    1. I’ve never heard you tell this story before. Love it very much. You and my dad would get along famously and I’ve thought this for years. Be well, good person! Hugs to your family.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving to you and the Riggen family.  I so loved your column and laughed about the alternate shapes of the Aunt’s rolls!! We too have most of the same and I do the rolls and they enjoy them which gives me great pleasure. My Mom and Dad are gone but your Dad sounds like mine- why change a good thing.  We do now have a brocolli dish and the green bean casserole.Remembering the summer trips  with joy! With love, Cindy of the gigglers. 


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