Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Marc David- On Thanksgiving

I enjoyed reading this article by Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.

It’s nothing terribly profound or revolutionary, but I like it. Maybe you will too.

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you,


Perhaps you’ve heard this story by now that one of our most brilliant founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, lobbied to have the wild turkey be our national bird rather than the bald eagle. When I think about it, how un-cool would that be to have a turkey be symbolic of all that is American? But Benjamin Franklin knew a different turkey then you or I do today. Indeed, if you’ve ever seen a wild turkey you would surely conclude that it’s a very interesting bird. These creatures are big, kind of clumsy and appear completely un-designed for flight. When they fly, they make a heck of a lot of noise. When they’re on the ground or in trees, they’re whisper quiet. Wild turkeys might very well be the easiest prey for the worst hunters. For the Native Americans and the early American settlers, a wild turkey in sight pretty much meant a guaranteed meal.

Nowadays, the turkey you’ll eat at Thanksgiving can’t fly at all. It has absolutely no street smarts. The turkey companies will birth, harvest and sell millions of these flightless birds in the next handful of days. How times have changed. As I prepare to host friends and family for the Thanksgiving event, I like to search for meaning that can sometimes be overlooked in the holiday chaos. Some of our guests are vegans. Some are vegetarians. Some are carnivores. Some of the carnivores don’t eat gluten. The vegans and vegetarians don’t mind gluten – they just don’t like the dead bird. I assume there will be many different dishes on the table to accommodate the various nutritional philosophies present. Can you imagine a bunch of pilgrims dealing with the same issues?

I’ll admit that there’s a part of me that feels guilty at a Thanksgiving feast. I know there are plenty of people out there who are hungry, starving, and in need. Can I really celebrate this holiday in an opulent way while over 50 million Americans are living in poverty? And how can I celebrate a memorable day that ostensibly recognizes the graciousness of Native Americans who helped save the hungry European settlers while those same settlers have been anything but kind and gracious towards their hosts?

As far as I can tell, we live in a chaotic world. Sometimes it seems that there’s no justice. Sometimes it seems that life just isn’t fair. And it’s a sure bet that at any given time in human history, there are always the haves and the have-nots. It’s a spiritual challenge to be thankful for what we have, while holding and embracing in our hearts the enigma that others in the human family seemingly have far less to be thankful for. It’s a moral conundrum to feast while others about us are in famine.

So this is why the “thanks” and the “giving” in Thanksgiving are so important. Gratitude for what we have, for anything and everything that we’ve been given in this life is one of the most important spiritual nutrients. Oddly enough, it’s not the kind of nutrient you ingest – it’s the kind of nutrient you feed back to the environment. It keeps the gods well fed, and willing to bestow upon us even more.

When my parents and grandparents grew up in this country, they were called “citizens.” Today we are called “consumers.” The word “citizen” implies an active participant. The word “consumer” implies something that spends its life cycle devouring. Let’s just stick a fork in this label called “consumer” and consider it done and over with. Be a cosmic activist. Give thanks. Be gracious. Sprinkle a little bit of humility in the stuffing. Bless the chaos that is humanity. Give some love to the meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Drink the wine. Don’t drink the wine. Feast. Overeat. Go on a diet the next day. Or maybe just eat the salad. Feel guilty. Love yourself. Pinch your body fat. But amidst it all, take just one moment, a personal one between you and the divine, and give thanks for the life you’ve been given.

Warm regards,

Marc David

Founder – Institute for the Psychology of Eating

After Thanksgiving, 2011


Dear Friends,
In the most remote places of our planet there was a recognition of a shift
of the ages to conscious co-creation:
Carl Johan

Carol Cannon passed on this delightful take on the end of the Mayan calendar. It came to her email inbox from  Carl Johan Calleman

I hope that each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I am so grateful for the wonderful abundance in my life. I am so grateful that you dear reader are listening to my voice.

Sending you each love, light , laughter and much gratitude,

Before Thanksgiving 2011

This past week was the week when our world turned new with the energy of 11/11/11 being light fed into ourselves and our earth.

I was so fortunate to celebrate 11/11/11 at 11 am with a wonderful group of people brought together by Carol Cannon. Carol led us into a meditation and heart joining oneness process orchestrated by the Divine University Project.  Later, Carol honored me by having me read the invocation that Patricia Cota- Robles gave us that appeared on this blog. We shared the wonderful breakfast Carol made for us along with inspiring words, poems, music and special origami cranes that one of the participants made for us all.

We were all palpably vibrating with the new energies of love and oneness. Our little cranes retained the vibrating energy so strongly that even now I can hold them in my hand and feel the flow!

This energy is the hope of our new earth that is unfolding on so many levels now.

By contrast, to ground those energies,  as much  as I love thinking beyond the box and as much as I strive to embrace growth and change as my way of life, for the holidays I love the ritual of anticipating the traditional associated foods prepared pretty much the same way year after year.

Here are two recipes from my family’s Thanksgiving table.

Sometime in the very early 1970’s I began making this really yummy Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Casserole that is never old in my family.

Sweet Potatoes a la Meryl

5¼   pounds  sweet potatoes

1/2   stick of  butter

3/4   bag marshmallows — tiny

1/4   teaspoon  nutmeg

3/4   teaspoon  cinnamon

3      slices pineapple canned in juice- well drained and cut into small cubes

3/8  pound  pecans — chopped

Pecan halves to garnish and enough extra tiny marshmallows to completely cover the top of casserole

Bake sweet potatoes at 425⁰ 45 minutes to 1 hour, until well done and soft.  While still warm, peel off skins.  Melt butter.  Add at least half the marshmallows, heat gently to melt.  Combine and mash together potatoes, marshmallows, spices, drained pineapple and pecans.  Place in a casserole, smooth top.  Garnish with remaining marshmallows and pecan halves.  Bake uncovered in moderate oven until warmed through, about 1 hour.  The marshmallows on top should look toasted and browned.

Note.. I put the butter and some of the marshmallows in a very large mixing bowl and put the hot potatoes into the bowl. This melts the butter and marshmallows enough so you can add the rest of the inside marshmallows and rest of the ingredients into the same bowl before transferring the whole mixture to a buttered casserole.

As many of you know, my beloved mother lived to be 97 years old. As a child this was one of my favorite Thanksgiving foods that she  made. As my mother aged, she gave me about five different recipes for this wonderful Cranberry mold.  Each one had different ingredient amounts, different ways to process the food and each one showed her process of aging in her varying handwriting. About two years ago I finally was able to get it right.

Alice Chodosh’s Thanksgiving Cranberry Mould

2 cups raw cranberries

1 medium Navel orange

3 smalls packages red Jello  ( I use raspberry and strawberry)

½ cup chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon Knox gelatin ( unflavored)

1 medium can ( 13 oz.) crushed pineapple

1 cup of pineapple juice from the crushed pineapple

3 cups boiling water

1 can Mandarin Oranges, for garnish

Combine 1 teaspoon of the Knox gelatin with 1 cup of the pineapple juice by sprinkling the gelatin over the juice. Let it stand in a small bowl for about 1 minute, or until completely dissolved. Add 1 cup boiling water. Stir until dissolved.

In a large bowl, put 3 packages of Jello dissolved in 2 cups of boiling water. Stir until dissolved. Add the liquid pineapple gelatin.  Put this in the refrigerator until it is syrupy and starting to set.

Cut the Navel orange into eights with the peel. Wash and dry the cranberries. In a food processor,using the steel chopping blade,  add together ½ of the berries and ½ of the orange. Repeat.  Stir this mixture in with the well drained crushed pineapple and ½ cup of chopped walnuts. Mix thoroughly.

Lightly oil a 5 or 6 cup tube  mould.

When the Jello has set a little ( syrupy like peaked egg whites) add the mixture to it. Ladel it into the tube mold. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it is  completely solid.

To unmold: Put a knife around the edges- or to take less time, put the tube in the sink with hot water for one minute. Put a plate over the top.. flip it over onto the plate.. shake it and .. Ta Da!  ( Caution.. if you leave it in hot water too long your mould will melt).

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!!