Debra Chase
Personal Chef/Farmer/Blogger/Writer
Williams, California, United States

The Last Thanksgiving or a Thanksgiving that Lasts?

“Or will you, in a world that is currently filled with so much uncertainty, be preparing the last Thanksgiving?”

Dear Future Great Great Grand Daughter/Son,

Food and memory overlaps as it usually does for me on Thanksgiving morning. I wake early to get a head start on the traditional family meal pondering the meals we had when I was a kid some 50 years ago.

Aromas come to me of fresh cranberries popping in a pot with oranges, ginger, almonds and walnuts, cinnamon buns covered in pecans and brown sugar baking in the oven alongside fresh sage stuffing, sweet garnet yams and the ubiquitous pumpkin, cherry and apple pies. Later on, soft dinner rolls and chilled butter are brought to the table.

The thought of my grandmother and then my mother waking early as I have done to bring our family a meal of thanksgiving nearly brings me to tears because I am doubtful (yet hopeful) that you dear great great granddaughter/son will be preparing the same foods I am preparing and that generations before me prepared on this day. Or will you, in a world that is currently filled with so much uncertainty, be preparing the last Thanksgiving?

We are in a crisis of climate and truth, that if not changed and changed quickly, will forever eliminate the foods we have long taken for granted yet also hold dear. The three sisters of our ancestors; corn, beans, and squash, the berries and apples of the central valley and hill regions of California, fresh baked bread, honey and maple syrup are foods that I fear will be gone before my life is at its end. That frightens and saddens me.

It is with the last of my hope that the cookbooks you find from our time along with our families cookbooks handed down from generation to generation, will enlighten you historically of the foods we are privileged to have today or guide you in preparing them. (I sincerely hope it is the latter).

The climate talks in Paris that are coming up this winter will decide whether all life, human and otherwise, will find health and security on a planet that is under siege by a system that is no longer working. Securing our planets health will be securing your health as well as the health of all other living things on our planet.

I hope that when you read this on your Thanksgiving day that there never was nor ever had to be a last Thanksgiving. Big Hugs!