Thankful for family, thankful for food



From simple cookies to elegant desserts, Claire Meyer loves baking.

A variety of familiar smells flood my senses as I walk in the doorway and take a seat at old wooden table. Before me, an arrangement of plates and pans cover its surface. I can hear laughter in the kitchen, and all is well on Thanksgiving.

It has become a tradition in my family to gather at my grandmother’s home and create masterful dishes on Thanksgiving. While we don’t call it a contest, our competitive nature tends to show itself as we all do our best cooking of the year.

Whether it be my mother’s signature carrot souffle or my grandmother’s deviled eggs with the dash of red paprika on top, I am in love with the food we create. Unlike so many other dishes we cook during the year, the ones on Thanksgiving are different. They are made with a certain purpose that reflects in the food–the coming together of loved ones to make something special. There are some dishes that stand out though, and that really makes the season bright.

For instance, broccoli rice casserole is a legend when it comes to Thanksgiving treats. Made beautifully by my great aunt, the stuff is always found in large portions on every plate in the house. It has layers of cheddar cheese, rice and broccoli that is impossible to pass up. The casserole is an odd mixture of things, but it is truly delicious.

Another delicacy we enjoy around the holiday season is sausage cheese balls. The delicious mounds of spicy sausage and melted cheese have graced my plate many times over various holidays but especially on Thanksgiving. They make a great snack to munch on while we spend hours in the kitchen preparing the bigger dishes.

I am in love with the food we create”

— Claire Meyer, 10

I have begun to take on the role of baker, crafting desserts of all kinds. Last year, I created a cream cheese banana coffee cake. It was moist, practically falling apart and generally just an excuse to intake excessive amounts of sugar, but everyone took a slice or two to fill in any extra space left in their bellies. It was nice to add something to the collaborative masterpiece. I have a couple ideas up my sleeve for this coming year, still as sweet as can be.

Truthfully, the food is wonderful, but it serves as an excuse for the family to get together. We play games and watch football while eating away. Thanksgiving is so unique in the sense that, everyone gets to make something entirely their own, and share it with the rest of the family. So, this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for food and all of the meaning it brings to the holiday.