Thursday, November 22, 2007


Dear Natalie,

As I reflect on the things for which I am thankful this year, I am particularly pleased and grateful that you were able to share in the holiday cooking this year. Thanksgiving is a very meaningful holiday to me because it emphasizes two things that are important to me: family and food, with a special focus on gratitude.

You have been born into a family of cooks, or perhaps I should say many families of many cooks! We (by which I mean the wide circle of cooks) are not always good at expressing our feelings or our love in words -- although your Mama and I work hard to change that in ourselves, and we think we're pretty successful -- but we can serve up delicious meals packed full of all the love that's in our hearts.

This year you helped make the cornbread that was in the stuffing we ate today, and for weeks this summer you helped me water the chives that were in the sweet potatoes. You already enjoy cooking (and you've learned that cooks get to sample things along the way) and have even begun experimenting with your own methodologies, no matter how much Mama tells you that you don't need to keep moving the flour back and forth between the bowls.

We had a crazy day, with two complete dinners at both of your local grandparents' houses, but you held up well. You got to see and play with so many of your favorite relatives, and although you eschewed both of the holiday meals, you ate what you wanted when you wanted and thoroughly enjoyed it, which is the spirit of the day indeed. And everyone loved the cornbread stuffing and the sweet potatoes with chives, so you've assumed your place among the family chefs already.

I look forward to many more years and Thanksgivings with you, full of love, food, and fun.



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