A Bittersweet Holiday

During Thanksgiving break, I had to work. This is not new to me because I’ve been working in retail for 6 years and these jobs require you to be available during the holidays. However, this did not stop me from feeling a little sad at the thought of not being able to spend quality time with my family during this special time of year. For the first time in my life, we went to another family member’s house for Thanksgiving. I had always wanted to be around more family for Thanksgiving and usually did not get the chance to because they were too far away or because everyone was spending the holiday differently. It was nice to go to someone else’s house and enjoy being with my family. Unfortunately, I had to leave less than an hour later to go to work.

I am a sentimental person who loves to create memories and be around my loved ones. It is already difficult to spend quality time with family when everyone is on a different schedule and has different responsibilities or lives too far away for you to stop by for a quick visit. It was bitter-sweet to have to leave almost right after I arrived just to be at work until the early hours of the morning. I realized that I took this time of year for granted when I was younger. It was always a given that I would be able to stay at home and even when I did, I went to my room to take a nap after overeating. I would read a book by myself or watch TV.

As the guests poured into the store, holding their maps and picking out Christmas gifts, I watched them with envy. I thought of how nice it must be to not have to work on Thanksgiving and be able to spend time with friends and family on the holidays. It made me think of how I rushed to be an adult when I was a child and did not realize what came with adulthood. I did not fully enjoy those moments that I cherish now and assumed they would always be there. I did not really think about having to sacrifice time with my family to fulfill responsibilities like work and school. This was something I had thought about, but I didn’t really feel it. It is strange to think that I did not have this realization until that moment when the store doors opened and I watched people walk in with smiles on their faces and heard the laughter and cheers around me. It was not until that moment that I felt a pang of sadness.

Thanksgiving is not the only time when I’ve had to work and miss out on time with my family. I constantly miss events on weekends or in the summer when I find out at the last minute or need to work and save money. As much as it really irritated me then, I felt that there would always be other events. Thanksgiving really reminded me that I need to make the most of the moments I have with friends and family and continue working hard toward a future when I can take time off during the holidays.


Delicious Dishes – Thanksgiving

Since 1621, Thanksgiving dinner has been a popular tradition amongst Americans. We use this day to spend time with family, kick back and watch football, and most importantly, prepare amazing feasts. Students around campus have been generous enough to share their Thanksgiving family recipe traditions. From appetizers to dessert, these have been combined so you have the opportunity to create a delicious meal, and maybe start some yummy traditions yourself.

Grandma’s Cranberry Sauce – Anonymous Grandma

  • 1 Pound Fresh Cranberries
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • Dash of Cinnamon

Rinse berries and remove stems.

Heat water and sugar to boiling mixture for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Stir in berries and add a sprinkle of cinnamon. Heat until boiling. Continue to stir until berries start popping.

Pour into mason jars and chill for 2-3 hours in fridge.

Enjoy with toast or pastries!

Green Bean Casserole – Misty Jones

  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 tsp. Soy Sauce
  • Dash Pepper
  • 2 Cans (4 cups) Cooked Green Beans
  • 1&1/3 Cups French’s Fried Onions

Mix soup, milk, soy, pepper, beans and 2/3 cup onions in casserole dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes until hot.

Stir and sprinkle with remaining onions.

Put back in oven for 5 more minutes.

Holiday Dressing – Anonymous Mother

  • 4 Sticks Butter
  • 2 Pounds Tyson Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Boxes Chicken Broth
  • 3 Packages Cornkits Prepared
  • 2 White Onions Chopped
  • 6 Stalks Celery Chopped
  • 1.5 Tsp Poultry Seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 Loaf Toasted White Bread
  • 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup

Crumble toasted bread and set aside.

Slowly boil chicken in 1 box of broth and 5 cups of water.

Meanwhile, sauté 2 white onions, 6 celery stalks, 1.5 tsp. poultry seasoning, and 3 sticks of butter. Can add dash of salt and pepper. Cool a few minutes and mix in chopped chicken. Do NOT add broth.

In separate bowl mix 1 stick of butter, 1 can cream of chicken soup, and broth until warm and soupy. Cool for a few minutes then add sautéed mixture. Add toasted white bread and cornbread.

Beat 6 eggs and add to mixture. Mix. Add broth from pan you boiled chicken in as needed.

Spray pan with Pam, pour, and cook 1-2 hours on 350 degrees.

Jan’s Coconut Pie – Misty Jones’ Grandmother

  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 4 tbsp Cornstarch
  • Dash of Salt
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 4 Eggs, Separated
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup flaked coconut
  • 1 Baked 9-inch Pie Shell

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy medium sauce pan; stir in milk. Cook over low heat, stirring gently, but constantly until mixture thickens and boils for 3 minutes.

Beat egg yolks well in a small bowl, slowly stir in 1/2 cup of the hot mixture. Then stir back into the saucepan. Stir constantly for 1 minute, remove from heat.

Stir in butter, vanilla, and 1/4 cut of coconut. Pour into pastry shell.

Beat egg whites until foamy white in a medium size bowl. Beat in remains 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tbsp. at a time, until meringue stands in firm peaks. Pile onto filling, sealing to the edge and swirling into peaks. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup flaked coconut.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until coconut is toasted and topping is golden tipped. Watch carefully so coconut doesn’t burn.

Cool pie at least 5 hours on a rack before cutting.