• Stephanie Paris

Thanksgiving Traditions


Growing up, Thanksgiving for me was all about food and family. We all had a break from school and work, and my mom would spend the day preparing festive foods that we only ate a couple times a year. ⁣⁣⠀

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Once I was grown and had children of my own, the responsibility of food preparation was passed on to me, and for many years the Thanksgiving festivities took place at my house.⁣⁣⠀

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I don’t think that the mainstream celebration of Thanksgiving is going to change anytime soon, however I am choosing to embrace the day as an opportunity to acknowledge blessings in my life, and to honor the indigenous peoples that lived on this land generations before me: Clackamas, Cowlitz, and Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, as well as all others that occupied the land before Europeans invaded.⁣⁣⠀

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Although the food I am preparing for our main meal will be many of the foods I grew up eating on Thanksgiving, the selection of food in this photo is indigenous to the Pacific Northwest and various North American locations.⁣⁣⠀

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I purchased as many of these things as I could from local vendors at the Portland Farmers Market: smoked salmon from Native Candies (a native-owned business whose salmon is harvested by tribal fishermen using traditional techniques)⁣⁣, organic roasted hazelnuts from La Mancha Ranch & Orchard, wild elderberry and quince jam from Evans Farm Produce and Provisions; and in the cornbread: emmer ancient grain flour from Lonesome Whistle Farm, wildflower honey from Mickelberry Gardens, cream from Garry's Meadow Fresh, and pastured chicken eggs from SuDan Farm.⁣⁣⠀

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As we all know, 2020 has been a difficult year, and it’s easy to see what hasn’t gone well, and because of that, it is even more important to acknowledge every bit of what has gone right. Today, I am grateful for the local harvest of hard working farmers, and for every sparkle of love and joy that managed to penetrate through the darkness of the past year. ⁣⁣⠀