Happy Thanksgiving !

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Big holiday today in America.

Thanksgiving is a non-religious holiday celebrated by many Americans.

We enjoy a wonderful meal with family & friends, all the while being grateful for what we have in our lives; family, friends, health, food, shelter, anything at all!

Some families keep with the tradition of each family member one at a time saying aloud what they are grateful for in their lives. After everyone has spoken (it can sometimes be emotional) the meal begins.

The traditional Thanksgivng dinner consists of roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing (a baked dished made of leftover bread and some vegetables) & gravy. But since we are a nation of immigrants with various traditions, there are many variations prepared around the country.

Good wishes to all today, and every day…Cindy

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AMERICAN BREAKFAST

 

Marta had asked me to post a picture of a typical American breakfast. My first thought was ‘’oh no, I’ll need to consult my doctor first.” Then I thought this really was in the interest of international relations, broadening cultural horizons, higher education and public service. I’m a big supporter of all four, so off I went to the Waffle House – all for the benefit of research and public knowledge.

 

Americans have a history of consuming savory foods in the morning, but we don’t discriminate against sugar either. In other words – “It’s all good.” Before I describe what you’re seeing in the photograph, I must tell you that these foods once served a purpose: nourishment and sustenance during a time in early America when people needed a good heavy breakfast to carry them through a day’s hard labor. Livestock, wheat and vegetables were all grown on the farm, and nothing went to waste. Alas, OLD HABITS DIE HARD (meaning it’s difficult to change our old established habits). While on a trip through the southern United States, I decided to stop into the Waffle House, a well-known and loved 24-hour eating establishment. For the sake of time (and the photo opportunity) I ordered the largest breakfast I could find on the menu. When it arrived, I took a photo…and then a deep breath. No, I didn’t finish it all, but I made a pretty good effort to do so.

OK, so depending on your point of reference you may find this picture appetizing, intriguing, perplexing or revolting. It’s ok. I still don’t know myself. 🙂

 Clockwise from upper left: A freshly cooked WAFFLE (made of flour, eggs, baking powder, salt and milk or water- but ingredients vary depending on the recipe), glass of sweetened iced tea, pitcher of warm maple-flavored syrup (for the waffle), 3 strips of BACON, SCRAMBLED EGGS, toasted white bread, HASH BROWNS (grated potatoes) cooked with cheese and chopped onion. To the far left an assortment of condiments including Hot Sauce, Mustard, Ketchup, Steak Sauce and Worcestershire sauce to name just a few.

It had been years since my last visit to a Waffle House, I’m not much of a breakfast eater and because I am not 16 anymore I try to stay away from the heart-clogging cholesterol laden foods of the old days. The restaurant offers many non-breakfast items too, 24 hours a day, which makes it a popular pit-stop for travelers passing through. To be fair, I’m sure the Waffle House menu includes lots of healthy eating options too.

My first thought was, as I pushed the front door open and the homey smell of crispy potatoes filled my brain, ‘’this is sooooo American!” An American flag decal was fixed at eye-level on the glass door. I walked inside and The Eagles “Hotel California” played over the stereo. Two cheerful, smiling blond waitresses yelled ‘’Hey, welcome to Waffle House!” I thanked them and took a table towards the back. The two blond waitresses worked the room at lightning speed and never stopped smiling. I was fascinated. I ordered my lumberjack’s breakfast and continued to watch these women, masters of their craft. They addressed every patron as either ‘’Darlin” or ‘’Babe” and spoke to them like cherished children. My meal arrived in minutes. Theresa, who delivered my order with a smile, tells me she is nearly 53 years old. She is the size of a cheerleader, petite and blond and energetic. She tells me she has been a waitress for a long time, and before that- a cocktail waitress too. She has raised two sons all on her own, without any support. I marvel at her positivity. I tell her she is Superwoman. Theresa checks on me several more times as I struggle to make a dent in my enormous breakfast. She announces to the entire restaurant that she must cut lemons now as she carries a knife and a bucket of fruit from the back room, the lemons echoing her sunny blond hair. I give up half way through my waffle and leave some of the scrambled eggs and toast behind as well. Bacon, however, never gets left behind. I must get back on the highway. There are many miles left to drive before home, but I have a renewed sense of energy! If Theresa can wait tables for 53 years and still find the energy to slice a bucket of lemons, then I can make it back to North Carolina- no problem.

So everyone, if you find yourselves driving across Highway 10 in Biloxi, Mississippi be sure to stop by at the Waffle House right across the street from the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino on Route 90 (Beach Boulevard) and say hello to Theresa.   CINDY.