Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Giblet Gravy and thoughts of Thanksgiving

As the family ages, different members take over preparation of various dishes for traditional Thanksgiving dinners. Here are the lovely thoughts expressed by my middle daughter today after a session in the kitchen - knowing that her sibilings were also in their kitchens preparing for our Thanksgiving gathering.......

The meat is carefully picked from the Turkey
neck bones.
“The heart, liver, gizzard, and the like, of a fowl, often cooked separately.”  According to, this is the official definition for “giblet.”  When you type in “giblet,” the first drop-down option given by Google is “giblet gravy.”  Who knew this was such common terminology? Giblet gravy conjures humorous debates over the proper pronunciation of “giblet,” what a gizzard is, how slimy neck bones feel, and how unhealthy organ meat is.  Mostly, it reminds us of Thanksgiving dinners prepared by Mom and Grandmama.

The rich broth from cooking giblets is base
for delicious giblet gravy.
Traditions can be burdensome.  To military families, divorced parents, and those whose children have moved across the country, the essence of holidays changes.   There are fewer celebrants, and the cooks are exhausted from long days at work.  So why bother with giblet gravy?  As my fingers searched for tiny bits of meat from between the turkey neck bones, I contemplated the depth of love that makes a mother or grandmother or sister or brother prepare laborious recipes for those they love.  The praline topping for a pumpkin pie.  Peeling and dicing potatoes, onions, and celery.  Why bother?  Because these are acts of love.  Because we are blessed beyond measure that there are people in our lives to love.  So “giblet” to me means “love.”  Whether together or miles apart, I am thankful for the parents, siblings, sons, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and friends that God has given me.

Finished giblet gravy ready for a pretty bowl. Gravy contains:
turkey neck meat, liver, and gizzard as well as boiled eggs.
I don’t always make giblet gravy, and I am the first to show appreciation for Mrs. Smith’s culinary skill.  I prefer ham instead of turkey, and I will never cook collards no matter how much my loved ones enjoy them.  But I hope to always be able to find a way to show my love to all of you.  By the way, the proper pronunciation for “giblet” is “jiblet.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

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