The whole idea of Thanksgiving centers around food and families gathering at a table to eat and be together.
Art King of is a champion of locally grown food. In the newsletter he emails to customers, he shares stories about the food that he, his brother Larry and son David grow on their fourth-generation family farm off Sandy Hill Road in Valencia.
Art's homespun tales about the farm come from the heart of a natural storyteller. The story of "Wonderfuls" in a recent newsletter captured the feel of Thanksgiving's celebration of family and food.
We enjoyed the story so much, we asked Art if we could print it here. He graciously agreed.
The doorbell rang again. This time John didn't make it there before the door flew open and the children came running in.
"Grandpa," they shouted, as John bent over to scoop them up into his arms.
"Hi, dad!" said Ellen.
"I'll take this to the kitchen," said Tim.
It had been some time since Ellen had been home to visit, even though she only lived 20 minutes away. Sue and Bob walked in from the living room, admiring their dad trying to carry two grandkids at one time.
"Watch that you don't hurt your back," Sue said.
"You guys are getting heavier every time," John said as he carried the kids into the living room.
The fireplace was blazing, and the parade was on the TV. Betty was in the kitchen, still, for going on 5 hours now. She had spent many days preparing for this meal.
For about a year now she was on a "local/health" mission, trying to eat more healthy and eating local at the same time. She was determined to get John to eat better, too.
"Six to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day," she would say to John when he commented on their meals. She kidded John that she was determined to have him live longer than her, so he could take care of her when they got old.
This meal was an opportunity for her to set an example for the children about how to buy and eat.
"Everything is local at this table," she exclaimed, as she put the last dish on the table.
"Brussel sprouts, roasted with olive oil and sea salt, real mashed potatoes, with the skins on. They are local so there is no sprout inhibitor sprayed on them. Whipped butternut squash, in place of sweet potatoes — it's more local. Local lettuce for the salad-they grow it in a high tunnel, that's how they get it in November, and even the turkey is from a local farm."
She was proud of the spread, to be sure.
"And the cherry pie is local, too," said Ellen.
"How about this, Mom?" said Bob. "I read that locally grown fruits and vegetables are usually sold within 24 hours of when they were picked."
"I certainly can believe that, and you can taste the difference when they are that fresh," said Betty.
After everyone found their place at the table and the children were all buckled in their seats, Betty said, "OK, let's pray."
"I'll say grace," said John. Everyone bowed their heads as John began ...
"Dear God, thank you for this wonderful food. Bless the hands that grew it and the hands that prepared it. Please watch over those who have no food today.
"I especially want to thank you, Lord, for all the 'wonderfuls' in my life — my wonderful wife, who goes out of her way to take care of me; my wonderful girls, who I think about every day; and my wonderful son, who always makes me proud. Especially bless my very wonderful grandchildren. May they grow up to have as wonderful a family as I do. Amen."
We wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving!