By Chef Mark Bailey
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It’s a time when family and friends gather to continue old traditions, start new ones, and create memories that will last a lifetime. It’s a day filled with love, warmth and gratitude. Growing up as one of the youngest in my family, I didn’t get to see my older siblings a lot, because they were fairly independent and often out and about doing their own thing. Thanksgiving was the one day where we all stayed at home – watching the Macy’s parade while prepping the family feast together. Those cherished, warm memories from my youth inspire me today—that food and love go hand-in-hand.
When we cook together and for one another, we’re doing so much more than sharing a meal: we’re sharing a bit of our hearts.
Even though Thanksgiving this year is going to be very different—with smaller tables and more Zoom calls—we can still find creative ways to stay connected to our loved ones even when we are miles apart. After leading a cooking demonstration for The New York Foundling’s Fall Fete, I’ve heard much about the special ways The Foundling is celebrating Thanksgiving this year.
In The Foundling’s Mother and Child Program, staff and young moms will prepare a traditional Thanksgiving meal, bringing together their own customs and cultural dishes. It’s also an opportunity for young mothers to create special traditions with their children that can last a lifetime. The same is true in The Foundling’s residences for people with developmental disabilities. Here, Direct Support Professionals and the men and women in Foundling homes will prepare feasts to enjoy together.
And as a chef writing about Thanksgiving, I would be remiss if I didn’t share a recipe!
You’ve got to try Sausage Pasta with Pumpkin Parmesan Sauce (recipe below)! I love this dish because it’s the season for all things pumpkin, it’s the perfect comfort food, and it’s quick and easy to make! While your turkey is in the oven, you can whip up this dish in under 45 minutes.
No matter how we all celebrate Thanksgiving this year, or what food you prepare, let’s be thankful for the community around us. Even if we can’t be together in-person, our hearts can still bring us together around the table.
Sausage Pasta with Pumpkin Parmesan Sauce