Have you read The Anatomical Shape of A Heart (or if you’re in the UK Night Owls)? I knew once I turned the last page that this would be an all-time favorite read for so many reasons. I hoped so much that Jenn would say yes when I asked her to participate in this hop and may have fist pumped a bit when she did! Jenn is going to share a recipe and a short story with us, but first let me tell you about the book!
Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow
in Da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.
Jack is charming, wildly attractive, and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in her family’s closet tear them apart?
Thanksgiving: An Enemies-to-Lovers Story
When I was a teen, I hated Thanksgiving. In fact, I kept on hating it right through college. If you think about it, there’s a lot to loathe. Tacky brown-and-orange decorations made with dried corncobs and dead leaves. Dry turkey and (gag) lumpy, brown gravy. Forced interaction with oddball family members you only see once a year. Plus, it inconveniently fell between always-awesome Halloween and magical Christmas, and those holidays are fun. Costumes! Trick-o-treating! Presents! Ornaments! Did Thanksgiving have merry carols or haunted houses? Nope and nope, and that made it pointless.
Something changed in my perception of the Stupid Pilgrim Holiday, as I liked to refer to it. After graduate school, I moved across the country, far away from my family in the Southeast, to rainy Seattle. Suddenly, my new boyfriend and I were alone in our tiny downtown apartment. No family obligations. No pumpkin pie. We could celebrate (or not celebrate) Thanksgiving however we wanted. Thai food and a Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon? Catching The Damned in concert? Volunteering to work that day for extra holiday pay? ALL OF IT.
But despite my newfound Thanksgiving freedom in a semi-big city, I found myself homesick and craving my mom’s very Southern cornbread dressing. Not stuffing—that goes inside the bird—but baked-in-a-pan, ultra-moist, made-from-scratch cornbread dressing. Funnily enough, I used to hate cornbread dressing, but food and memories are strange bedfellows. So I called my mom and begged her for the recipe. Like everything else she made (she is an AMAZING home cook), she really didn’t have a recipe; she just winged it. That first year, I struggled to follow her casual instructions (“First, you bake a pan of homemade cornbread”…um, how?). But somehow it turned out okay.
And it still does, because years later, in every city I’ve lived—Seattle, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Atlanta—I still follow that same loose sort-of-a-recipe. It made me see the Stupid Pilgrim Holiday in a different light. I could watch Buffy and have stupid corncob decorations. I could be far away but home. And maybe, just a little, I could fall in love with Thanksgiving.
Thank you so much for sharing your story and recipe with us! This is definitely a recipe I am going to add to my recipe book and try! If you readers try it, please let us know what you think!
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