A very happy Thanksgiving to all! Family and friends, and maybe even you, traveled near and far to be together today. No matter what has transpired in recent history, on your social media feed or in your work life, Thanksgiving is a time to be present, in the moment, to connect with people. Much like the practice of mindfulness, calmly achieving a state of awareness, I propose we all practice thankfulness this Thanksgiving.
The holiday practice of thankfulness can come in myriad forms. Perhaps recalling family recipes together in the kitchen while enjoying a libation, playing a post meal spades game and laughing with a full plate of desserts at the ready, catching up with each other or just being still and letting the moment wash over you with a clear mind and without judgment.
For some, this idea of thankfulness is difficult to grasp when demands on time, personal issues, financial worries and more seem to heighten during the holidays. The potential to be impatient and quick to judgment is high. However, we can make a choice to just be in this moment today and celebrate the uniqueness of the people contributing to it.
Now thankfulness is all well and good, but getting a full holiday meal to the table for a 3 p.m. dinner start can be stressful, even for the most mindful person, especially if you haven’t prepared for it. So I invite you to the Harlem collective table of restaurants and eateries serving up Thanksgiving dinner and Black Friday brunch. You can practice thankfulness and no one has to do dishes.
Corner Social (321 Lenox Ave.) opens at 2 p.m. and is offering a special Thanksgiving menu all day. The live DJ at 7 p.m. will counteract your tryptophan intake.
You know Ms. Sylvia’s (328 Lenox Ave.) has you covered with signature dishes and staples served a la carte or family style (parties of five or more). Of course turkey is the top of the entrée list, but there’s also glazed ham, Sylvia’s world famous ribs and fried chicken, too.
The Cecil (210 W 118th St.) is serving a Pan-African three-course Thanksgiving meal for $65 per person. You have five choices, each, for your first and second courses. I would rock with Afro-Asian-American oxtail dumplings and then poussin yassa with sticky rice and long beans. And give me that sweet potato pie with spiced whipped cream for dessert, please!
Whether or not you cooked today, tomorrow ease into Black Friday with brunch at Blujeen (2143 Frederick Douglass Blvd.), Angel of Harlem (2272 Frederick Douglass Blvd.) or Lido (2168 Frederick Douglass Blvd.), where the word “bottomless” seems to be attached to many brunch cocktails.
Remember thankfulness is in your hands.
Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for reading!
Kysha Harris is a food writer, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service offering weekly and in- home entertaining packages. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email her at kysha@SCHOPnyc.com, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @SCHOPgirl or on Facebook www.facebook.com/SCHOPnyc. For even more recipes, tips and food musings subscribe to her blog at www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com. Follow AmNewsFOOD @NYAmNewsFOOD.