If you celebrate Thanksgiving with family and/or friends rather than commemorating the pilgrims’ feast, then you understand its true meaning.

Thanksgiving is Jack’s and my favorite holiday. We have a little ritual. Wednesday night, we pull a big bucket out of a cupboard where it’s kept all year for this one occasion. We put a 20- to 25-pound turkey in the bucket, and fill it with water and about 4 cups of Kosher salt. Jack then hauls this bucket onto a screened patio area, covers the bucket, weights it down with bricks and soaks the turkey all night in this brine. This makes for a moist bird that evenly cooks — no dry parts here and undercooked parts there.

That night, I play the domestic matron, donning an apron, tuning into a cool jazz CD and dancing a special dance while preparing food so the oven will be free for the turkey the next day.

The next day, family and friends hang out together — some helping with the food preparation, some watching football. We catch up on our lives. We talk about concerns. Those of us in the “older” generations try to help the younger generations with their problems. And later, we gather around a table spread with comfort food — turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce from the can (so it has the ridges), yams, potatoes, etc.

Late that night, Jack makes a turkey sandwich on white bread with cranberry sauce, and some relatives join him, too. And we pass on these traditions to any little ones who happen to be there.

Does this sound a little bit like most Thanksgivings?

Thanksgiving reunites us with family and friends. We give thanks for what we have, and share a nice, long meal — even if it’s vegetarian — and, of course, we dance a special dance.

Becky Clark, Editor