TTT- Tuesday’s Tasty Tip with Chef David Hall

Holiday Season, and the Spirit of Brotherly Shove

Thanksgiving is three days away, and today I was in the Fry’s Signature store at Tatum and Shea shopping for a client. Shopping in this store is typically a joy for me. However, I was running late and today the place was crazy with hundreds of shoppers; add to that the stockers with their wide pallet jacks blocking the isles. Getting around was, shall we say, “a challenge.”

Through a series of tactical driving maneuvers, I swiftly made my way to the isle with the generic gluten-free Rice Chex. There was one box left. As I reached for the box, a deft and skillful little old lady snatched it as my fingers touched the corner of the box, saying, “That’s mine.” I could tell from her accent, she was from the Bronx, and probably worked as a pickpocket in her youth, the way she “lifted” that box without hesitation. I found my way to an alternate gluten-free stuffing, diving over two carts, sliding to the shelf like a pro-ball player sliding for home plate, to make a smooth left-handed grab. It was mine! All mine. With pride, I arose, chest out, chin high and with a smirk on my face. One scan to see who watched such agility with amazement and my stuffing was gone, snatched from my cart in the blink of an eye. Drats!!

Good news! When checking out, I found the shortest line. Bad news! The cashier was new and was sporting a bright happy yellow ribbon beneath his badge that said, “I’m NEW. Please be patient with me.” Too late, I thought. Why didn’t I notice that before? He searched each item for each bar code on each package so he could make sure the bars nicely aligned with the reader. Good news. I buy very little prepackaged bar coded things. Bad news. I buy a lot of product and he didn’t know a single product code. Fortunately, the bag boy knew the product codes and reduced the time looking up the codes by about 4 hours. Everyone has to start somewhere, but I was growing a beard waiting for him to finish checking me out.

In my post two weeks ago I stated, “celebrating during the holiday season is really about bringing people together.” Well, those hundreds of people were together in MY Fry’s getting in my way, slowing me down. Little did all those shoppers and employees realize that this particular store was renovated for my beck and call. At last, I got out of the store! Uh oh! Traffic jam in the parking lot because the lot was full and everyone not parked was vying for the covered parking space I was trying to vacate. I didn’t hear the track starter’s pistol start the holiday season, but I realized the holiday spirit of brotherly shove was in full swing.

Seriously, it wasn’t that bad, it was worse.

I had to take a long deep breath and remind myself that “Thanksgiving” is a self-descriptive holiday, and that I should be giving thanks. Thanks for my wife whose beauty emanates from within, for healthy children, living parents, food and indoor plumbing. Sadly, I am quickly losing a beloved friend to cancer. While I am not thankful for her condition, I am truly blessed because of the love she and her husband gave me during a dark time in my life. Thanksgiving is a special time for us to say those important things to those we love – while we can!

So, this is my gentle and loving reminder to you. Thanksgiving is a time when we should not only be thankful for those “things” that positively influence our lives, but more importantly and specifically tell those who have blessed us how they have had a great impact on our lives. Let’s get real for a moment. No one is going to remember how nicely you toasted those pecans you put in your homemade cranberry sauce, but they will never forget how you pull them aside in a quiet corner, looked them in the face and said, “I am blessed because you…..” You finish the thought. Just make sure that thought makes it out of your heart and mind, and into theirs.

Have a truly blessed Thanksgiving, and give thanks.

Chef David

P.S. Thank you for reading my posts and being so supportive in your comments.

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