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What's in your garden, Fallbrook?


Last updated 11/30/2019 at 10:37pm

Macadamia nuts are hard-shelled and require a special tool to crack them open.

Maggie Stewart

Special to Village News

Thanksgiving photos often show a turkey, a cornucopia filled with fruits and vegetables, smiling faces around a table full of food. It speaks of tradition, history and a new addition to their story.

It's a day where people do what they do every day. They make a meal; they eat. Sometimes they're alone, with family or possibly with friends. What makes Thanksgiving so special? It's a day when ordinary things become a public commemoration, an American holiday. The name itself is beautiful, thanks giving.

No matter where people come from, they bring their traditions. They bow their heads and give thanks for what is before them, grateful for time spent together. My family sets a plate for those who have walked with us but are no longer here; the mother, father, sister, brother, son, uncle, auntie, friend or cherished loved one who is alive in our hearts. They are a reminder of our past and our history. Today is the middle of the story; the one that is to be continued.

My parents and siblings were immigrants. I am not certain when they adopted Thanksgiving, but it seems that our family always celebrated this day.

The meal was very traditional and simple, turkey, mashed potatoes and green beans. Forty years later, the family moved to Fallbrook and things started to change.

Turkey? Check! Two of them smoked on the deck, with the aroma so compelling, no one arrives late. Mashed potatoes? Check! Lots of butter and even more garlic. Stuffing and gravy? Check! Then the oh so special Fallbrook addition, garnet mashed yams with jalapeños and crushed macadamia nuts from the backyard tree and broccoli slaw are made with ingredients from the local farmers market.

Chocolate covered mac nut clusters make a delicious dessert.

Dessert? Apple, pumpkin pie and again those macadamia nuts all covered in chocolate. I can't forget the Fuyu persimmons and dragon fruit from the grove. Oops, I almost forgot the cranberries, cooked with orange juice and zest from the orange trees. Family and friends who travel from afar remark on the bountiful backyard and glorious feast before them. They tell me I live in God's country. I smile and agree.

My ordinary day has become extraordinary. Please remember to thank and honor those who are still protecting us and our tradition. Thank you, America. Thank you, Fallbrook. May your day be blessed and memorable.

Maggie Stewart works for CR Properties Real Estate Services and is a family farm-to-table specialist. She can be reached at (760) 703-4788.


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