I always look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with my family. It was my mother that made Thanksgiving a special day for me growing up. My sister Joanie and I remember with fondness those wonderful smells wafting from the kitchen as she did her magic. We were raised by a Southern mother, so cornbread dressing was a standard for us, as it is today when my sister and I prepare the Thanksgiving meal. However, we do a nod to our husbands and also make a regular bread dressing. No matter, it’s just more for us!

Speaking of dressing, there are some great recipes in our What’s Cooking feature this month. For those of you who want to have a little more time on your hands on the big day, Suzette Zara’s recipes for sage dressing, sweet potatoes au gratin and a yummy pumpkin pudding cake are prepared in a slow cooker. And, in a similar vein, Deirdre Michalski shares in Parting Thoughts that she resorts to purchasing her gravy to save a half-hour she doesn’t have. I couldn’t do that. I have to make my own gravy, but it does take time!

I wanted to feature some people from our community this month who have made a huge impact with their commitment to giving to others. It seemed most appropriate, since Thanksgiving is on our minds. Julia and George Argyros have been on the giving train for decades, but, of late, Julia has taken the reins and has reached out in new ways to give. Her daughters, Lisa and Stephanie Argryos, have also connected with their money and time to nonprofits important to them. And, it seems, their children are learning about giving to others as they participate in their mothers’ charity efforts. Hence, the Argyros legacy of giving continues.

I also thought it a good time to share the story of Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County and its mission to end hunger in our community through food, nourishment and hope. It is hard to believe that there are 60 million meals people are missing each year in Orange County; SHFB of Orange County’s CEO Nicole Suydam is determined to change that. “We are supplying 20 million meals this year, and we are hoping to get to 30 million by the year 2020,” she says.

So, as we enjoy our family and friends on Thanksgiving Day, take a moment to thank God for everything in your life. As I write this, I am thinking of the many blessings in my life, and I am so grateful.

I wish you a time of reflection on your blessings at Thanksgiving and a good strong whiff of that turkey roasting in the oven. That’s a blessing in itself!

Until next time,