Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year. It’s a time when we’re all encouraged to be mindful of the many things for which we’re grateful. Whether it is our loving family and friends, our health or simply a warm bed, we all have gifts that brighten our days. Every year around this time, I am reminded of my many blessings.
My Thanksgiving post is dedicated to my Oma. My Oma is one of the most fascinating people I know. She was born and raised in Germany a few years before World War II. She is gritty and raw, and if you ever want the truth you can always count on her. Aside from a tough outer-shell, she has the warmest heart of any human. She is so kind and gives so much to our family and strangers. Everyone knows Oma, and we are all left better from our encounters with her.
One of my favorite “Oma” stories is the time she gave a young boy a ride to the store. She was in Germany pregnant with my Aunt. My Opa, who met my Oma as a First Sergeant in the U.S military, was deployed to Korea at the time. My Opa had just sent her money through his paycheck, and the stranger ended up stealing the money from my Oma’s purse before departing into the store. She looked in her bag to find the money missing. Seven months pregnant, she marched to the store owner and made him stop the boy. My Oma, who is never afraid to be outspoken (apple doesn’t fall far from the tree), made the boy lift his shirt. After searching him, she quickly recovered her money. After a stern talk from my Oma, I bet this young kid was so terrified he never thought about stealing money again in his life.
This is one of the many stories that make me so thankful for my Oma. I love my parents and they taught me so many great things, but spending summers with my Oma taught me many traits that I still use today. My Oma is a fighter, and I like to think I am too. She is kind, but she isn’t afraid to the tell you her thoughts. Deep down, she only wants you to spend time with her. A call a day will keep you out of trouble.
She is a bit of a hypochondriac (she has every doctor on speed dial), but her home remedies always work in the end. When I am sick, I can always call Oma to get an answer of what I need to do. Most importantly, she is selfless and will give the shirt off her back to anyone. My Oma is special, and if you are lucky enough to have an Oma then you cherish every moment with them.
She left her family in Germany and moved to the states when she was 37 years old with three kids. She didn’t speak a lick of English, but still managed to teach herself and pass her citizenship test (not once, but twice…another story for another post). I call my Oma often and am reminded throughout the year how lucky I am to be in her family.
This Thanksgiving, many of you will gather around the table and give thanks for your own family. I will be with my Oma and family doing the same. In honor of Thanksgiving and our many blessings, I wanted to share my Oma’s famous stuffing recipe. This is a family recipe past down from my Great Grandmother’s grandmother from Europe, but to me it will always be my Oma’s stuffing. Thanksgiving isn’t the same without my Oma’s stuffing.
Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you enjoy this family recipe passed down from one of my many blessings. Enjoy these moments with your family and loved ones.
Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy!
Oma's Thanksgiving Stuffing
- 8 Cups of toasted bread cubes from french bread loaf
- 4 stalks of celery thinly sliced
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 pound sausage
- 2 teaspoons parsley flakes
- 2 eggs
- Salt/pepper to taste
- Chicken stock if needed
- Toast bread at 350º Fahrenheit. Drizzle with olive oil and toast until golden brown.
- Saute onion, sausage, and celery together until the sausage is cooked.
- Mix all these ingredients together with the eggs and add parsley, salt, and pepper to mixture.
- Add a little chicken stock for moisture.
- Mix cubed bread together with sausage mixture and pour into a 9×13 pan. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour on 350º Fahrenheit. You can also cook it in a turkey if you are feeling risky.
- You may need to add some chicken stock half-way through to keep moist.