What Does Your Gratitude Look Like and Taste Like in 2020?

Gloria Feldt
5 min readNov 23, 2020

Issue 150 — November 23, 2020

Happy Pre-Thanksgiving. I hope you are well and that however you plan to spend the holiday will be enjoyable.

Whatever you have planned, we can all breathe a big sigh and agree on this: It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it? One we can’t even describe yet because it’s not over and every day brings new surprises. But there are a few things we know for sure.

This pandemic has made us more creative.

I’ll be in New York over Thanksgiving and limiting both travel and in-person socializing. So I sent my family in Arizona the information about how we could all participate in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade together virtually. The immediate response I got was “That’s 7 am in AZ so, no.” However, I have since learned that it will start at 9 am in all timezones. Which means we can’t watch it simultaneously anyhow. Oh well. We can still all bake our traditional potato rolls and then complain that we ate too many of them when we zoom later in the day.

There is actually nothing I like better than cooking delicious meals for family and friends. But I won’t do that this year. I’m not sure why my husband bought a large new turkey roasting pan other than he got a special offer from Sur la Table.

We’re in this strange time when people aren’t comfortable with food sharing and we can’t invite a group over for turkey and trimmings. So I plan on ordering for the two of us from a favorite restaurant because I want them to stay in business and sending a donation to City Meals in honor of my friend actor/activist Kathleen Turner who not only serves on their board but for many years personally delivered meals.

Though I have a feeling my neighbors will be happy to get those pans of potato rolls that I plan to drop off. Because it’s not possible for me to make just a few.

Looks like apple pie to me.

Gratitude takes on a whole new meaning.

What new Thanksgiving traditions or creative adaptations are you starting this year?

What are you grateful for that you had’t appreciated properly before?

Who have you connected or reconnected with during these last few months with time made possible by all those trips not taken or zoom meetings that take half the time that in-person meetings did?

I would love for you to share your answers to these questions here or on social media.

Just because…who isn’t grateful for a Nathan’s hot dog, Thanksgiving or any time?

Personally, I am incredibly grateful to my cousin Elizabeth who used her pandemic time to do genealogy research on one side of our family. Aside from uncovering history most of us hadn’t known — some delightful and some horrific, and I’ll write more about that one of these days — and fleshing out a family tree that now incorporates at least seven generations, she has connected or reconnected a number of cousins that I am so glad to have in my life, and with whom to share childhood memories known only to us, like my grandmother’s fishpond.

I am grateful to the scientists who are developing COVID vaccines and to everyone who is helping keep everyone else safe by distancing, masking, and observing hygiene rules.

And I am grateful to you for reading this because it means you are part of the Take The Lead family. We’re grateful for your support that has enabled us to accomplish more this year than we thought we could. The women we serve need us more than ever as the pandemic has ravaged so many lives and careers. We have plans for doing that. Please donate now through Giving Tuesday December 1 and your donation will be matched by our amazing board members, so you will double your impact.

PS. Here’s that potato roll recipe. You’re welcome.

The potato rolls. Betcha can’t eat just one. Or wait till they are cool before eating it.

Potato Rolls

The family classic- I got the recipe from a magazine sometime in the 1960s. It is very easy.

The original Betty Crocker potato buds aren’t made any longer, but her potato flakes work ok.

Dissolve two packages of active dry yeast in ½ cup of lukewarm water (baby bath temperature).

Heat 1 ½ cup of milk to a little more than lukewarm, and let a stick of butter melt in it. The milk should be lukewarm when you add the yeast. Too hot or cold and the yeast won’t rise properly.

Add the yeast, ¾ cup potato flakes, ½ cup sugar ½ cup of flour, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 egg. Beat till smooth. Cover and let rise till spongy, 30 minutes.

Beat in 4 cups more flour till smooth. Cover and let rise about an hour till doubled. Melt a stick of butter in a 9” x 13” pan. Punch the dough down. Shape dough into large walnut size rolls, roll in the butter in the pan, place close together and cover with cloth; let rise again, 20–30 minutes till doubled again.

Bake in preheated 425 degree oven, about 15 minutes or until brown on top.

You can double the recipe and it will turn out just as well. Also you can make fabulous cinnamon rolls by rolling or patting the dough to 1/4 inch, drizzle with butter, cover dough lightly with cinnamon and sugar. Roll it up, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and let rise, sides touching, on cookie sheet doused in melted butter. Bake as for rolls. If you are a glutton for sweets, you can make icing with powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla and drizzle that on top, but to me that detracts from the yummy yeasty deliciousness.

Warning, these are addictive. Let me know how they turn out.

The New York Women’s Forum sent me these beauties after I conducted a “3 Powers of Leadership Intention” workshop for their Education Fund Scholars.

GLORIA FELDT is the Cofounder and President of Take The Lead, a motivational speaker and expert women’s leadership developer for companies that want to build gender balance, and a bestselling author of four books, most recently No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power. Former President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, she teaches “Women, Power, and Leadership” at Arizona State University and is a frequent media commentator. Learn more at www.gloriafeldt.com and www.taketheleadwomen.com. Tweet Gloria Feldt.

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Gloria Feldt

Gloria Feldt is a New York Times bestselling author and co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a nonprofit women’s leadership organization.