Twenty years ago this Thanksgiving, my mom passed away. We buried her the day before and it was hard. No one knew what to do. No one understood how to cook up seafood gumbo, oyster dressing, stuffed bell peppers and pecan pie like Jean.
In fact, no one ever used her special gumbo pot or pans used to stir up the roux until that day back in 1988.
I will never understand why my siblings left it up to me to cook the family meal. It was my first time ever behind Jean's stove. It was the first time ever using her pots.
Unfortunately, I cannot come up with all my delicious recipes. But I can share with you, my mother made every Thanksgiving dish with joy - a dash of laughter, a pinch of cheer. And yes - something cold.
This is simple to make. It's call "roux" and for those who wants to make sure your family stands together this holiday season through thick and thicker, here's the recipe.
Over a nice and large sauce or frying pan, pour one cup of olive, vegetable or canola oil in and start stirring.
Turn the fire down low.
Let it simmer.
And while the oil is sizzling, just remember those days when things were not so hard.
Keep the fire burning. It's just getting hot.
Hmmmm. That's exhaling.
Now, pour about one and a half cups of flour into the hot greasy pan.
Yes, stir. Stir out all those negative thoughts - (right here, fill in the blanks).
Don't add nothing. Just stir.
CNN: Obama transition creates India briefing team
The Obama transition team has just set up a special team to interact with the State Department’s Operations Center as well as the office of the Director of National Intelligence, according to an Obama aide.
AP: US agencies monitoring India attacks
The Bush administration is continuing to monitor a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai but said it was not aware of any American casualties, despite reports that Westerners were targeted.
CNN: Volcker to head board of economic experts
President-elect Barack Obama announced Wednesday that he is creating a new economic recovery board to provide a "fresh perspective" for his administration.
CNN: iReport: A Thanksgiving spotlight on political turkeys
CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider celebrates Thanksgiving by awarding his "Top 10 Political Turkeys" to the biggest political blunders of the year.
CNN: Barbara Bush recovering, 'in charge' after surgery
Former first lady Barbara Bush was doing well Wednesday following her surgery late Tuesday night to repair and seal a perforated ulcer, according to the surgeon who performed the operation.
CNN: Board rules against Franken in Minnesota Senate recount
Minnesota's Canvassing Board voted unanimously Wednesday to reject a request from Democrat Al Franken to count thousands of rejected absentee ballots in the recount of votes in his Senate race against Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.
CHICAGO (CNN) - The Obama transition team has just set up a special team to interact with the State Department’s Operations Center as well as the office of the Director of National Intelligence, according to an Obama aide. That information is then being filtered to President-elect Obama, who is getting regular updates at his residence here in Chicago. He is scheduled to be home all day Thursday celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends.
An Obama spokesman told reporters the president-elect had spoken by phone with both Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Indian Ambassador Ronen Sen.
(CNN) - The Obama Transition team's chief national security spokesperson, Brooke Anderson, released a statement late Wednesday reacting to the attacks in Mumbai, India:
"President-Elect Obama strongly condemns today's terrorist attacks in Mumbai, and his thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the people of India. These coordinated attacks on innocent civilians demonstrate the grave and urgent threat of terrorism. The United States must continue to strengthen our partnerships with India and nations around the world to root out and destroy terrorist networks. We stand with the people of India, whose democracy will prove far more resilient than the hateful ideology that led to these attacks.”
(CNN) - Former first lady Barbara Bush was resting comfortably Wednesday after undergoing "routine" surgery Tuesday night to correct a perforated ulcer, according to Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas.
Surgeons patched and closed a one-centimeter hole in Bush's stomach caused by the ulcer, the hospital said in a news release Wednesday.
Bush, 83, is expected to be discharged next week, it said.
She was taken to the hospital Tuesday evening for tests after complaining of stomach pain for several days, said a family spokeswoman, Jean Becker.
After she began feeling ill, Bush called her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, at his office to ask him to take her to the hospital. His Secret Service detail drove them both to the hospital, Becker said.
(CNN) – The Obama transition team declined comment Wednesday on a report that Cuban President Raul Castro might be interested in meeting with the president-elect at Guantanamo Bay, and had told an interviewer Cubans could "send [Obama] home with the American flag that waves over" the U.S. base there.
Asked whether he would be willing to visit Washington to speak with Obama, Castro instead suggested to actor Sean Penn Guantanamo Bay could serve as "neutral ground" for discussions. Castro also told Penn, in an interview published in The Nation, that the two leaders "must meet and begin to solve our problems."
Raul Castro’s brother, longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro, criticized Obama this spring for his position in favor of altering – but retaining – Washington’s nearly five-decade trade embargo on the island nation.
Obama came under fire from campaign rivals for his statement at a CNN/YouTube Democratic primary debate that he would be willing to meet without preconditions with Castro and other leaders hostile toward the United States.
–CNN's Ed Henry contributed to this report
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama is already making presidential history by naming - or at least his transition team is leaking to the press - his Cabinet picks faster than nearly all of his predecessors.
"If we do not act swiftly and boldly, most experts believe that we could lose millions of jobs next year," Obama said Monday.
With an economic crisis spiraling out of control and a lame duck in the oval office, presidential scholars say the next commander in chief simply had no choice.
Watch: Obama cabinet vetting process underway
"This is really unprecedented. But it's an unprecedented situation," said Larry Sabato, a presidential scholar at the University of Virginia. "Obama is doing what the public and the markets demand be done - and that is to show that the next president is really in charge before he even takes the oath of office."
(CNN) - Minnesota's Canvassing Board voted unanimously to reject Franken's request to include thousands of absentee ballots that are not included in the recount in the Minnesota senate race between the Democratic challenger and Republican incumbent Norm Coleman.
The Canvassing Board, which oversees the recount, stressed during a hearing today, that they weren't rejecting the merits made by Franken's attorneys. The panel also indicated that the fight over the exclusion of the absentee ballots from the recount will most likely land in court. Some 12,000 absentee ballots were rejected from the initial vote count because of technicalities and errors.
Franken's campaign argued that the ballots were wrongly rejected. Coleman's team said the board doesn't have the authority to include the disputed ballots in the recount.
Earlier: Uncounted ballots deemed crucial to race's outcome
ABOARD THE CNN EXPRESS
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN)– For all the words that President-elect Barack Obama has spoken at news conferences here during the last several days, there are two specific words uttered by Obama this month that will resonate in town longer than any of the others.
Most of his recent words– appointments of White House advisers and staff members, discussions of his potential cabinet, analyses of the economy– have been, of necessity, on the dry and formal side.
Yet the two unforgettable words, at least in the ears of people who live around here, were spoken by Obama earlier in November. They were a combination of words that no winning presidential candidate in the history of the nation had used to greet his supporters on an Election Night.
You won't find the words in the prepared text of Obama's Election Night speech. They weren't included.
They were added by Obama himself at the last moment, and they were the first words he said in public as president-elect.
Check the tape– you'll find it:
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush is issuing his final Thanksgiving turkey pardons in the Rose Garden to 'Pumpkin' and 'Pecan.'
Watch it happen on cnn.com/live
(Update: this event has concluded)