November 24, 2010
Drumroll, please

Story winner Aster Bekele (middle) poses with Andy Dietrick from Indiana Farm Bureau and Keira Amstutz from the Indiana Humanities Council

Thanks for sharing your Thanksgiving stories and poems with us. We collected more than 130 poignant essays, disaster stories and recipes. A special thanks to Indiana’s Family of Farmers for providing the prizess — two $100 gift cards for groceries.

The two winning entries for our Thanksgiving stories are:

Thanksgiving, 1935, by Henry Swain of Nashville


An Ethiopian American Thanksgiving, by Aster Bekele of Indianapolis

Read an excerpt from Henry’s story:

The snow had not amounted to much, but it was cold. The cow was already in the barn, snorting spurts of steam from her nostrils. I made quick work of the milking, taking time to squirt milk at a mouse ten feet away. The thermometer on the back porch read nineteen degrees.

I returned to help the others reduce the oversupply of good food and complete the jigsaw puzzle. About nine o’clock folks began to think about going home. This was a little earlier than usual, for some of the men had begun to wonder if their cars would start in the cold. Read more.

Read an excerpt from Aster’s story:

I spend most of the year working with youth, educating them using gardening at Felege Hiywot Center or at IPS 51 and 69. So Thanksgiving is the time when I give my time to my family and thank God for them. I get up at 4 a.m. and start with praying; then I start preparing Ethiopian food and American food.  That is I prepare turkey with dressing and gravy, sweet potato, macaroni and cheese, corn pudding and biscuits. The Ethiopian food includes lentils, greens, cabbage, green beans and carrot. Since we have turkey, I do not prepare an Ethiopian meat dish. Read more (and get some of Aster’s recipes!)

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