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Graphic courtesy of Canva.

Sophia DePhillips, Former Deputy Opinion Editor

Before Thanksgiving break, students can count on walking into the cafeteria and being enveloped by the aroma of gravy, mashed potatoes, and turkey.  Every day the cafeteria staff spend countless hours preparing food for students and staff, but when it comes to a holiday where the main focus is the meal, who cooks for them? For some, the long weekend means just as much time in the kitchen as their days in the cafeteria. 

Kimberly Miller, a cafeteria worker at Emmaus High School, spends her Thanksgiving preparing a variety of holiday staples for a crowd of 21, including her husband, five kids, and 10 grandchildren. Miller says that she “enjoy[s] the cooking because [she] only cooks big meals on the holidays, that’s when everyone tries to get together.”

 For her, everyone getting together means putting together filling from scratch, homemade sweet potatoes, and not one, but two turkeys. Miller’s cooking for Thanksgiving spans over two days and when asked about the secret behind a good Thanksgiving meal she simply smiled and said “lots of love.”

Although for Miller Thanksgiving is a holiday spent by the oven, Lisa Kassis, Miller’s coworker and fellow cafeteria staff at Emmaus, uses it as a day to step away from the kitchen. In a stark contrast from her day-to-day in the cafeteria on Thanksgiving she only has to make the sides, leaving the rest to her husband.

“My husband takes it upon himself to do that holiday because he feels I do everything all year long,” says Kassis, “he does everything to clean up, I just make the hard stuff.” This includes the filling, both her and Miller’s favorite dish to prepare. Kassis makes one of the three fillings her family eats during the holiday meal, adding potatoes, bread crumbs, celery, onion, and parsley into hers.

“This is my favorite holiday, favorite, because it’s all about being together and there’s no gifts involved,” says Kassis, “I’m thankful that every year I get to spend it with my parents, that I’m fortunate enough to have.” Whether Thanksgiving is spent preparing the turkey or sitting at the table, for many it is a holiday full of love, good food, and family; the cafeteria staff is no exception.