I managed to get a portion of my cooking done yesterday. Which always pays off. The turkey has been stuffed with a stick of butter, a carrot, celery, onion, salt and pepper. Rubbed with olive oil, salt and pepper. The oven is serving a dual purpose this morning, taking the chill off of the air, and cooking lunch.
Thanksgiving is has to be one of my favorite days of the year. There is the Giving Thanks part. Which requires its own post all together. There is also the meal. It is my favorite meal of the year.
Thanksgiving holds wonderful memories for me, and most of those memories are associated with tastes, and smells. The memories of Thanksgivings past taking place in kitchens, and around tables, like any good Midwestern born and raised woman.
The menu this morning is reflective of Thanksgiving past. All fairly Midwestern working class fare that I could not go without this year. None of it fancy. Just standard comfort food. The MOST COMFORTING meal of the year. Because with every item I cook, I can recall the women of my past preparing those dishes. It is my way of having these women with me today.
There is my Grandma Tessie's pumpkin pie. She did not have a recipe, and alzheimers took her, when I was young. And while I do not recall her pumpkin pie, because she did not cook much, and suffered from alzheimers for so many years. I recall the talk of her pumpkin pie being the BEST AROUND. I remember her today. I recall her favorite combination of blonde hair, and brown eyes, and I hope she can see these beautiful grandfather and is pleased.
There are the mashed potatoes, the kind my Grandma Vera made. She too an excellent cook, however most of my memories of her as well center around her being older as well. Parkinson disease making her art of cooking a difficult challenge. Which seems so strange, because most of her life as a daughter of German immigrant farmers required she learn to cook for a farm full at an early age.
There is the cranberry relish that my DH's Grandmother introduced me to, this was DH's Grandad's favorite. It has become one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes.
There is my Mothers stuffing, which there is no recipe for. It is made by taste, and look. As I type this, the neck and giblets, are being simmered in butter with onions, celery tops, salt and pepper.
All of these people from my past gone....Each of them. All of them passed on... And as I prepare my meal for my family, I recall dining across from each of them, cooking side by side with them, giggling with them, and praying with them.
So, today as I sit around my little table full of food, and see my little group of four, it seems like there are more. If I listen hard enough I can hear them. I can hear prayers offerred by them, I can hear laughing.
I have so much to be thankful for. I like to think I practice giving thanks daily, but today I really do have all of my family with me, even if it is in thought. And we have all been blessed.