I’m cooking today. Yes, it’s true. Nothing like my Grandmother used to do, rising early to bake her home-made dark, Swedish rye bread. She always wore a cotton dress, nylon stockings and “comfort” shoes, with a freshly pressed flowered apron tied at her waist, and a big organza bow behind her back.
I won’t be cooking quite like the chef my mother used to be, either. How I wish I were! Not so long ago, I remember listening to the sounds of metal against glass. Her home-made potato salad was a “tradition.” She mixed it up in a large yellow bowl, the likes of which could be compared to an old-fashioned wash-tub. It didn’t matter how many were coming to dinner, there was enough potato salad to feed an army (it would be gone within a day or two). Mom fought with all her might to stir that brimming bowl! Such a tiny woman, barely over 100 pounds. I’m missing her today…
On the counter next to my mother were fluted pie shells, several all in a row. They were rolled out and crimped by slender “model-hands” late the night before. Each tin waited patiently for their own unique mixture of bubbling liquid to be poured from silver sauce pans resting on sizzling stove burners to the right of her. Canary Yellow for zesty lemon (like no other), Chocolate Brown (my favorite) for the smoothest chocolate there ever was, and Golden Spice for the traditional pumpkin which seemed to taste a bit better than most…….I can feel my mouth begin to water now.
The point to all of this is the fact that I’m cooking today, yes it’s true. No matter what it is that I’m preparing in my modern kitchen this morning or serving tomorrow at my candlelit dinner table, it’s all about, family. Although the celebration size in my home is quite smaller than that of my youth (only five of us in all) my little,”Gracie-Girl,” will be here tomorrow during the day. Her padded high-chair will be pulled up to the table next to her mommy and me, where she’ll spoon warm Au gratin potatoes into her open “bird” mouth, and drink her favorite almond milk. And, if I am really, really “good” she’ll share a small bite or offer a drink to me….right before she finger-paints pictures upon her tray using fluffy whip cream & golden pumpkin pie.
My husband will have said our prayer of ‘Thanks’ by then, for family….our “‘health” and our many, many blessings. My sons will pass dishes between the two, and my lovely daughter-in-law will pat her tummy, looking flushed with the glow of a new baby-to-be, expected next May.
As I write this I’ve come to realize that I could be cooking absolutely nothing today. I might decide to write the whole day through, rest my feet up on a stool, or read a long-lost book this afternoon. For it’s not the feast that makes Thanksgiving a special day of thanks….
It’s the coming together of a family, large or small.