Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Giving Thanks For Memories

Facebook has been full of my friends posting day such and such and what they are thankful for. I have so much to be thankful for and don't want to bore everyone with listing all of it. What I do want to acknowledge is my Thanksgiving memories and they probably are no different from most of yours.
One of the best parts of Thanksgiving was family in the kitchen, all cooking those wonderful dishes of food that were tradition for our table. Well, to be exactly correct, the women were in the kitchen cooking. The men folk went hunting in the morning and came back in time to clean the game, clean themselves and sit down to eat.
Mom would cube the bread for the dressing the night before and be sure the fresh sage was dried so it would be easier to add to the dressing. Turkey parts and the 'innards' would be cooked for the broth to make the dressing. I even loved being her taster of the raw dressing on Thanksgiving day to be sure it was seasoned properly, it was that good. Turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, waldorf salad, creamed corn, rich giblet gravy made from the turkey drippings, green bean casserole and I am sure a green vegetable (green bean casserole can't be called a green vegetable) and some sort of congealed salad completed the table. After, there was always pumpkin, pecan and apple pies and probably a cake or two. The food was all made with us bumping in to each other in the kitchen, lots of laughter, and most importantly lots of love. All of it was timed perfectly for when the turkey came out of the oven and we could put the finishing touches on the side dishes and have all on the table at the right time. The anticipation of that all coming together at the right time was part of the fun and excitement of the day. The food was amazingly good and we would sit and eat for what seemed like hours. The food was made in mega quantities because we loved the leftovers for the next week. Finally, all of us squeezed together at the table, still laughing and understanding all the things we had to be thankful for. We laughed a lot. Maybe that is what I remember most.
My memories of those past Thanksgivings are so fresh in my mind this morning as I write this. I am part of a new family now, my late husbands. Their Thanksgivings are different and I have adapted. I would love to make some of the same memories for the younger people in the family that I had growing up. Has the family changed or is it just that times have changed?
Maybe it is time we all got back to those basics of Thanksgiving that many of us have memories of. Maybe, just maybe, it could be the beginning of something good again for us as individuals, for families and for our country.