But now I have to come down to earth and face the cold hard truth. I'm going to have to clean my freakin' house in anticipation of a big family dinner. Let's just say the housework has been a bit neglected and a serious holiday cleaning is in order. Yikes. It will take me days. I better get crackin'.
I'm sure it is hard for readers outside the U.S. to understand Thanksgiving, unless you are Canadian. Then you have already been through yours and you know the drill. But the rest are probably wondering what's the big deal with this Thanksgiving thing, and why don't we just wait until Christmas for Turkey? I don't know. We just don't. We're American, for better or worse.
Thanksgiving is a family-based holiday, but not commercialized or decadent like the U.S. version of Christmas has become. It is about food, memories, and love. Or at least that's what we tell ourselves. I bet a lot of the people who will celebrate on Thursday dread it like the plague because they will have to sit next to their mean-spirited aunt, or their racist father. Politics, religion, and unresolved emotional themes will ruin yet another family meal in some households. Oh well, as long as the food is good. It is really the best meal of the year.
I love Thanksgiving food. Thinking of mashed potatoes and turkey gravy, moist cornbread stuffing with nuts and dried fruit, homemade cranberry sauce, and all the rest make me happy. A special memory is my mother's pumpkin pie. Oh, Ma! I miss you so.
She never bought canned pumpkin. Nope, not my Mom. She bought small pie pumpkins, split them in half, cleaned out the seeds and baked the pumpkin in the oven before scraping it out and making the pie. THEE pie. The perfect pumpkin pie. It was totally different than one made with canned pumpkin. Hers was luscious; darker, complex, textured, better in every way.
Everything was usually made from scratch in her house, but certainly always on holidays. She would even make homemade bread for Thanksgiving. We topped it off with jellies and jams her and my father "put up" (i.e., canned) every August.
I have had dreams about her three times in the past two weeks. In truth, this is what the holidays really do. They conjure up ghosts.
|My mother in pink, 1988|