Today, I'm reposting a post from 2009, because it's still just what I think about, every single Thanksgiving! And, it seems as I get older, that the memories are even more vivid than ever!
I've been thinking about Thanksgiving today - I guess it is just around the corner. For some reason when I think about Thanksgiving, I think about my grandparent's home, you know the house, you've seen it lots of times . . . over the river and through the woods . . . That's the one alright! My grandparents weren't rich, they didn't have a big home or even very much room for a big crowd, but somehow we all fit. There were seven in my family, plus all of my aunts and uncles and their children - we were a sizable group. I can remember all of my aunts crowded into grandma's small kitchen fixing dinner. Sometimes, I would sneak in, just to see what they were doing - I was ushered out just as fast as I came in!
The smell of turkey cooking, potatoes boiling and rolls raising was overwhelmingly yummy! My grandmother was a wonderful cook and everything she made seemed like it had cream and butter in it. Later, I found out that it really did, she loved to cream the vegetables and put an extra pat of butter on them. Grandma liked everything to be extra sweet - she even put extra sugar in jello! Today, when I make her cranberry jello, that she loved so much, I always add the extra sugar. One of her favorite dishes at Thanksgiving was creamed corn. For this dish, she only used frozen corn, that she no doubt put up herself, Just before it was done cooking, she would add an 8 oz. block of cream cheese, a little cream and salt and pepper - this is something we still always have for Thanksgiving. Some might think it's strange, but it's comfort food for me. Grandma's rolls were the best! She taught me how to make bread, she said you will know when you've kneaded it enough, because it will be as soft as a baby's bottom. That's still how I know when my bread is ready.
A turkey cooked to perfection, creamy mashed potatoes and gravy, creamed corn, cranberry sauce, sweet pickles, pickled beets, black olives to put on fingers and green olives with pimento, homemade stuffing, candied yams, cranberry salad, perfect homemade rolls, pumpkin pie and mince meat pie - these are the wonderful dishes I remember at Thanksgiving. We would, of course, eat til' we were too full, then help clear up the table. Then the hustle and bustle and chitter, chatter in the kitchen would start all over again. All the women would put their aprons back on, new, hot, sudsy, water was run in the sink, clean dish towels were taken out of the drawer and before you knew it, the kitchen was clean. My sisters and I would get to help with the dishes. Grandma had a little spot, right next to her oven, that had a little pull-out towel rack where we would put the wet dish towels to dry - so many things I remember. I loved my grandmother's house - I loved the way that you had to go down a little step to get into the living room from the kitchen. I loved her big bathtub and bathroom painted pink. I loved the way that the refrigerator was not in the kitchen, but on the back porch. I loved the way that I felt when I was there - so much love . . .where did the time go?
I hope that this Thanksgiving, no matter where we are, that we will feel that same kind of love, that my grandchildren will know how much they are loved. I hope that someday, my children and grandchildren will look back at Thanksgiving and have that same desire to recreate what they remembered as a child on Thanksgiving Day. There have been lots of wonderful Thanksgiving dinners since the time I was a child - but I will always remember the Thanksgivings at Grandma and Grandpa Howard's house . . . today, I miss my grandma and grandpa.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Hugs and Love,