November 2, 2010

Memory Lane Monday mind automatically goes to Thanksgiving. I wanted to share with you my childhood memories of how we celebrated Thanksgiving in my house.

Every single Thanksgiving, without fail, I awoke to the smell of celery and onion sauteing in butter. My mom was preparing stuffing and this was the first step. The smell was absolutely heaven. I remember feeling very cozy and warm inside as I would stumble dreary eyed into the kitchen for breakfast because I knew that this would be a special day. We watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade as my Mom would continue to prepare the big meal. I loved the parade. In my mind, I feel like I watched every minute, but being a child maybe I ran around playing half the time...but that parade was on the TV until it was over. As the parade went on, the smells from the kitchen kept getting better and better. As we got closer to meal time, my Mom would ask me to set the table. I was excited about setting the table because I would get to make it look fancy...the gravy boat, the extra salt and pepper shakers, the glass plate for the cranberry sauce from a can (the only thing my mom didn't make from scratch)and the cloth napkins. My dad was at every Thanksgiving meal, but I can't remember him being in the house until it was time to eat. Knowing him, he was probably out in the garage working on something...yes, the meal was entirely up to my mother...but that didn't seem odd, that was normal for us. As far as I can remember, my father worked so much, but the one thing we could count on...he would not work on Thanksgiving, or other major holidays like Christmas and Easter. I remember feeling like "Wow, Dad's not working today, this must be a REALLY special day." We never had relatives over on Thanksgiving, but I do remember we would call Grandma and Grand Pap, Uncle Leo, Aunt Jeanie and my cousins to see how their Thanksgiving was. It was always just Mom and Dad and whatever kids hadn't moved out yet. There were six of us and by the time I was 10, four of my brothers and sisters had already grown up and left the nest. The meal was perfectly delicious...the mashed potatoes and gravy...oh my gosh...I loved that gravy so much. As far back as I remember, our Thanksgiving meal consistently included the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, sweet potatoes, jelled cranberry sauce shaped exactly like the can it came in...grooves and all, white sliced bread, butter...and pumpkin pie. It was a pretty simple day, but so special none the less. Nowadays, the very first thing I do when I wake up Thanksgiving morning is saute the onion and celery in butter...and turn on the Macy's Day Parade. I, now, cook the traditional meal for my Mom and Dad at my house. My sister Karen comes to join the meal as well. My oldest son Everest says the prayer before our meal. I am impressed. My youngest son...well, he's up to his usual shenanigans...and my hubby, he carves the turkey!