I find that sitting down to my computer and reviewing my day in text is very therapeutic. It seems to help me find either appreciation for the things I might not have stopped to process while busily basting, or maybe even gives pause to something that didn’t quite go as planned, and to find a simple remedy for next time.
Then again, who knows, because most of the day I had my head in the oven, foggy glasses and all. I began my preparations with my list of food items. Yum, so hard to narrow down. Then I made a list for my list. I put my ingredients together and purchased the goods on Sunday. I was impressed with myself! I also set my table that day. You can never be too prepared. With three boys, one never knows what might become the wrench in your plans. When they were small, it was a stomach virus, a holiday parade at preschool, or a video that they desperately needed a companion to watch with. Now it becomes, “Can I have the car keys and can you spot me a fifty?” or “Can you load the dirt bike into your van and drive us to the track? But I think we need gas first.” Or even worse, “I fell off my quarterpipe and think I broke my elbow”! I retort, “You can’t cast an elbow, so get over it! Put ice on it and chew a Motrin. I’ve got yams to peel!” Well, I can personally attest that, in fact, of course, you can cast an elbow, should it really warrant one! How sweet.
Now, please don’t think I’m a harsh drill sergeant. Most of the time, I am a soppy, gushy, emotional mess. Well, I was before perimenopause set in. Now I’m a ninja woman with a mission. Homemade cranberry chutney and all! I learned that no matter how large a seating chart, or how small (just Mom and Dad), that you will slave for hours. Best to put on a smile and enjoy the process. Luckily I do. Of course, that’s without irrational interruptions. The best part is the aroma that permeates the kitchen usually makes its way outside so anyone who stops by for a visit or a glass of nog gets a whiff of something wonderful and usually gushes about some family memories or traditions it brings to mind. Sometimes I can take notes and try them out for myself, next go round.
I also found that now that they are older and less apt to crawl under the table, my children really love lingering long after the last drumstick has been gnawed and listen to the conversations passed around like dinner mints. They learn so many wonderful quips and quotes from days gone by. Funny things about their parents from when they were young, reasons for the traditions we have, and usually a few secrets that didn’t remain that way! How our lives coursed through the decades from happenings on the farm down south to the Italian traditions of the “Burg” to what we just enjoyed today. Who better than grandmoms, granpops, and great aunts and uncles to bring a sense of belonging and an identity beyond our small years.
It’s okay by me if the pumpkin puree with apple cider cream that I had to hand-puree cup by cup didn’t even get sampled—there’s a bigger picture here, especially in the economic climate that we are finding ourselves in and the dangerous, unpredictable world that revolves around us. My goodness, we were here, together, at one table, breaking bread and learning about ourselves and what is good. This has to be my reason for my hard work. If I didn’t start on Sunday and work diligently day by day toward this end, my kids wouldn’t have had the moments and the memories that they just created. Kismet, I’d say. Happy Day of Giving.