Family and Holidays

The last time all of my family sat at the table to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, my ex-husband offered his home for the day.  

I cooked, he helped.  That was 10 years ago.

You might think it odd that a woman, with a husband, slept in the spare room of her ex-husband’s house 4 states away.  That’s where trust in a marriage is exceedingly important.  Hubby is a loner who prefers to stay home and take care of the menagerie.  I, on the other hand, must’ve been a gypsy in another life.

I guarantee that I had no interest in anything other than cooking Thanksgiving dinner and remembering exactly why my Ex and I chose divorce in the first place.

I remember my son & his wife, my daughter & my sister sitting at the table together laughing while enjoying our family’s traditional Thanksgiving dinner:  Turkey, oyster dressing, giblet gravy, mommied-up Sweet Potatoes (I make it with a bit of brown sugar and liberal amounts of salt & butter), served with cranberry sauce and the token vegetable (peas).    

The Ex wanted salad, electing to make it rather than chance what I might put into it.

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As years fly past the aging heart, the memories remain warm and fuzzy but the desire to be in the same room with more than 2 people vanishes as rapidly as water in a Sahara summer.  

Tomorrow I’ll make a turkey with celery in the dressing,  sweet potatoes wrapped in foil and celebrate Thanksgiving at my desk as I continue my writing obsession.  

Why celebrate Thanksgiving one day when I can do so all week?  Plus, I’ll get about 20 lunches (for work) out of it to freeze in screw-top plastic cups.

I visualize my daughter’s family laughing at the dinner table as she serves my traditional Thanksgiving meal, but my son and family will probably go to a restaurant instead. 

I’ve tried to do my duty as a mother, passing along the traditions of our family.  I believe that my daughter has mastered my “southern” Matzo Brei recipe.  The kids and I used to make rugelach together using my mother-in-law’s “recipe.” It was an all-day process that started with 5 pounds of flour, and I frequently ran out of honey to use for the honey and egg glaze.

You might wonder how a French Canadian-Irish woman learned to cook traditional Jewish recipes.  I sort-of learned as I watched my MIL use her version of measuring tools–whole bags, cupped hands and occasionally tasting the ingredients to see what else she might need to  throw in.  Then we’d roll out the dough on the kitchen table, slather a pound of softened butter on top of it and liberally add the brown sugar, cinnamon and raisin mixture.  

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Lucky for her we didn’t have cats at the time.

Tomorrow, I might even make my favorite pie:  Sweet Potato.  There’s nothing like a cat on my lap & 3 dogs lying on my bed as I munch one of my favorite comfort foods.  They won’t care…they’ll be sleeping off the glut of giblets and skin weighing down their overfed little gut-lets.

Life doesn’t get much better than that.