Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Morning

It was early morning. It was that tingly cold that makes you put on your warmest slippers and flannel robe. As I headed downstairs I cursed my attraction to century-old farmhouses. Although we had tried mightily to seal old glass windows and run heating vents through almost petrified wood beams, the upstairs was always chilly, and even more so in late November with an early cold spell bringing snow and wind to upstate Ohio.

On the way to the kitchen I turned up the thermostat several notches. I turned on the kitchen light and the golden tones of the wooden cabinets and floors glowed. The double window over the kitchen sink reflected a light glittering of snow dusted pink, rose and gold from the first rays of the Eastern sun. The gnarled ancient apple tree branches silhouetted against the pale lavender morning sky cast their charm over me as they always did.


The pilot light on my old, white enamel stove was out again, but I struck a match and the burner glowed warmly in the still chilly kitchen. I checked that the oven pilot light was working and turned that on as well. In deference to the early hour I had left my cast iron skillet, biggest roasting pan and a basket of onions out on the counter the night before.


The refrigerator supplied the butter, celery and a fat turkey ready to be stuffed. Very soon chopped onion and celery were simmering away in butter and their savory scents perfumed the kitchen air. This was the smell of every Thanksgiving past in our family. It was the same scent I anticipated each year when my parent rose at dawn to begin the preparation of our childhood feasts. I can remember laying in my cozy bed and smelling Thanksgiving as it drifted through the house. I hoped my children were having those same feelings on this day.

My huge yellow-ware bowl, used only for preparing food in massive quantities, easily held all my bread crumbs, bread cubes and spices - pungent sage and black pepper, the coarse glisten of kosher salt, the soft, enticing smell of the marjoram. All of the scents combined in that big yellow bowl…ahhh, the fragrance of memories. Soon the onions and celery were tender and the chicken broth warmed and the dressing became moist and aromatic with their addition.

The kitchen had become warm and wonderful and soon the stuffed turkey was in for its long roasting time. The extra stuffing was in its buttered casserole with a scoop saved out inside my little pink stoneware bowl. Now it was time to make some coffee and then start the dinner roll dough rising, time to make the pie crust so it could chill for several hours, time to start chopping vegetables…

But first… a fresh cup of coffee and cream and a small pink bowl filled with stuffing needed to be eaten in front of the big windows overlooking the stark sculpture of winter apple trees and the rosy morning glow of the sky. The house was quiet, the wooly throw was warm on my lap, my children were safely asleep upstairs.

Later the house would fill with relatives and laughter and teasing and conversation. Pies, mashed potatoes, the magnificent turkey, flavorful stuffing, yeasty warm dinner rolls, and homemade jellies glistening like jewels would fill the table.


But for now, my coffee was perfect, the stuffing was savory, memories of all the Thanksgivings that had come before warmed my mind. This moment and this magic was my Thanksgiving.


When I count my blessings this Thanksgiving, I have to count all of you, too. You have given me so much encouragement with my writing. Blog friends are real friends. I am so happy to count you as mine. Hope your holiday is filled with peace and joy and a nap by the fire after too much pumpkin pie.

This post is linked to Alphabe-Thursday's Thanksgiving break linky. To see other Thanksgiving posts, just click here.

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39 comments:

Veronica Lee said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Jennny!

Natasha said...

Blessings and best wishes to you and yours for this Thanksgiving, Jenny.

Natasha.
xo

Paula said...

A very happy Thanksgiving to you Jenny!

myorii said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Jenny!

Sherri said...

Jenny, Happy Thanksgiving!!

RH (aka Lucy) said...

Isn't Thanksgiving Day just a nice holiday? Hope your's is grand with all those fun grandkids. I'm going to Fountain Hills with mine. My DIL said if I cooked the turkey she'd do everything else. I think I got the best of that deal! :)

Terra said...

Jenny you have touched so many peoples lives with your kindness and encouragement. Thanksgiving is a wonderful day to say thank you - So I Thank You!

Kat said...

Good morning and Happy Thanksgiving to you Jenny. I loved reading this. Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday. I'm sitting here with coffee in hand, dressing's in the oven, pies are baked. An hour or so and the guest of honor will be stuffed and in the oven. Daughter and husband are sleeping snug as bugs and all is right with my world, at least at this little moment in time. I am blessed indeed. Hugs, Kat

Theresa said...

You paint a lovely vision with your words Jen! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

ღ~Mumsy~ღ said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Jenny!

I should get a life, it's only 6 o'clock in the morning for me, and with a cup of coffee, I'm reading Alphabe-Thursday posts :-)

Cellar Door said...

Pies, mashed potatoes, the magnificent turkey, flavorful stuffing, yeasty warm dinner rolls, and homemade jellies glistening like jewels would fill the table. Such delicious imagery! I do believe this "feast" day has loving arrows at the ready and pointed in the direction of each and every one of our senses! Huzzah! It's Thanksgiving Day!

(How delightful to be drinking a cup ' Spice~Pumpkin Tea and your story this fine morning! Thank you!)

Best Thanksgiving Wishes,
Cellar Door

Lisa said...

Happy Thanksgiving♥
Hugs, Lisa

The Words Crafter said...

MMMmmmmm! I can smell it from here. Delicious!

I hope you have a lovely holiday!

5thsister said...

And you are such a blessing to me dear Jenny. Your meme has helped me find my voice and I will forever be grateful to you!

La said...

Happy Thanksgiving! La

Cheryl said...

Old memories are so beautiful. Smells always bring them to life so vividly.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday.

razzamadazzle said...

What a wonderful thing to read as I enjoy my cup of coffee between Thanksgiving preps. Blessings to you and yours.

Teresa

My name is PJ. said...

I adored this. What a picture you painted! You know you've done a great job writing when your reader can 'hear' the silence of early morning. xo

Judie said...

You have gotten some wonderful and true comments from your loyal readers. There is nothing more I can add that has not already been said this morning, EXCEPT I'm glad you live close enough that one day we will do lunch!!

JJ said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you!!

Ames said...

Um Um Good! Can I come eat at your house?? I too love Thanksgiving. I think what I love the most is how people open their hearts to those who are less fortunate. Don't understand why they wait so late in the year to it, but I am grateful when kindness and love surpass apathy.
Thanks for being an inspiration and encouraging my writing! Warm Thanksgiving wishes to you and yours!~Ames

Sumi said...

Such and evocative post.Liked it very much.Brought back a lot of childhood memories and we don't even have Thanksgiving here!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.

Gattina said...

Sounds so good and I would love to smell it too !

Lorrie said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Jenny. I can smell the stuffing and roasting turkey all the way up into Canada!
Have a wonderful celebration!

Jackie said...

I enjoyed reading your story . It felt really nice . Anyway I enjoy your meme even though it is sometimes hard and I am thankful I am still here :)

Happy Thanksgiving! Peace and blessings.

Debbie said...

Just wonderful!!~ Happy THanksgiving to you and your family as well. Debbie XX00

Jo said...

beautiful post Jenny ... and yes, blog friends are real friends and i count you among mine ... Hugs! and happy thanksgiving to you!

noexcuses said...

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am thankful for meme hosts like you who challenge me to grow by working hard at something I love.

I am drinking my "after dinner" coffee right now as the meal settles inside of me. There are dishes to wash and pie to eat, yet, but it always comes together!

Thank you for all you do!

Liz

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Happy Thanksgiving, dear Jenny. I love that final image of a nap by the fire after too much pumpkin pie. That's a worthy goal.
Blessings,
xoRobyn

Pondside said...

That was lovely - just as I imagine.

Flat Creek Farm said...

I love this. It was almost my morning to a "T" on a smaller scale ... only I had noodles instead of stuffing with my coffee this a.m. :) Thankful for you, my friend!! Hope you and yours have enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving. -Tammy

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

Jenny-this was beautiful. At first, knowing you...I was waiting for the oven to blow up or something and yet you took me back to my childhood and the smells coming from my mother's kitchen. Actually, these were the smells in my house today. I only cooked for 3but my son eats enough for 3 more. I miss having the crowd around the table like we did when I was young...but it was still a good day.

I hope your day was filled with love.

H said...

Happy Thanksgiving Jenny :)

RedTedArt said...

What a fabulous post -was magically transported to your house (and then back to cold England, where do not celebrate Thanks Giving)...

Next year, I will embrace all my American (blogger) friends and also do a mini Thanks Giving with my kids. Afterall, it is good to be thankful for what one has!

Thank you

Maggy

Busy Bee Suz said...

What a sweet memory Jenny.
I do hope your Thanksgiving was just wonderful!

Amy said...

Oh, the memories in that post! Pungent as the flavorful smells of that Thanksgiving morning. It was absolutely beautiful! Thank you for that. And now I am inspired for next year to actually get up early and start dinner rather than waiting until the last possible moment and being overly stressed. Her (your?) day sounded magically stress free. I hope that is how your day went down.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I feel like I'm sitting there in your kitchen, holding out my cup for a second coffee (or third), helping you chop up celery for the stuffing!

xxoo,

RMW

Jingle said...

Happy Belated Thanksgiving,
heartfelt and fantastic moments captured here.
amazing thankfulness post.

awards/treats 4 u

Sue said...

What a wonderful, evocative Thanksgiving post. I loved it!

=)

PS. And thanks for all the fun things you provide for the rest of us...