Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Thanksgiving Memory


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.

.....

I still have the giant yellowware bowl. It sits on my counter filled with fruit and random bits of lifes overflow!

Have a blessed day of Thanks, my friends, whether it is a holiday where you live or not.

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26 comments:

~✽Mumsy✽~ said...

Beautiful post and memory! Your writing is always very descriptive and detail, which made it so wonderful to read.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Esther Joy said...

Thanks for the fragrant and flavorful post of memories! Happy Thanksgiving to you, Miss Jenny!

Monica said...

Oh, I can smell that Thanksgiving dinner cooking right now!

And, did you really eat stuffing for breakfast?? With coffee??

Bookie said...

Exquisite, Jenny! So nice to start my own Thanksgiving with your piece...some of your memories are my own. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

What an amazing memory! You had me there in that moment with your words.

J. Kwiatkowski-Schuler said...

I love it. Stuffing is my favorite part. I made it yesterday and the whole house smelled so good.

Gail said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

What a lovely memory! Thanks for sharing on this wonderful Thanksgiving day! Oh and my book arrived yesterday, can't wait to read it! Big Hugs to you Jenny!
xo Linda

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

Beautifully written...
Though I would have made that coffee first thing!!

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Perfect post for Thanksgiving ~ may you have a wonderful one ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

Karen S. said...

You know I love that kitchen! Really! Happy Turkey day and Happy Thanksgiving (gobble, gobble) to you and all your loved ones! It's been a busy week for me, and having returned from Duluth, to discover, yikes my free storage is over at blogger and I have to dig out the checkbook! hahahahaha! Enjoy your day- see you back here real soon- unless I win a trip to somewhere! Wouldn't that be a lucky day!!!!

Maggie M said...

Beautiful post sweet Jenny about your yellow-ware bowl and all the memories it holds. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Hugs

taylorsoutback said...

Could feel myself sitting across the table - a wonderful kitchen, special memories and nice to hear that yellowware bowl is still in use...I love my bowls too and only wish they could tell me their own stories.

Lorrie Orr said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Jenny. May you have new memories to add to the old one you wrote about so eloquently.

Bossy Betty said...

Lovely memories! Hope and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sandy said...

This is a good Memory, being
at home feeling the surroundings
and loving it....
Happy Thanksgiving Jenny and
peace to you and your family.
Sandy

Debra said...

Love this memory post...especially fun to read now that all the dishes are done and soon I'll be relaxing on the couch after this day with all of its work and food and joy...

Ms. A said...

I remember being busy plenty of times on Thanksgiving, but it never sounded that nice!

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Maureen Wyatt said...

Oh, these are the best memories. No earth shattering moments cling as strong as the simple comforts do. Happy Thanksgiving! ~ Maureen

Naperville Now said...

lovely, Jenny. Happy Thanksgiving.

Gattina said...

What a nice description, I can put myself into this atmosphere. I had this feeling in the past at Christmas as we don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Europe, my ancestors didn't sail on the Mayflower, lol !

pasqueflower said...

What a beautiful post, Jenny. I am thankful for those rare quiet, peaceful times during this hectic season.

Annesphamily said...

Beautiful memories Jenny! My mom had an old HUGE green Tupperware bowl she mixed the stuffing in! My oldest daughter did a great job duplicated my mom's stuffing yesterday! What a beautiful day we had. I am thinking of you and knowing your day was spent in the company of those you love most! Hugs Anne

storybeader said...

what wonderful memories of family and home. Hope you had a joyous Thanksgiving. Sounds delicious, BTW! {:-D

Susan Marlene Kinney said...

Oh Jenny! What a splended memory! My family came to visit from several states away. Traveling so many hours to make memories with us! We have some nice photos and some laughter clever conversations. :)

Rita said...

Wonderful memory! I hope you had a good Thanksgiving this year, too. :)