Thursday, November 15, 2012

The week ahead....

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year, that week before Thanksgiving. It stirs up so many fond memories of Thanksgivings past and there is excitement for the present and getting ready for family to arrive and share the holiday. 

There are so many good smells I associate with this day~turkey roasting, the sweetness of cinnamon and cloves from pies, my aunt's heavenly dinner rolls and maybe my favorite dish-the dressing and it's oniony-sagey aroma. Ok, my mouth is watering as I type. 

There are memories of my grandmothers, donned in aprons, scurrying around their little kitchens, dishes covering every inch of space, pies cooling on the window ledge, the men in front of the football game, lots of chatter and laughter in the kitchen from all of the women. Both of my grandmothers were excellent cooks and everything was made from scratch and love. We lived a couple of hours away and driving through the Illinois countryside I couldn't help but hum the tune in my head "over the river and through the woods...." I remember lovingly those no longer with us and how they made those Thanksgivings so special.

I love all the preparation and planning - the menus made, the grocery lists organized, the house cleaning, and most of all the cooking. I make dressing like my mom and grandmothers~ bread drying on cookie sheets all over the kitchen, pecans are bought at the farmer's stand south of my home, apple butter canned. We like to add a new dish each year but the standards are always our favorites.

Beyond the feast even more I love having my family all gathered here. Champagne with cranberry juice is toasted with early in the day. Last year we made a Thankful Tree and each wrote our gratitude on a leaf which then hung on the tree. This year my little neice and nephew are in charge, it will be fun to see what they create. After the dinner it is necessary to change into our most comfy clothes so we can lounge, nap, play games and visit.

Feeling very blessed and thankful for family and all these good gifts of the season!

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year;
to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.
~Edward Sandford Martin