It’s the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, one of the best days of the year for me. I love to create food to share with the people I love and creating that feast with my husband and my children is, in a word, transformative.
Of course, it would be wonderful if the house would magically transform itself into a pristine environment, but I’ve come to appreciate that our house is very much a microcosm of life: kinetic energies mingling together in an environment full of potentiality and chaos. Even so, a not perfectly put together house that smells of pie, veg and whatever meat is the current offering is comforting. If there are a few socks the kitties have stolen milling about, if every bookshelf is overstuffed and haphazardly double-stacked and if every square inch of the fridge and pantry is covered with photos and random artwork well…welcome to my world.
My daughter is waking up in her bed this morning—at least I hope she wakes while it’s still morning as she’s still sleeping as I type—home from UW for the weekend. She’s put in her request that we bring up all the candle making supplies Thursday after everyone is gone and the cleaning up is accomplished. She wants to get an early start Friday making votives for Christmas.
Today it’s nearly 50 degrees here, about a half hour south of Milwaukee. Perfect pie baking and candle making weather! The doors can stay open, flushing the scents of autumn through our home. She says she misses that at school which cracks me up, because she’s never really been interested in candle making. She likes the candles, but it’s my son who helps me every fall and every spring creating our mini-wax-creations-of-love.
So this year, the energies flowing around me are converging into a stew of contentment and anticipation over what can happen surrounded by family.
My parents are coming tomorrow and we’ll serve all the traditional things they remember from their parents—with the exception of the pan-ultimately icky Jello mold corrupted by that sour cream layer of grossness my mom insisted on making every year which every child hates. At heart, and in the taste-buds, I am still a child, a purist of the highest order, when it comes to Jello. Some things should be sacred. Not-so-sorry, mom, but it’s not on the menu.
This year my husband and I have picked out a handful of new dishes to try. This is huge since we’ve always been about tradition for Thanksgiving dinner, but this year has been full of firsts. This year has literally scared the (add the expletive of your choosing) out of us. We’ve started a new business built around our mutual love for all things Scottish, we’ve ridden the waves of the building market, and we’ve jumped into book publishing with eyes toward expansion and diversification.
Yep, it’s been quite a ride. And it’s far from over. But each new journey begins with shutting the door on your safe place and stepping onto a new path.
So, consciously or not, this has translated into Cranberry-Meringue Pie, Pumpkin-Chocolate Torte with Pumpkin Whipped Cream (which thank the spirits of the season we made early because I love pumpkin and chocolate), which is going directly in the garbage with mom’s Jello recipe, and turkey breast stuffed with walnut and mushroom stuffing. All the traditional items will be there as well. I’ll let you know what turns out and what we shrug off as culinary waste.
This morning as I type this blog, which was supposed to be about Thankfulness, I’m smiling. Tomorrow, the house won’t be perfect; a flaw that will not go unnoticed nor uncommented upon. Something will be under or overdone. Someone will say something outrageous and most likely hurtful. And, on a day filled with old favorites and new potential masterpieces, I will be celebrating the moments as they happen, letting it all wash over me, grateful for the meaningful moments and the moments of absolute absurdity with those I love.
So, I raise a figurative glass to you, my friends! May Thanksgiving find you well and leave you better. May you anticipate the up-coming holidays with love in your hearts and courage in your souls. May you always be warm, well-fed and loved.
Happy Thanksgiving Eve, Leigh.