"Things taste better in small houses."
Queen Victoria (1819-1901)
Phew! The flour settled in drifts on the floor. Gravy splattered the wall behind the old stove. Dishes were stacked in haphazard piles on every flat surface in the kitchen. Leftovers filled all the refrigerator shelves, but the day was memorable and filled with love.
My husband Jeff and my brother and sister-in-law all pitched in to help cook our family's Thanksgiving meal, and although we were tired beyond belief at the end of the day, it was all worth it. The four of us crammed into my little kitchen, prepped, chopped, spiralized, tossed, whipped, sauteed, seared, baked, roasted, and finally, voila, a memorable family meal around the long farm table.
I loved it when my 7 year old granddaughter Sara said that she was "grateful that our family is together today." And I loved it when 2 1/2 year old Moses picked up his long stemmed water glass (yikes, was he going to spill it?) and clanked it into his Dad's glass and said, "Cheers." (Which we all did).
Today the house is empty. The flour dust is vanquished, the gravy scoured from the wall behind the stove, the dishes are back on their shelves (my Great Great Gran's gravy boat and blue willow platter made it safely through their 100th plus Thanksgiving), and the turkey soup simmers quietly, or as the French say, "smiles" in the pot.
I've been thinking a lot about the traditions that make Thanksgiving so meaningful for me and my family, but I'm also interested in what traditions are meaningful to others. I'd love to hear your stories, your traditions. Hopefully I will be able to incorporate you and yours into a holiday story for next year.
In this quiet time, I'm going out to harvest my 'Painted Lady' runner beans and take down their tepee. I'll plant my beloved California wildflowers, and read, read, read whenever I am indoors. Tonight will be turkey-alphabet soup, a fire, and yikes, I'll just have to admit it, I'm making lists for Christmas and wrapping stocking stuffer gifts.
Tranquil times to you!