I’ve just been roaming around looking at Thanksgiving posts on friends’ blogs, and it was a wonderful thing to see---all the preparations and polishings and things chosen carefully for the cherish of them and the guests who would use them. I blush to tell that I simply imagined all the family hustle-bustles, the warm redolences of sage and pie, the light and the clink of silver on plate, for we had our pot-roast dinner on trays at the TV. What an odd feeling. The wonderful aroma of that pan of cushion-tender beef-in-rich-gravy perfumed the house for several hours in the afternoon, and the corn pudding, the pot of shiny pearls of Calrose, the Waldorf salad, all took a small time in the kitchen to prepare, and we just simply WERE in our dim cocoon, for Caro was sleeping upstairs to go to work, and all the departure of our rowdy crowd the day before was still ringing in the house, somehow, with remnants of fruit and yogurts and pretzel crumbs in the kitchen.
We’ll gather with our few local Lovies on Sunday, when everyone’s schedule allows us the day. There’s an enormous turkey in the fridge for Chris to put on the grill for a few hours, and most of the other necessaries for a small family dinner in the house. We’ll gather and be thankful again. I always say that the holidays begin when you put together the Thanksgiving dressing.
And I’ll have the so-familiar moment once again, of these decades of Thanksgiving and Christmas preparation, of the MOMENT:
There’s something so just itself and so nostalgic about leaning over that big bowl of crumbled cornbread, minced onion and celery, fresh-ground black pepper and a little shake of poultry seasoning or several crumbled curls of sage, and inhaling that unmistakable aroma combination. That humble, homey scent of brown crusty bread and onion and garden sage is a centuries-old memory-scent for Southern women, I think, carried on from sparse black skillet to Pyrex to le Creuset, with the meaning and taste intact for all the intervening years.
Then there will be the laying of the table, the setting out and arranging, for a celebration small but of great import---the thankfulness for all our blessings, and for those gathered with us and the ones far away, but always in our hearts.