The end of the month has come and time to show another soon to be turned page from my kitchen calendar with illustrations by Kevin Dodds.
October is long gone but in a way November seems a continuation of it with the colors that steal my heart every year.
It's strange but I could swear that late October was the time of the most brilliantly colored autumn leaves when I was a teenager, where now they happen in the first two weeks of November instead.
But even when they're gone I still have autumn leaves inside my kitchen, as well as piles of leaves on the ground.
Some things I just want to hold on to and November is one of them, my favorite month of the year.
Everything in November leads up to one day, Thanksgiving Day.
But just like the seasons, Thanksgiving Day eventually changes too. No more for me is the making of multiple pies.
No more three casseroles and a 19 lb. turkey.
No more setting a big table, with a smaller one at the end.
Instead this Thanksgiving Day ended up being one of the ox in the ditch kind of days (Luke 14:5) and instead of even a small turkey, I sliced up some sirloin steak and stir-fried it with peppers, mushrooms and scallions and served it over rice for RH and me after he came home.
There was fresh cranberry sauce and a pecan pie and it was good.
I've had to give up my Gladys Taber ideas of Thanksgiving Days--
Her dream of Thanksgiving was a cross between a Currier and Ives print and a Grandma Moses painting. She saw people skimming up in sleighs, children gamboling in the yard. Fires burning on every hearth, corn popping, apples toasting, turkey crackling outside, moist and tender within.
Gladys Taber in
Times change as the years go by, our family is far flung now. I really do accept the reality of that and that I'm no longer able to produce a big Thanksgiving meal and neither are my small kitchen and fridge.
Besides, I have Christmas to look forward to where for the first time in years it looks as if every single family member will be here together for an afternoon before Christmas, depending on whether a new great-granddaughter makes her appearance early or late.
I am looking forward to that so very much!
Still, I think back to when my own mother had to turn over the reins of big family dinners to her daughters. I remember how she still wanted to cook things to contribute to the meal and how we all really wished she wouldn't--both for her own sake and because we all loved to cook. We were, after all, her daughters.
Here she was at 85, if I remember correctly, at my sister Deb's house. It may have been her birthday celebration. She didn't have to lift a finger, just relax and enjoy it all.
She even has her glass of wine by her chair!
She'd earned her right to relax but I wonder, did she miss all the Gladys Taber Thanksgivings that she and my father hosted?
I bet she did.