Today was Turkey Day!! I love Thanksgiving!! Genuinely my favorite holiday.
The traditions always made this holiday so special for me. Watching the parade with my folks. Setting the table; pulling out all the good china, silver & serving dishes. Cooking the same things every year – my mother always cooked them from her notes from years past. Tricks that worked, the order that dishes needed to be prepared.
In the years before she died, my mother had begun grooming me to take over much of the Turkey Day responsibilities. Using my mom’s recipes, yes, but drawing on all those years as a child hanging about the kitchen.
Mom died rather suddenly the summer I turned 30, and since then in my head “honoring tradition” has meant that I do ALL the cooking. With the exception of my Irish husband’s suggestion that we substitute roasted potatoes for mashed, I’ve maintained the exact same menu my mother fixed.
The soufflé isn’t the soufflé, the soufflé is the recipe.
Except this year… well, this year I broke with tradition left right and center.
Stuffing in the bird? Nope (sorry Dad)
Pumpkin pie? No. My husband isn’t a fan, and frankly neither am I. Made a batch of pumpkin muffins this morning tho, so the gourd was covered.
Pecan Pie – well, yeah. But this year I made a batch of spicy spiced pecans to use in the pie instead of plain.
The mashed sweet potatoes were not, for the first time in my life, Bruce’s Yams (fresh veg!) & there are no marshmallows in my house. Spiced pecans here too.
Corn? Nope. I made corn bread muffins, because my boy always scarfs one down. I think that counts.
My FAVORITE drunken cherry jello? Not this year. I did miss it – Maybe a reassignment to Christmas?
Finally, much to my disbelief, we added Brussel Sprouts to the menu. WTF?! I literally ate this veg for the first time – IN MY LIFE – 4 days ago when I ran a taste test for hubs.
The cranberries! I almost forgot! I made cranberry sauce from scratch, rather than go with the ol’ can stuff.
So what gives? Well, I’ll tell ya… I was watching Doctor Who with my son the other day, and Clara aka Soufflé Girl says her bit, & it finally hit me – I’m not my mother.
No really. I’m. Not. My. Mother.
So why am I trying to be her on this one day of the year? No matter how much I try, my mother isn’t going to rise out of the perfect batch of jello. And frankly I don’t think she’s rolling over in her grave because I used spiced pecans in the pie.
Because Mom’s recipe for Thanksgiving is so much more than how much sage I should use, or what veggies I serve. Her recipe calls for one part parade, one part dog show, on part football, one part Alice’s Restaurant, one part fellowship, one part squabbles, and a double helping of delicious food.
Cuz it’s Thanksgiving, for pity’s sake – It’s still all about the food!