Thursday, November 24, 2005

A Traditional Thanksgiving

We have embarked on our traditional Thanksgiving - four hours cooking, 15 minutes eating, and an hour or so of cleaning up. All so that we can have turkey sandwiches and leftover pie tomorrow.

The house already smells like fresh-baked bread and soon the scents of the pumpkin pie will start to float around. I am committing a sort of heresy today. I am trying someone else's pie recipe - one other than my mother's recipe, which is THE primary tradition in my family.

We have included some others in our feast. We topped up the thistle seed feeder for the goldfinches that refuse to fly further south. The bird feeder is freshly filled and the meal worms, set out for the bluebirds, are being devoured by the Carolina wrens. The hickory nuts that were damaged when I was trying to drill holes in them (for arrangements of course) were set out in a flat for the squirrels, who devoured them instantly, or possibly planted them throughout the garden and in wintered outside pots.

As I opened the can of condensed milk for the pie, the cats gathered at my feet. They are convinced that only good things for cats come in cans. I resisted. They will have turkey giblets from a can while we eat our dinner.

Last night we roasted chestnuts for the first time - not over an open fire - but in the oven. The split shells were still difficult to remove and I took a vow never to try this again. This morning we found a worm climbing on the outside of the compost container - probably from the shells I put there last night. Now I must examine the nut meats carefully, looking for worms, before chopping them for the dressing. My husband suggested putting the meats in the microwave and cooking the worms. "Once they're cooked," he said,"you'll never know the difference."

There is much to be grateful for. I just read this morning, "If the only prayer you ever say is 'Thank you', that is enough."


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