Friday, November 27, 2009


What a beautiful warm day it was as I walked to David and Thom's carrying my soup, biscuits, and cheesecake. I was taking a big chance with a kettle of soup and an uncovered cheesecake in old IGA bags, but I felt that taking the car would be rediculous in view of the fact that I had only two blocks to go. When I arrived at the door, the second potential disaster faced me in the form of Dylan the exhuberant. To the usual ineffectual pleas of "No Dylan, Down Dylan," I carried my bounty to the kitchen without incident. The familiar smell of Thanksgiving filled the house, the same smell of all the 60-odd Thanksgivings I have experienced. It's nice that some things keep coming back to remind us that time isn't a straight line but a cycle.

I will say that this meal was one of the best I can remember. The table was formally and graciously set with china, silver, a beautiful centerpiece and candles. The turkey was brown and beautiful, but still moist. The gravy was smooth as silk . The potatoes were perfectly whipped, the carrots just tender and seasoned to perfection. The stuffing, cooked inside the bird, was traditional enough to be authentic but even more delicious. The cranberry sauce David made was perfectly spiced and full of pecans for just the right touch of crunch. I might add that my apple soup was aromatic with just the right amount of curry, and my biscuits were light. The cheesecake had been a lot of trouble to make because my electric mixer wouldn't work, but it was worth it. Meg, our guest(since I can't consider myself a guest in that so familiar household), brought a bottle of good red wine, which we drank while Thom finished the preparations. We had champagne with the meal, and good coffee with desert.

It really is wonderful to take the time and effort to follow a tradition, knowing that even though you can't see them most of the other people in the country are doing the same thing. It brings a sense of unity with our countrymen, even if it did hail the destruction of Native American culture. We could be more appropriately beating ourselves in penance for our transgressions. I suppose a lot of traditions are steeped in some evil origins, but what can we do? We are the human animal.
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Kaylyn said...

What a wonderful few hours you had with dear friends.
The traditions that we know bring and keep sanity in our lives, even a formal place setting and the familiar foods of a holiday. Years a go I read in the Whole Earth Catalog, of all places, a recommendation for Emily Post's book of etiquette. The reviewer recounted a story of a family in WWII Dresden who had lost everything except for a crate of heirloom china and silver. Each day, they dined on whatever food they could find on tables made from the ruins of their city. They set a formal table in the shelter of bombed out buildings for each meal. It was what kept them tied to sanity, to their heritage, and the memory of family lost to the war. Our traditions and customs make us human.

I would hope that every holiday meal, however humble, makes that connection. Even if we can't reach out to everyone who may not have the bounty of a good soup and good company, keep the flame alive, without it we are lost in the tides of time.

Bits Of Me said...

What a wonderful happy day that was!