Is it too obvious to start a monthly post about food on Thanksgiving? Over the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of having dinner with friends (on completely different occasions) and it occurred to me that each of these dinners had that legacy feel about them. But what was it? The food? The company? The feeling of dinners past? What?
So it got me thinking (I know…what doesn’t get me thinking) why not explore dinner with friends as yet another form of Ordinary Legacy. Why not explore not only my experiences but yours? Tell me about your dinner with friends that had a legacy feel to it and we’ll write it up and post it for all to share.
As for Thanksgiving dinner, I cooked. I haven’t cooked in a few years and it was bitter sweet. I decided to change up the menu to accommodate those who are no longer with us. It just seemed too hard to sit and enjoy someone’s favorite foods when they are no longer with us to enjoy it too.
So does switching up garlic mashed with scalloped potatoes, simply because you know you’ll never make them as good as Honey, constitute breaking tradition or is it an accommodation of love and respect? Does it make it harder or easier to get through the meal? Does buying a fresh turkey and having the butcher cut it into parts buck tradition also? If you’ve lost your cooking partner and have the lone responsibility…screw tradition. Working a day ahead, making the stock (with all those extra pieces), preparing the dressing, roasting the brussel sprouts (for sautéing on the day of) and baking the sweet potatoes isn’t bucking its therapeutic and cathartic. It gives you the privacy to discuss things with those who are no longer here to make sure they are alright with it and to listen for anything dropping in the house that would indicate they’re not. All went well; I didn’t burn myself, drop anything, or hear anything to indicate otherwise.
The irony of switching mashed for scalloped is that my paternal grandmother (otherwise known as Grandmamma…) used to make them on the few occasions she cooked holiday dinners. She wasn’t exactly the warm and fuzzy grandmother, more restrained and aloof. So while I’m honoring Honey, am I insulting my father? Who the hell knows?
The important thing is not really the food but those seated at your table. Thankfully, I have my mother and my sister. Together we welcome our friends, the Mandelbaum-Scott family, and we dine together all thinking to ourselves I wish……were here to enjoy this feast. Then we eat and enjoy each other’s company, with those we miss safely tucked back in our memories. It was a wonderful new Thanksgiving.