Monday, October 13, 2008

turkey... Turkey... TURKEY!!!

It is now the end of what was a very long and filling day. I went to bed last night organizing recipes and times in my mind, figuring out when to prepare the pies, when to chop the bread for the stuffing, and when to baste the turkey. I was also laying in bed thinking about my mom, and how she is missing another family holiday.

I awoke in the morning, feeling the weight of perfection on my shoulders. Mom always prepared dinners with ease; being able to time the turkey, stuffing, pies and potatoes perfectly. She made it look so easy, I still haven't figured out how she accomplished this. I struggled this morning with getting the pumpkin pies in the oven early enough so I would have time to cook the turkey for 5 hours, while allowing me time to prepare and bake the stuffing as well (we don't stuff the bird here - my sister wont eat stuffing that way... Can't blame her, considering where its being stuffed...) Which brings me to another point, I really feel bad; I had my hand up that turkeys ass all morning and I didn't even take her out to the movies! There just didn't seem to be enough time for everything I had to do. I never realized how much work went into a meal until I took over cooking years ago.

Overall dinner went off well, and 6 hours of baking, cooking, boiling and roasting were concluded with 38 minuets of eating. Isn't that how it always goes? You spend the whole day cooking and a fraction of that time eating. Does that piss off anyone else, or is it just me? lol

There are more dishes in the sink than I can shake a stick at. I usually don't mind washing and drying, but tonight I'd rather go soak in the bath tub. My Grandmother loved to wash dishes, I'm not too sure why. She'd always tell me that when she was growing up the neighbours could tell when she and her siblings were washing dishes - they'd say "oh the Schaeffer kids are singing, they must be washing up the dishes again". I always laughed at that story because my Grams had an awful singing voice, however she claimed quite the opposite in her younger days...
She would sing "oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day, I've got a wonderful feeling, everything's going my way..." I can still hear her voice, and its funny because when I wake up in the morning, and the sun is shining its the first thing that comes to mind, sometimes I find myself humming it... She was also famous for other classics such as "arc du lieber augustine" which is a German song about kids with shit in their pants, and the Lemonade song, which went like this "lemonade lemonade 5 cents a glass, if you don't like it stick it up your ass." She wasn't all knitted sweaters and crochet blankets you know ;) lol My mom didn't always approve of her musical teachings...
Its funny the things you remember years later, memories that are triggered by familiar smells and actions. I swear I could smell my moms perfume in the kitchen when I was struggling with the baking. I could feel her gentle guidance when I asked aloud if I bake the pie shells before I fill them, or how much celery salt to use in the stuffing.
So today I am thankful for her recipes. It may not seem like much to some, but they have helped to keep her spirit alive. As I grasped the wooden spoon to stir the pumpkin filling on the stove I felt her hand guide mine, giving me the strength I needed to get through the day. Thanks Mom!
Now that I am exhausted, I am off to bed!
Embrace the Journey
Bret :-)


solsticedreamer said...

good morning bret~i am on the ball here in the uk today!
another lovely post and so funny, your grams sounds such fun!
i love the way your mum is is always there with you, guiding and encouraging :)

the pumpkin pie looks so good~i have only had it once when i was in Banff, but plan on making one this year.

Pam said...

Bret that is so sweet. You've done your Mum proud.Here's a pie story for you.I remember being in the States with my husband once around this time of year. After finishing a meal dining out, the waitress bought us what looked like pumpkin pie. Having finished our meal, we were curious as to why we were served this as it wasn't ordered.It was all to do with our Australian accent evidently "We'd like to pay now thanks" became confused with "we'd like pie now thanks". And would I enjoy my hand up a turkey's backside. No, way...

CrystalChick said...

Grams sounds like she was a real fun lady! ;)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Ours is the end of next month. And I'm soooo spoiled because for YEARS my MIL/FIL had the dinner at their house and other than occasionally bringing a small dish we never had to do much at all. Everyone would help clear the table and MIL had plastic containers ready for everyone to take leftovers home!
The last couple years she hasn't felt up to the big din at their place so they've been taking us out to a restaurant, and we're going again this year. On one hand I like the idea of a new tradition, as it still allows the family to get together. It's her fav holiday. But on the other hand we miss the homecooked food. Sure, the restaurant was nice and obviously someone in the back is cooking it, but it's not my MIL. And she's a good cook!

Even though I don't do Thanksgiving, I usually do a big din for our open house Christmas party and for Christmas day and I KNOW how much work it is to shop, prepare, cook, clean, etc. All for a couple minutes of actual eating. Wow.
But it's soooo worth it though. And your Mom is certainly still with you in spirit. How proud she must be!!!

Rest well! Another holiday is right around the corner. ;)

Jane said...


Good morning! I so loved this post! Throughout all of your posts, I can just sense that your mother's spirit is always with you. Especially on a special day when you feel you need her the most. In my old house, I sometimes would catch a wiff of perfume when I was lying on the couch in my living room. I don't wear any so I knew it wasn't me. To this day, I truly believe that the scent was a spirit.

The pie looks amazing and I'm sure everything else turned out smashing too!

Thanks for your words over at my blog today. I really needed that. The card you drew was very accurate for me. So often when I feel lost and out of balance, I beat myself up trying to figure out how to find my inner peace and serenity when all while, it was never lost. I think the negative thoughts just drown out the quiet.

Ayre said...

Sounds like it was a bittersweet's hard when those who seemed to be the thread that held the sweater together isn't there anymore. I'm sure she is so incredibly proud of you for cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Hugs to you xoxoxoxo

Nydia said...

What a beautiful post, Bret! You know, smells are the primary source of childhood memories, some specialists sa. I agree with that, I almost melt when I feel the scent of the honey breads my mom makes for Christmas. It's like being 8 again. I would love to have met your Grandma, she sounds so cool, very much like my family! LOL It's woderful that you put your hands to work in the kitchen -if there's somewhere powerful in a house, is this room! You honored your mom's memory.
Kisses from Nydia.

PS: Thank you, thank you, thank you for your alway sweet and high-spirited words on my posts! :o)

Anonymous said...

Now THAT is what Thanksgiving is all about, I think.
Remembering, cherishing and carrying on family traditions.
Your mom would be so proud - she is beaming, I'm sure.

You're gonna make someone a great wife one day!

Andy said...

I so love the way you write. Your love for your mother shines through your writing and she's more than proud of you, I know. To read your blog is a joy because you are real. There's no bluff, no pretence, no smokescreen, simply a human being living his life. Wonderful - and thank you.

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