Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about? Our host, Eclectic Alli, is on hiatus, so I, and others are filling to keep our chatty momentum going. Join in.
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone.
It is the morning after Thanksgiving, and my house is still asleep—except for me. I have a cup of coffee and seasonal thoughts to share with you.
If we were having coffee together, I would tell you Thanksgiving 2019 was a success. We celebrated at my parents’ house and fit twenty-two adults and two small children around the table. Little grandnephews wrestled and ran. There was a couch full of football commentary all afternoon. Over filling the oven and keeping up with the pile of pots and pans in the sink, buzzed throughout the kitchen. Each time the front door opened, the decibel noise level increased to announce the new guests. We ate all day.
As the day unfolded, I pondered the madness. It is not just about the food and the chaos. We strive to revive those wonderful “good-ol’ ways” while creating new memories. It is a balancing act, especially when change is a normal part of living through our lives.
We insist on continuing the tried-and-true dishes and routines. Mom has her table set and ready to go days before the feast. She delegates assignments yet allows variation. A macaroni dish must be on the menu. I left it out of a Thanksgiving I had once hosted. There were plenty of dishes to satisfy every taste, but the disappointment in not having macaroni that day was palatable. It never happened again. My sister, Diana, is in charged with bringing her homemade manicotti. She mixes the ricotta filling, makes and rolls the crepes, and prepares a light marinara sauce. Mom fries sweet potato slices dredged with sugar. My sister, Mary, stuffs clams and steams mussels in a white wine sauce. Antipasto is arranged. There are the expected mash potatoes, a medley of vegetables, and eggplant parmigiana.
Variations do sneak in. If favored, they are repeated until they become a staple on the holiday menu. This year my niece and nephew-in-law, Eileen and Dan, smoked a duck and served it in bourbon sauce. That needs to come back again. Matt, with his new knee, worked the barbecue tending to the turkey for four hours. Yes, it was absolutely delicious. He also added his little peppers stuffed with prosciutto and provolone cheese to the antipasto. I brought a ginger orange cranberry sauce and the gravlax—salmon with dill and mustard glaze for the non-meat eaters. My sister-in-law, Carla, whipped up red cabbage and deviled eggs. She was requested to repeat it for the next holiday. A vegan stuffing and my daughter, Sara’s kabocha squash stuffed with a dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian rice mix, were a hit. There were pies, birthday cake, and espresso laced with anisette for dessert. Eileen wowed everyone with her Kaching Bars (OMG). We Face Timed with my daughter, Robyn, and sister, Barbara, and lingered around the table for hours.
As you can imagine, there’s a bit of competition among the cooks. This is our entertainment. Although tradition bends with additions, absences, and subtractions, we remain constant in love and dedication. We gladly put the effort into gathering around a table, breaking bread, and giving heartfelt thanks for our blessings.
I hope everyone in the blog-o-sphere had a thankful day.
Have a good weekend and upcoming week, Everyone.
Make it great.
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.