In The Oven

I’m loving the smell from my kitchen – oy, it’s a delicious thing right now!

I love Thanksgiving. I do enjoy cooking, but I don’t do it much because, well, I have a husband who’s really good at it and I’m usually just gearing up into the pattern writing frenzy in the late afternoon/evening. How’s that for an excuse?

Thinking it over, my mom cooked, but not as much as the traditional 50’s / 60’s mom. She worked out of the home, modern woman, and she had me relatively late so by the time I was old enough to remember lots of dinners she was sort of over the whole cooking thing. But she was a good cook, in the West Virginia overcook the beans and use TWO kinds of shortning with everything. Mom’s friend chicken was made with Crisco, butter AND bacon grease. Is it any wonder that I’m the last one left in the family? I was always known as the ‘thin one’ – which, if you’ve seen me, explains a lot.

But on Thanksgiving it’s a chance to cook with my daughter – teach her things like how to peel a potato when you can’t find the peeler, how to make a custard (stir, Hannah, STIR!), what makes my grandmother’s squash pie better than any Libby’s pumpkin pie and how to use cheesecloth to keep the Turkey juicy between bastings.

I’ve just about blown my wad energy-wise, so when Gerry gets home from work (yes, he works today. The news, or whatever it is he works on, doesn’t stop on Thanksgiving!) he’ll take over the finishing touches. Steaming the broccoli, mashing the potatos which are boiling right now, browning the brown and serve rolls – oh, crap – I forgot the cranberry jelly! It just won’t be the same without the numbers on the bottom of the round, lined gelatinous tube of glistening red. Darn.

Thankful – oh, yeah…

At one of my recent teaching gigs a woman make the comment, “I’m waiting to win the lottery so I can spend my days knitting!” And, because I’m a rabbi looking for a pulpit, I couldn’t let that go by without explaining that I HAD won the lottery and that was how I am able to teach and travel and write and knit and design all day. My lottery was being rather sick for a few years, and being forced to face the march of time. Getting better wasn’t the good luck – getting sick was.

The experience helped me focus on what was important (family, my passion) and understand that we have a finite amount of time. And – that in the scheme of life I am one of the luckiest people on earth. I have a home, heat, running water, a doctor when I really need one, more food than I need, and family and friends who love me. The fact that I can earn a living through my passion is more than I ever hoped for.

I am so incredibly lucky – and every day I’m very thankful!

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