Thanksgivings for me have changed over the years as I’ve matured. Sure there are some foods that are tradition – turkey, dressing, gravy, cranberries (real whole not that can shaped jelly), rolls, and such. But things evolve as the years went on.
Thanksgivings when I was growing up meant I’d see my maternal grandparents. It meant dressing up in Sunday clothes. It meant the best china got used. It meant in the morning the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade would be on TV. I loved watching it. It meant Pappaw (my maternal grandfather pronounced PAP-paw) would watch football and Dad would nap. It meant turkey sandwiches for a week. Mom would make turkey and rice soup from the dark meat we all shunned.
Then I got married. I took over cooking and through the years developed my take on the standard menu items. Mike mocked the parade so for years I didn’t have it. Then I got a TV in the kitchen. You can guess what I watch now. Yes when the men are required to enter the kitchen for their food duties. Another ‘new’ tradition I founded. They must watch the Macy’s parade with me!
There for a few years after Aaron was born we tried to commute back to Tennessee and the grandparents. However 12-13 hour drive usually the weekend the first snow flies led to many tales of us getting snowbound on the road. Also trying to see both sets of parents on a four day weekend where two days are consumed by driving IF the weather is good. Given Aaron didn’t get out of school until Wednesday afternoon – OY VEY it was too much. No Thanksgivings are now here in Kenosha watching the Chicago traffic snarl in the first snow on TV and cooking food to feed us for four days.
Thanksgiving has changed but the core things have stayed the same. It’s about family. I’ve moved from being the child to being the mother. From being an eater to being planner and head cook. Recipes have gone through shifts to accommodate merging of family traditions, our tastes, and Aaron’s need for two potatoes sweet and white on Thanksgiving. Yet in the end it’s about being home, eating well, Oh and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade dammit!