Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Preparations

Last year, my sisters and I knew we would spend the day before Thanksgiving all day in the hospital with our mother. The turkey was already brining and the stuffing was already made. The night before, I asked my then 16-year-old daughter if she could find a spot in her heart to make the pumpkin pies while we were all at the hospital. We always make two kinds, one regular and one for my brother-in-law who has type I diabetes. We've made them together many times, I knew she could do it.

By 9 am, my daughter texted me: "After the pumpkin pies what should I do?"

"How about the apple pies?" We always have to make our own apple pies because my husband is highly allergic to corn and we have yet to find a decent apple pie that doesn't use corn starch as a thickening agent.

By 11, my daughter texted me: "Now what?"

"Do you know how to make green beans?"

"Is it in 'Joy of Cooking?'"

"Yes it is!" Off she went.

By the time we got home, all the vegetables were made. You can imagine the praise she got from everyone on Thanksgiving Day. I forget who it was that gave her the first shout when we went around the table to list why we were thankful, but it prompted my son to blurt out “Hey, that’s what I was going to say!” We all laughed knowingly. My daughter’s kitchen heroics were definitely the low-hanging fruit on the gratitude list.

This year, my daughter announced," I want to make all the same dishes I made last year." I had to pinch myself; how did I get so lucky? So, on Wednesday, my daughter and I cooked up a storm, with the under-the-counter iPod player blaring at high-volume. Actually, I didn't do much cooking at all. I was mostly a consultant and sous-chef this year, plus I set the table and made the centerpieces from left-over Wreath Clinic supplies. Talk about role reversal; setting the table used to be the kids’ job.

I can’t believe that the holiday preparation baton is already getting passed from mother to daughter.

Image from


Relyn Lawson said...

I read your post with a smile. What a happy, yummy Thanksgiving I know you all had. It also made me think that along with a great heaping of joy there must have been some bittersweet. As beautiful as it is to watch a child become a lovely adult, it is a little bit sad, too. Isn't it? Here's hoping your Sunday is fantastic.

A Cuban In London said...

Lucky you! I am a control freak and don't know if I could be as relaxed as you were. Admittedly my two little ones are ten and seven but your post brought a smile to my face and a thought to my head :-).

Greetings from London

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Relyn,

Parenting is a series of separations, isn't it? Actually, this experience was not as bittersweet as others, it was mostly filled with lots of pride and joy!

Dear Cuban,
Lucky me, indeed! I may have been relaxed on Wednesday, but that only came after years of cooking with my kids since they old enough to stand on a stool in the kitchen. We started making biscuits together when they were still in preschool. Those cooking experiences were decidedly not relaxing, because I am a perfectionist too. (Isn't that the same as control freak?) There was flour and dough all over the kitchen and it took three times as long to make the biscuits with the kids as it would have if I had made them myself. But now, I reap the benefits!

I hope you cook with your kids soon. Just expect lots of mess, allow lots of time, and take deep cleansing breaths as needed. I have yet to meet a kid who doesn't love to cook with their parents.

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