You know how you chit chat before a meeting begins? "How was your Thanksgiving?" "Did you see the game?" "Whatcha doing next weekend?" Sometimes you're the listener and sometimes you're the teller and if you're on Zoom, maybe you're swiping through your emails nodding as if you're engaged.
"Thanksgiving was... you know ok. Not sure why we do any cooking, the meal takes hours to make and its over in 20 minutes." "Yeah... waste of time." Somewhere in the murmurings, I raised my head out of my emails..
What? Thanksgiving is never about the food. Oh it seems like its all about the food but it's really about the memories surrounding the food and later, as life changes, the stories, thoughts and moments recalled as the food is prepared.
This year I cooked the full Thanksgiving feast. It was just my niece, a neighbor and I. So much trouble for 3 people, why bother? It's never about the food.
I remembered my mom sautéing the vegies in margarine as I sautéed the same in butter. I was with him when we added the milk, S&P and parsley so deep was the feeling. She added the mixture to the bread and mixed it just so and when it was perfect he took over and finished stuffing the bird.
It's never about the food. It's about a memory so deep and so pleasant that I'm not sure the tears were from cutting an onion so carefully for a feast held later in the day.
Tomorrow is my dad's birthday and while physically he's been gone 16 years, his memories live in me. And, he may have thought that the Thanksgiving meal was too much work, this year he was with me as I created my own memories. I love you Pop!