Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday Meal Stories, Anyone?

by Leann

This is the time of year when the stories are written, when the memories are made. The holiday season is upon us. I'm searching for the good memories, trying exceptionally hard to be positive. My son and his growing family will be in Texas with us next week and I want to make some memories my oldest granddaughter won't forget. She already has a sense of humor, after all. Funny is best, in my book!

I have been searching back for some good holiday memories and for me, as a writer, it always comes back to characters. Take my grandfather. He was one funny guy. I can picture him at the head of the huge dining room table in my grandparents' home (there were a LOT of grandkids), the table filled with food, making us all laugh. He had that Irish twinkle in his eyes and always made me feel like whatever joke he told, it was just between him and me. Then there was the shared family joke. Everyone participated. Grandpa hated carrots with a passion. Yet we ALWAYS had carrots for the holiday dinners and every one of us would make sure and ask Grandpa if he'd like some. Doesn't that tell you something about my quiet, little Grandma, the one who made sure we had those carrots on the table? She knew how to make a memory. Smart lady.

On my mother's side of the family, I had an aunt who never needed an energy drink. She was born caffeinated. The meals she made for Thanksgiving were as if she started and just couldn't stop--and this was before the days of allrecipes.com where every day I'm getting a new photo of something I would love to make. She just had the ideas for the meal in her head. What a concept? There may have been a dozen of us for holiday dinners, but she could have fed fifty. And she never sat down during the meal, running from one end of the table to the other to make sure my brother had the stuffing (we actually called it "dressing") or my sister had enough mashed potatoes. Then, after we'd filled our plates twice, she'd come up behind one of us and dump some side dish on that person's dish. "Don't want to throw this out," she'd say.

Without fail, because of the volume of food, she forgot something in the oven or in the fridge that she would bring out later as we all lay on the living room floor stuffed like that turkey had been. "Who's ready for flaky dinner rolls?" I can hear her say. "They're a little too brown, but still good." I am smiling as I remember. Gosh, I loved that woman.

What about you? Any memories about the those holiday meals and why you remember them so vividly? It's the people not the food, is my guess.

6 comments:

Lorna Barrett said...

The days of the whole family (parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, inlaws) getting together for the holidays are now officially over. Who knew last year that it would be the very last time it would happen.

I feel terribly sad.

Heather Webber said...

Every year all the cousins (kids) in our family like to play Twister. Sometimes this ends in laughter, sometimes in fights. And every once in a while the adults will try to play--and realize very quickly why that's a bad idea. LOL.

jbstanley said...

I remember one Thanksgiving when we were all gathered in the dining room and my mom went into the kitchen to get the turkey and our three German Shepherds had dragged it down from the counter and were devouring it on the floor.

We had pizza that dat!

Leann Sweeney said...

Lorraine, I'm sorry. We just never think these things will ever be different, do we? And Jennifer, pizza for Thanksgiving doesn't sound that bad. The clean-up is NICE. Heather, forget Twister. I'd be permanently damaged. But give me those old (the very first edition) Trivial Pursuit cards and I am happy.

Vickie said...

I don't really have any family related memories. Some of my best ones were while I was active duty Air Force and stationed overseas. One time was playing Perverted Scrabble, dirty words only. That was in Germany. One Thanksgiving in Korea was finding out how well cranberry juice mixed with soju (Korean alcohol) and the wing commander getting mad that his team was losing and calling a recall to go in to play war.....woof....

My favorite since being with DH is the one when we moved here to Colorado and trying our hand at making a pumpkin pie from scratch. There was imbibing of wine with that creation....and good tunes on the CD shuffler. The pie wasn't pretty, but it tasted really really good.

Leann Sweeney said...

Those sound like some very interesting memories Vickie! :-) Any first attempt at pie from scratch is bound to not be "pretty" but worth the effort!