Saturday, November 25, 2006

Aroma therapy

Each year in the evening of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I sense a longing to travel across time and Texas to my grandmother's feast table.

In recent years, I had shared that yearning with my father, and he confessed that he experienced it, too. But it was not to his mother's table that he wanted to travel, it was to his grandmother's table. He even told me that Thanksgiving just hadn't felt as full since he shared it in her home and he knew it never would.

I remember being a bit sad for him that he couldn't entertain the possibility of a different though equally joyful feast at a different locale. And I thought of this when my own longing arrived this year.

As I drove home from Vespers on Wednesday, I imagined the Wednesday night drives from our home in Paris, Texas, to my grandmother's home in Jacksboro, Texas. And I remembered all the goodies she always had waiting for us: Mississipi mud cake, Special K peanut butter clusters, sometimes even peanut patties. And I remembered my Tbanksgiving tasks: stuffing the celery with cream cheese, filling the relish tray, setting the table.

I enjoyed those memories and then I let them go, ready to live in to my own Thanksgiving. Ready to create times and traditions that Ryan may look back on some day. And so it was that I spent the remainder of Wednesday evening with Jeff and Ryan turning oreos and candy corn and Hershey's kisses into turkeys.

On Thanksgiving day, I delighted in the aromas of all the fresh ingredients in my two favorite dishes: cranberry salsa and yam puff (renamed Citrusy Yam Delight by those who ate it and enjoyed it later in the day). The orange and lemon peel, the chopped cilantro, the grated ginger filled my senses with freshness and I felt alive and very thankful to be so.

Also on Thanksgiving, Ryan and I made a dough of cinnamon and applesauce and glue and created ornaments for the kitchen or the tree. The fragrance of cinnamon filled our house as the ornaments dried in a warm oven.

And we feasted at the table of friends who have become our family here. And I was thankful. I was thankful for Thanksgivings past, thankful for Thanksgiving present and eager for Thanksgivings to come.

And in what is becoming a Thanksgiving weekend tradition, I made chicken chili and pumpkin soup and cornbread for those same friends who are rebuilding a family cabin in Julian that was lost in the Cedar fire. Again the freshness of the ingredients lifted my spirits and again the house filled with wonderful aromas.

And, when I thought of Dad, I imagined him at a heavenly feast table filled with joy.

1 comment:

molly said...

all i know is love eatin' your yummy smells. ;)