“November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.”

I just noticed I hadn’t turned the October calendar page over yet. Maybe it was a subconscious attempt on my part to keep the coming winter at bay. I can’t believe it is already turn the clocks back night. I used to rejoice at the added hour of sleep, but now I don’t care. My VCR remote doesn’t seem to work despite the new batteries so it will be off an hour until fall. That will drive me crazy.

The sun was shining when I woke up but has since disappeared. I spent the morning putting Halloween away and putting up Thanksgiving which is the reason for the lateness of this posting. I made multiple trips up and down the cellar stairs. For Christmas, Skip, my factotum, will be called into service.

Today is perfect for a sci-fi movie day. There is nothing I have to do so lounging on the couch watching bad movies sounds wonderful. I’m hoping for cheesy special effects, screaming women and tall heroes.

I miss the smell of leaves burning and the sight of my father wearing his red jacket and standing with his rake by the fire. The other night I could smell a fire burning from someone’s chimney, and to me it is one of the most wonderful of all smells. Winter is the stark season when the world is gray and lifeless, but it is the season with the most memorable of smells.

A house filled with the aroma of baking starts the season. All Thanksgiving morning the smell of turkey fills the kitchen. The dog and the cats never walk by the oven without sniffing the air. I never walk by without stealing a bit of the crusted end of the stuffing. The windows are steamed from the baking and cooking of all the traditional foods which have graced our tables since childhood.

I always think of Thanksgiving as pies and Christmas as cookies. Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie. My mother also made blueberry and lemon meringue; the last is not a usual Thanksgiving pie but it was a family favorite so my mother obliged. After Thanksgiving will begin the marathon of baking for Christmas. My mouth waters at the thought of sugar cookies fresh from the oven.

I figure I can handle the drab winter because I know what’s coming.

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13 Comments on ““November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    We finally got some sunshine in the afternoon over here but the day was still hazy, almost foggy. But the haze was mixed with smoke from a big fire someone lit last night up on the mountain. I could see several piles with branches and other stuff while I was driving there on the way to the grocery store in Gudhem. I love that smell but today it was just to much.

    We really don’t have any special food here until christmas. But then we do have a lot πŸ™‚ At Saint Lucia we start with the christmas food and some have the first taste of the christmas ham, I prefere to wit till the days before christmas. I get tired of it soon enough anyway πŸ™‚

    Have a great day!

    • Kat Says:

      You got the sunshine which we started the day with then it disappeared. I too love that smaell, and I don’t smell it anymore-illegal to burn now.

      You don’t have a Thanksgiving so you miss out on the great foods to start the season. St. Lucia is early enough though so the eating gets to begin.

  2. Zoey & Me Says:

    My daughter leaves on the 10th to visit her in-laws in Calcutta. She will proudly show them their second grandchild, hubby going too, of course. So Thanksgiving won’t be the same around here with them gone. It would be the same regardless since they moved to DC. I always had family around for both events. Until this year we always met as a family for T-day, Christmas, and 4th of July. We have downsized. My son even thinks we should forget cooking this year and go to a restaurant then back to one or the others’ house for dessert. He might be right. But what about the next day with no leftovers?

    • Kat Says:

      How wonderful to be going to Calcutta! Another set of grandparents gets to share and spoil your grandson.

      My brother used to get his kids every other Thanksgiving. On the off years, he and my mother went out to eat and then we just kept up the tradition of eating out. I liked it as I had gotten the Thanksgiving dinner responsibilities, including all the shopping, cooking and cleaning up, and I was always tired while everyone lese just came in and watched games. I did stuff and cook a small turkey every year so I could have leftovers. That might just solve your problem!

  3. Bob Says:

    Since the pilgrims didn’t eat any of the traditional Thanksgiving fare nor probably celebrated with the natives, I think we should all ditch the Turkey, the stuffing and the pumpkin pie. I don’t really like any part of the Turkey except the dark meat and today’s industrial raised birds have huge breasts and almost no thighs and legs. After all they don’t have anywhere to go since they spend their entire short lives locked in pens with a billion of their fellows eating god only knows what kind of feed. I am not sure that stuffing, sweet potatoes or pumpkins had anything to do with the Pilgrims either. I could do without any of them. I like a nice roast prime rib of beef with baked Russet potatoes, asparagus and chocolate anything for my dessert as a celebration meal.

    I also can’t figure out why we celebrate Thanksgiving at the end of November while our Canadian friends celebrate it in October. Maybe the native Americans first gave thanks in Toronto and then it took them a month to travel to Plymouth to celebrate with the Europeans. I also can’t figure out why Christmas comes in December when the bible clearly says that Jesus’s parents were traveling to their home town for the Roman census which always occurred around the Passover in the spring. I guess the retailers persuaded the early Christians to move it closer to the pagan solstice celebrations so that they could have two selling seasons, one in the winter and one in the spring that they would call Easter.

    It was sad news that CBS correspondent and long time curmudgeon on the TV show 60 Minutes passed away last night at 92. I agreed with much that he wrote including that both he and I did not like any song we could not hum.

    • Bob Says:

      The correspondent was Andy Rooney.

    • Kat Says:

      According to the histories, it was a harvest festival which had been a yearly event in England, and they did eat fowl though deer and fish too were on the menu.There were Indians, “many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoyt, with some ninetie men, whom for three dayes we entertained and feasted.” I love sweet potatoes and stuffing and pumpkin pie so I’d hate not to have them. They have become traditional.

      Your nice roast beef dinner is what we usually have for Christmas, and the house is filled with chocolate in all the goodies we bake and the special treats the stores sell.

      I think the clergy moved it so that it was an easier sell to get converts among the pagans. They were celebrating anyway.

      I saw his last broadcast just a few weeks ago. I was amazed he was 92.

  4. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,

    You could rake up a small handful of leaves and light them on fire for old time’s sake. πŸ™‚ Burning leaves on a cold autumn day is a fond memory of mine as well.

    I think of Thanksgiving as turkey and stuffing. Christmas used to be turkey and stuffing as well but for many years now it has been pork loin or prodigious amounts of Italian food. It doesn’t matter because they are all warm, familial smells.

    No painting today. Hands are too sore. The sun is shining and it isn’t too cold down by the lake so Rocky and I are taking a walk.

    Enjoy your day.

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I don’t have too many leaves, mostly a yard filled with pine needles. I doubt they’d smell as good, but your idea is still a great one.

      When I was little, we also had turkey at Christmas then when we got older, we had different meats each year though roast beef was one of the hits. I love a crown rib roast and also a pork roast. We’ve done ham too, but I agree it doesn’t matter.

      A day off after all that work is a perfect idea. I hope you and Rocky had a great walk!

  5. Lori Kossowsky Says:

    It’s rainy and cold and we just had another small earthquake. Jewels yawned and went back to sleep. She didn’t even warm me– so much for cats knowing when the earth will move. Thanksgiving is not usually one of my favorite holidays..too much food, and.. oh I guess I’m just in a grumpy mood. I don’t much like getting old– I have to go for xrays on my right spine because the pain won’t stop and as I mentioned earlier I injured my good knee, making both knees painful. I want to be out with the occupy movement helping and singing songs with local talent. Well, enough grumping for today, I’ll cheer my self up by listening to some “Kat” music.

    • Kat Says:

      We had an okay day even though it was cold. I went out to the car and the deck, but that was it for the day. It was work inside the house day.

      Pace yourself on Thanksgiving, and maybe you’ll enjoy it more. Besides, all those leftovers give you Thanksgiving agaian and agian. I never mind-nothing better than a turkey sandwich with stuffing and cranberry sauce.

      Hope the music cheered you up a bit.

  6. splendid Says:

    “Winter is the stark season when the world is gray and lifeless, but it is the season with the most memorable of smells.”
    Oh how I love to read your words, and find myself awash in memories!
    Ralph posted last week about cooking turkey parts for stock:https://www.facebook.com/notes/ralph-cherry/brown-turkey-stock/10150907904810602 so i ran out and only found a 12lb turkey, no parts. I can’t wait to cook it but i doubt if it will be used for stock, my 12 year old has been begging to come home one day this week and ‘have the house smell like heaven like Thanksgiving morn.”
    so wonderful to read everyone. XOXOXOOXOXOOX

    • Kat Says:

      Nothing is better than the smell of turkey roasting in the oven. Usually I go to my friends’ house for dinner, but I have a small turkey in the freezer waiting for the day so I can have leftovers for sandwiches.

      I don’t use mine for stock either. The truth is I couldn’t be bothered with the pre-cooking ritual.

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