Posted tagged ‘muted sun’

“Don’t assume you’re always going to be understood. I wrote in a column that one should put a cup of liquid in the cavity of a turkey when roasting it. Someone wrote me that ‘the turkey tasted great, but the plastic cup melted.’ “

November 21, 2014

Today is downright cold. The sun is shining but the light is weak and muted. The pine tree limbs in the backyard are swaying from the wind as are the dead leaves still hanging off the ends of branches. I had an early appointment and was out of the house before nine. It was 31˚. Now it is a lovely 34˚, basking weather, almost deck weather.

Yesterday I was a whirlwind of activity. Not only did I finish my four errands, but I also swept the kitchen floor, cleaned the top of the stove, dusted and polished a couple of tables and changed my bed. I was exhausted.

When I woke up this morning, Gracie was in a ball right beside my head and between the two pillows. I figured she must have gotten cold during the night, and I was warmth.

I remember well Thanksgivings when I was a kid. For some reason my mother was always up with the birds as she used to say.  She’d get busy making the stuffing first. I can still see her using her hands to mix the bread chunks with the other ingredients including Bell’s seasoning. Even now, all these years later, one sniff of Bell’s brings back my mother and all the turkeys of her lifetime.  She’d finish the stuffing then put it in the bird. My mother used a giant roasting pan which just fit into the oven. It was oval and blue with white specks. She’d put the turkey and the turkey neck into the pan then the pan went into the oven though sometimes my dad did the oven as the pan was too heavy for my mother. At nine we’d settle in to watch the Macy’s parade. My mother put out tangerines, mixed nuts and M&M’s for our watching pleasure.

It didn’t take long for the wonderful aroma of turkey to spread about the house. My mother, still in the kitchen, would start on the vegetables. Always we had mashed potatoes. I think it is against the law not to have them on Thanksgiving. Creamed onions, canned asparagus for my dad, green bean casserole and later the squash casserole, our all time favorite, would be prepared in no particular order. Before the big day my mother had made the pies: apple, lemon meringue and one more, usually pumpkin or custard. With the left over crust she’d make the turds as my dad called them which always made us laugh. They were rolled dough with cinnamon and sugar in the middle which had been baked in the oven.

I remember the kitchen windows covered with steam from all the cooking, the aromas of the different dishes and how special the whole day seemed.

I put out mixed nuts and buy tangerines. I watch the parade. I make a pie and this year I figure I’ll make some turds. My dad would be happy.

“Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell a story.”

October 28, 2014

Today is one of those fall days we all remember from when we were kids walking to school. The morning air has a bit of a nip, but it will get warmer as the day gets older. You can just feel it. The sun is shining through the leaves and branches of the trees in the backyard. It is a muted sun, not the bright sun of summer. The year is moving along.

Halloween was always the topic of conversation around this time. With only a few days to go the planning got intense. It was time to scour the house for the perfect costume. We all knew being a ghost was the fallback. We wanted more. We didn’t have zombies back then or I would have been one. Frankenstein made a few appearances. Walking with your arms straight out was part of the look. That gave the hint as to which monster you were. Hobos were easy but not at all scary. Cowboys needed only a hat and a gun belt. I was never the fairy or ballerina type. I remember one year my sister wore her tutu. Fake blood and scars on your face were a must. The scars always had black stitches. My mother did the make-up. She also hunted for the parts for our costumes. The only thing she usually bought in Woolworth’s was a mask for each of us. The best one was like the Lone Ranger’s because you never got hot and sweaty wearing it. A pirate was a good costume, and every pirate I knew only had one eye. Boys sometimes wore dresses and hats and girls had jackets, ties and fedoras. I remember being a hobo with a stubble on my face and wearing clothes which had seen better days. We usually carried pillow slips instead of bags.

At the neighbors’ houses we stopped the longest because they chatted and pretended not to know who we were. The little kids didn’t go far afield. My brother and I wandered all over town. When the house lights started to go out, we went home with our treasures. It was time to do inventory.