Posted tagged ‘tangerines’

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”

November 23, 2017

Today is a beautiful day, just chilly enough. The sun is bright and sharp. The leaves flutter a bit then the limbs swing back and forth when the breeze becomes a wind. I’m watching the parade.

My sister and I spoke this morning, and we remembered our mother waking up early to get the turkey in the oven. Why it was so early neither one of us remember. While my mother was in the kitchen, we were all sitting in front of the TV watching the parade. The snacks every year were the same: M&M’s, tangerines and mixed nuts. We used a silver set to crack then pick out the nuts. Years ago I bought a set exactly the same. I fill it with nuts and put the bowl, the crackers and the picks on my dining room table. Tangerines were the best as they were so easy to peel. Only seeds marred their perfection. The M&M’s were first to go. My father always went with my grandfather to the football game. It was Stoneham versus Reading. My father had no connection to the high school. He never went there and neither did any of us. It was football which drew him.

When the parade was finished, my dad took over the TV. He watched football until my mother called him to the table. We stayed in the kitchen until we set the table. We had turkey, gravy, sage stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and another vegetable or two. The cranberry sauce was always the one from the can. The sauce had can ridges which gave it a bit of a decoration. I always wondered why it was called a sauce when the cranberry was jellied. My father ate quickly, all the better to get back to his games. We lingered far more, just sitting and talking. Clean-up didn’t take long. After that were the pies: apple, my dad’s favorite always eaten with a chunk of cheese, blueberry and lemon meringue. By then it was late afternoon. Supper, if we had any room for more food, was leftovers, usually a hot turkey sandwich, the meat bathed in gravy. That meal was the official end of Thanksgiving.

I have so many things to be thankful for a whole day is not enough. I am thankful for family, for the connections between my sisters and me. I have been blessed with the best of friends, my other family, and I am thankful for them. I am also thankful for my Coffee friends. When I started this, I never thought people I hadn’t ever met would become such close friends. Most of all, I am thankful for the joy and wonder of each new day.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

 

“Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.”

November 20, 2015

The rain started last night and is just now stopping. It has left behind yet another dreary day. It is 56˚ and as warm as it will be for the whole coming week when we’ll drop to the 40’s every day. I’m inclined to stay close to hearth and home.

Watching the Macy’s parade dates back to when I was five or six. I remember sitting on the floor in front of the TV eating snacks. My mother always put out mixed nuts for us to crack and eat, tangerines and M&M’s. We had those silver crackers and matching forks to pull out the nuts. Brazil nuts were my favorites. I liked tangerines because they were so easy to peel. I just didn’t like that they had nuts. Those I’d spit into my hand then put on my plate. I never missed color. Black and white was all we knew, but the parade still had magic from the floats, the sounds of the bands and Santa arriving at the end.

When my mother baked, the windows in the kitchen fogged. At night the window water would freeze in a thin layer like on our car windshields except it was inside the house. Sometimes the window ice looked like mountains ridges, some higher than the others. The ridges, though, never went beyond the middle of the window. I used to like to scratch pictures or messages on the ice with my fingernail, but once the heat kicked in, it didn’t take long for the ice to melt.

Our first frost came the other day. When I went to get the papers, I noticed my car windshield was wet, and the part of my neighbor’s front yard filled with mulch still had its layer of frost. When I went out about an hour later, the frost was gone.

I always hated scraping my car windows. It was early in the morning, around 6:15, still very dark and cold. Now, I seldom go out all that early so the frost has usually melted. When people ask me about the best parts of being retired, I’ll have to remember to tell them about never having to scrape a window.

“There is one day that is ours. Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American.”

November 24, 2013

Last night the wind blew then blew some more and whistled and shook the house. It was tremendous.

Today is bone-chillingly cold. Patches of blue dot the sky. The wind is not as strong as last night but it is still whipping the bare branches of the pines and oaks. The sun shines weakly for a while then disappears and leaves behind a bleakness, a wintry feel to the day. Outside is not at all inviting.

I have always believed Thanksgiving is more about family than any other holiday. I remember the Thanksgivings of my childhood and being home together the whole day biding our time until dinner. My mother always woke up in the wee hours of the morning to stuff the turkey then put it into the oven. The huge oval turkey pan was blue with small white dots. Sometimes the turkey was so big it just fit into the pan. I can still see my mother straining to pull the shelf out of the oven so she could baste the turkey. She always took a taste of the hard outside crust of the stuffing before she’d push the turkey back into the oven. Her stuffing tasted of sage and Bell’s Seasoning. It is still my favorite stuffing of them all. The windows were always steamed from the heat so my mother would open the back door to cool the small kitchen. While she worked on dinner, we sat in front of the TV and watched the Macy’s parade. She always put out the same snacks for the parade. There was a bowl of nuts to crack and eat, M&M’s and tangerines. I always like the tangerines because they were so easy to peel. The nuts were fun to crack.

When we were young, the menu didn’t vary much. Mashed potatoes were one of the highlights. I remember the big glob of butter my mother would put on top and how it would melt down the sides of the pile of potatoes. I always made a well in my potatoes where I’d put the gravy. I am still a huge fan of mashed potatoes. Creamed onions were on the menu because they were one of my father’s favorites. Peas were mine. The green beans came from a can because all our vegetables did. My father cut the meat with great ceremony and we all watched. He cut plenty of white meat because it was our favorite, but not my father’s. He was a leg man.

Dessert was always the same. My mother made an apple pie, a blueberry pie and a lemon meringue pie, my personal favorite. Pumpkin  pie was added when we were older.

Leftovers seemed to last forever.