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Happy Thanksgiving with Lots of Gravy On Top

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By Linda Dobson

SnowyWindow“Over the river and through the woods…” in our own home we always stayed for Thanksgiving, nestled in trees that were, most often, blanketed in the earliest of the snow that would stay all winter. There was always someone invited to join us, but I wouldn’t have missed making the turkey and all the trimmings for anything.

Each year at this time I’m reminded that Thanksgiving preparation is the source of some of my fondest memories of homeschooling with my three young children, emphasis on the word “young.” As they grew, prep consolidated into one full day. But, when they were young, it took the entire week to get ready because they all “helped,” each as s/he was able and, sometimes, unable.

Traditions started quickly. On the second Thanksgiving of their help, my oldest, a son, declared in no uncertain terms that heretofore, he was the cranberry sauce maker (annually amazed at how much sugar went into that innocuous-looking sauce). He was, logically, the first of the three to utilize a knife during prep operations, however, as the years rolled on all eventually contributed a similar amount of blood to the cause.

As her brother before her, my daughter, next in line, one year laid claim to the stuffing. Year by year the ingredients list grew until we were treated to some of the best dressing on earth.

Pies, because we were never satisfied with just one or two kinds, were a true group project leading to some interesting recipes never recorded PumpkinPie(most often because we weren’t certain what we had done “wrong,” what with so many (little) hands involved). Details are lost, but the lingering memories still bring smiles to our faces and provide a lot of fodder for family gatherings.

A meal prepared by all for days was appreciated and savored. Conversation included (mostly constructive) criticism and discussion of what to do “next time.” And, of course, there was enough pie to keep folks at the table for a wonderfully cozy long time.

While all three could now put together a scrumptious Thanksgiving meal with their eyes closed, they have all, at various times, called me when they got to the gravy part of a turkey dinner. Having learned how to make gravy from my own mom, the recipe is void of exact measurements, and I have passed on the process as best as I could. Still, they all say theirs just doesn’t taste as good.

To each, I’ve provided my explanation. “If you followed the directions, it can only mean one thing. The gravy I made was always infused with a very large dose of all the motherly love I was feeling as we prepared our meal. I think it makes the difference.”

Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving – with lots of gravy on top.


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