Thanksgiving is a big holiday in the Rambler family. For my father, it holds even more weight than Christmas.
And of course the biggest part of Thanksgiving is the food.
Alright, it’s the second biggest part. The biggest part is gratitude. What would Thanksgiving be without thankfulness?
But the second biggest part is the food.
Mother and I spend the whole day before Thanksgiving cooking. My responsibilities revolve around baking pies (three minimum: two pumpkin and one apple) and taste-testing the dressing. Mother is the kitchen fairy who makes everything taste wonderful, and I watch from the sidelines in awe, stepping in when I feel that I won’t mess everything up. I also wash a lot of dishes.
This is probably my favorite day of the year. I am no cook, but my mother is, and I love to watch her. I hope that twenty-one years of following her around the kitchen will have soaked in by the time I find myself out on my own.
We depend on each other on Cooking Day. She repeats aloud the list of things that need to be made at least ten times during the day, asking me if there’s anything she’s forgetting. She never does. Every year there’s green bean casserole, turkey, sweet potato soufflé, dressing, yeast rolls, cranberry orange relish, the three aforementioned pies, and some kind of salad. See, now I feel as though I’m forgetting something—and she’ll comment and correct me. I wonder why she worries about it. She’s the one who reminds me to put salt in the pie crust and all the other things I tend to forget when it comes to cooking. She’s the wizard. I’m just a little flying monkey wielding a whisk.
Somehow at the end of the day, it all gets done. It always tastes delicious. The leftovers always last for weeks. We make ten different kinds of turkey dishes over the next few days following Thanksgiving. It is the inaugural day of the Rambler holiday season. It’s beautiful. It’s marvelous. It’s one of my favorite things to do with my mother—cooking, laughing, making messes, and sharing memories. Cooking Day is on my list of things I am very, very thankful for.