Thursday, November 24, 2011
When we first moved to Texas, it wasn’t feasible for us to travel to Michigan when the kids just had a short break from school, and most of our relatives preferred to stay home. So it was always a treat when one of the Grandmas would join us for the holiday.
It was nice to have someone with whom to share that special spirit of Thanksgiving, and the kids appreciated having a Grandma all to themselves. No other cousins around clamoring for attention. I appreciated having a Grandma all to myself, too. There's nothing like an extra hand in the kitchen to make one feel like she can conquer anything, including a twenty-five pound turkey.
One year when Mom Miller came for the holiday, the kitchen sharing was a little awkward at first, due to the fact that we didn’t cook together very often. Once every three or four years left a lot of room for verbal stumbling, especially since we were both so busy trying not to offend each other.
"Is this okay?"
"Sure, do it any way you want."
"Well ... I'll do it the way you want."
"In that case ... 1 usually ... but you don't have to .. I mean ... my way isn't necessarily the right way ... "
But after we stopped all that nonsense, things went much better, and I even picked up a couple of helpful hints from Mom:
"Slice your celery on the slant and it won't be stringy.
Seal your onions in a glass jar and they won't stink up the refrigerator."
I considered returning the favor, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't come up with any hints to pass back. I guess I just didn’t have the experience. It seemed like whenever I tried to come up with a brilliant idea in the kitchen I ended up in some kind of mess; like the time I put all my sugar, flour and other powdered stuff in plastic storage containers. It was a mad moment of organization, and I was so busy congratulating myself, I forgot to mark the containers.
When I handed Mom the container that I thought had powdered sugar for the frosting she was making, I thought she'd be pleased at this obvious sign of incredible organization, and perhaps my efficiency rating had finally risen above a minus ten. But, alas, it was not to be. And it was a good thing she tasted what was in the bowl before she frosted the cake with the end result.
Granted, the cake was a little crumbly, but it didn't really need wallpaper paste.
Despite the awkwardness, this was a very special time I shared with Mom Miller, and we had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Gathering as friends and family is so important, and doing so to give thanks for our many blessings just makes it better. Hope everyone has a wonderful day filled with good food and good company.
Maryann Miller is an author and freelance editor. Her latest book is Open Season, which has gotten nice reviews from Library Journal and Publisher's Weekly. One Small Victory, is a top seller in the mystery bestseller list at the Amazon Kindle store. Visit her Web site for information about her books and her editing services. If you have a good book, she can help you make it better. She will stop playing with her horse and work, honest.