Well, folks officially less than a week until Thanksgiving. We are headed toward the start of the “holiday season” fast and furiously. For me, let’s see – our house is torn apart, everything’s a disaster around here and I don’t think I have one single Thanksgiving dinner ingredient in my house yet. Full steam ahead! Bring it on. I’ve had a headache pretty much for the last week or so and nerves are frazzled. I can’t wait to have things back in order – or at least our normal sense of order.

Putting all that aside, we were reminiscing tonight about the holidays and memories. I asked our youngest son what he would like to have with turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, which sparked a conversation of holidays gone by. While some things endure through many generations, some traditions or foods slowly slip away from our table as the people with whom they are associated leave us. Why this happens I am not sure. I think that we sometimes take for granted certain aspects of our holidays because we take for granted the people behind them. We assume that the food, like the person will always be around.

For example, in my memories, my great Aunt Mary always showed up on holidays with literally a back seat full of pies – chocolate cream pie, lemon meringue pie, apple  pie and pumpkin pie. Pies that would make any baker shrink back in defeat. While we still make pie for dessert on certain holidays, none of our pies can hold a candle to Aunt Mary’s. The same thing with her stuffing – a mix of sausage, apple, onion  and seasonings – a combination that I, my sister and my brother have desperately attempted year after year to recreate and somehow always fall just short of Aunt Mary’s stuffing.

I realize that we have not had antipasto since my Dad passed away. We had antipasto for the appetizer for every major holiday for as far back as I can remember  and mostly since it was one of his favorites – huge platters piled high with Italian meats, cheese, olives, tomatoes, lettuce, hot cherry peppers, pepperocini and such. They are conspicuously absent from my holiday meals – intentionally or not – I couldn’t tell you, it just doesn’t seem right to have one of his favorite foods without him.

Tom reminisced about his grandmother’s dinners for holidays which always started with a homemade fruit salad. Pretty much the same thing – even if we tried to recreate it, it just wouldn’t be the same.

I know that the holidays are a natural time to remember. I hope that your reminiscing brings back as many good memories as ours did this evening.

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