This has to be one of my favorite photos of my Mom, Eleanor. The scene is Thanksgiving dinner...probably in the 1960s...at my Grandma & Grandpa's house. The entire family would get together for lunch...it was always an early affair...an early in the day Thanksgiving dinner.
The female cousins would share the tasks of setting the table...including the kid's table in the living room. It was an honor to be able to take the "good" silverware out of the buffet cabinet & place it just so on the table. That table was so big that I remember after Grandma & Grandpa had both passed on, it was left in the house to be sold as part of the deal since none of us had a room large enough to accomodate it.
All the women were in charge of the cooking...Grandma & Grandpa had put the turkey in early in the morning...the stuffing was made from cracker crumbs & parsley & eggs & chicken livers chopped VERY finely...with chicken stock to moisten it. I still make it today...we're sure it has a connection to matzo balls somehow...even though the family was not Jewish but Hungarian.
The place to be was in the kitchen as the turkey was being carved...then you could "steal" some of the crispy skin from the bird. We all fought over it...every year. Now I leave the skin on the turkey, but only take a small bite as I'm concerned over the healthiness of that stuff. How times change.
Dinner was the usual feast...and after dinner, the men retreated to the living room to socialize & the women & girls would do the clean up...VERY Ozzie & Harriet, no? Then after all was cleaned up, we would draw names for the Christmas gifts...the parents drew the same number of names as they had children...and we would write out our Christmas wish lists to give to the aunt & uncle who drew our name.
So on this Mother's Day...I want to thank my Mom for teaching me how to cook...even though at times I didn't like it very much. I've taken many of her recipes & spiced them up for our tastes...but there's no comfort food like Mom's Scalloped Potatoes...especially since I've added lots of thinly sliced onions for extra flavor. Hearty...not healthy...a once a year splurge full of wonderful memories. And I still use a Feemster's Famous Vegetable Slicer to cut the potatoes & onions...it's a dangerous device & you could easily take off pieces of your finger with it...but it's what Mom used, so I use it, too.
Mom crossed over in November 2008...but her memory lives on.
Thanks, Mom & Happy Mother's Day!