Gearing Up For the Feast

Despite trying to be nonchalant about it all, I’m kind of excited (if I knew how to add a happy excited sound here I would) about Thanksgiving and all the traditions that go with it, i.e. cooking and eating!

This year we have family coming from out of town, and it’s the first time I have a child coming home from college for the holidays. Weird. Wild. Wonderful.

The holiday meals were always exciting for me growing up because there was a great amount of creativity involved. Not only was food being prepared, but there needed to be decorations, place mats, napkin rings–you name it. Growing up, if anything could be made, you didn’t buy it. That’s what happens when your father is an artist and your mom is an ace seamstress. It was the norm to hear while shopping, “Oh, hey! Look at that, can we get it?”  Dad: “We can make that”.

When I think back to holiday meals as a kid, I have images of ribbon, paper towel tubes (cut up they make great napkin rings. ), poster paint, scissors, Elmer’s glue. It was the 70’s, so if something could be macrame’d, there was that. My friend, Ralph Berrier, Jr., author of If Trouble Don’t Kill Me, and feature writer for the Roanoke Times asked me recently about these experiences, some of which he used in his recent article for his column The Dadline called “Meals, memories”.

Take a look at the picture here. It’s Christmas 1961. I’m the chubby cheeked munchkin impatiently waving the spoon, obviously the tail end of a family of 6. Check out the table runner my Mama made out of greeting cards, the bowl of ornaments in the middle–and sorry Martha Stewart–you were NOT the first to have this idea. The soldier decoration on the window I’m pretty sure was done by my brother most likely under the guidance of my sisters. And did you notice the napkin rings?

So I need to bring this to a close because there are pies to be made, some outdoor plant display thingy I want to try, and something to do with some grapevine. Did I mention the napkin rings?