When I was growing up, my mom was always offering us food. I'm not sure if it had anything to do with the fact that she was raised during the depression, when food was scarce, or if it grew out of the old adage about the way to a man's heart being through his stomach, but whatever the reason, our fridge was always full and my mom was always pushing seconds. To my mom, food was love.
At no time was this more apparent, than during the holidays. For every holiday and any holiday, if my mother was hosting, there was food, food and more food.
Thanksgiving, being the official food holiday, was always completely over the top. Each year, my mother would whip herself into a culinary frenzy, staying up until the wee hours of the morning, preparing most everything from scratch. Of course, we had turkey and mashed potatoes, green beans and stuffing, candied yams and cranberry sauce. We had everything you would expect at a Thanksgiving table...and then there was more. Much, much more. She made creamed onions, brussel sprouts, several kinds of rolls, baked yams, butternut squash, tossed salad (with nine kids of dressing) and stuffed mushrooms. There was broccoli and corn, rice pilaf and baked potatoes.
This was all in addition to the major Italian antipasto and hors d'oeuvres that were served before dinner and the crazy amount of dessert she had prepared for after. There was a lot of food.
Then everyone started watching their weight, their cholesterol and having babies. My sister took over the hosting duties and no one had the appetite for all that food or the time to prepare it. My mom would still make, and bring over, some of her personal favorites, but all in all, the table had thinned.
I don't think that our situation was unique. I think that traditions evolve, times change, tastes change, it's a natural process...but sometimes, I think especially as people get older, a yearning for the past creeps in. This year, it seems to be creeping right back onto our holiday table.
My mom is in a nursing home now, she will be coming home for Thanksgiving and there is talk about what dishes we should have, what would mom like...and so the table is starting to fill in again.
I like it. I am not a big eater, I never have been, but the renewed presence of certain dishes, sides that were axed from the menu years ago, just feels right. My husband is making my mom's stuffed mushrooms and I am bringing the creamed onions. I won't eat them, but I know that my mom will...and so the table may be a bit more crowded this year, but that's okay, because along with all that food, it will be jam packed with love. Happy Thanksgiving.
Harriet's Stuffed Mushrooms
15 mushrooms...a mix of large and medium size
3/4 cups bread crumbs
2 tablespoons of parsley
A sprinkle of garlic powder
1 can of anchovies (including juice)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl
Slowly add enough warm water, a touch of oil (or melted butter) and lemon juice to make a paste
Fill cleaned mushrooms with paste and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes
What will be at your table this Thanksgiving?
Sign up for email and follow the fun ~
Tips, tricks, crafts and giggles delivered straight to you!