Soon the obligations and traditions will pile up like a stack of Jenga pieces. Our families have grown, extended beyond every leaf of our tables, and as much as we do our best to accommodate the changes, we hold onto our traditions for dear life. And, let’s face it, that means food.
My mother’s stuffing is the all-out signature of my family’s Thanksgiving. If any one of us can’t be at my sister’s annual holiday table the first thing we say is, “But save me some of Margaret’s stuffing.”
I’m in charge of pies. That’s been my gig since I became an adult. I started out by trying my hand at homemade crust. I poured through cookbooks, experimented with recipes. I was in my twenties and I was trying domesticity on for size. Then as my family grew and our lives became a crazy maze of activities, I started to cheat. I bought the already made crusts. I bought canned pumpkin. I brought tubs of Cool Whip instead of real whipped cream.
Then I was working full-time and my pie process became finding the best bakery to provide what my family loves: Pumpkin, Apple, and, without fail, Coconut Custard for my Dad.
The food tradition has migrated to our family’s next generation. My daughter-in-law is good for the green bean casserole and my sister’s daughter-in-law makes a batch of festive cupcakes for the grandkids.
And, amidst our familiar comfort food, we have each other, at least as many of us that can manage it. I still make sure we have Coconut Custard pie even though Dad’s been gone for four Thanksgivings. But, he’s still with us, entrenched in our gathering.
www.mkatequinn.com for updates on my upcoming release, “Brookside Daisy,” a romantic comedy about a single mom slinging hash in a local diner doing her best to fulfill her only son’s dream and the obnoxious playboy that crosses the threshold.