Saturday, December 19, 2009

Well,all the ingredients are purchased for the Christmas meals. Now I just need to find the recipes to start preparing the food. Everyone has a favorite dish so we never have that balanced table that you see in the magazine. We are all tired of turkey from Thanksgiving thus we will have Prime Rib on Christmas day. We will have plenty of side dishes and more than enough desserts.
It never tastes quite as good to the cook and as it should after preparing it, but the happiness inside that comes from feeding your family is always there.
My conviction this Christmas is to make sure that each and every one of my daughters learn to cook a complete dish. I must admit that I have been a near failure in being insistent in teaching them things in the kitchen. I always seem to be too tired,too busy or they were at a sports practice etc. Suddenly,I realized that time has passed much too quickly and they are young ladies without the proper Southern lady skills. Oh my,how will they ever catch a husband! This Christmas I will begin a new tradition of compiling a family recipe book. I desperately want them to grasp this part of their heritage and treasure it as I have. I want my grandchildren to eat the same Southern soul foods lovingly prepared by their elders hands. I am not being prejudiced just proud of who I am and who my forebears were. We sometimes smugly think that we are different and unique. I say that just the opposite is true. We are bits and pieces of so many before us.I lost my grandmother to illness when I was 5 and missed many of the things that grandparents do with a child. I desperately cling to the memory of me sitting on the kitchen counter watching her cook. I remember a gruff old great aunt lovingly helping my little hands pat butter in molds and indulging me with treats all the while acting like I was trouble.I remember this today when I teach my own daughters to make butter from our cows. I am always amazed at how certain foods bring back memories and emotions.Tea Cakes with chocolate icing will always belong to my Aunt Eva. I will never dig a sweet potato with thinking of Uncle Boss. Fried egg sandwiches belong to cousin Joe and chicken pie to Aunt Hesta Lou....I could go on and on.
Some things are contributed through blood and still others by association. I catch little glimpses of many in the kaleidoscope that is my life. Some colored me happy and bright while others touched my life with dark cold hues. Each and every one contribute to who I am and what I pass on to my children. We are not one whole but tiny bits of many treasures collected along life's path. When I look in the mirror and see the eyes of my grandmother or I see my husbands father in the way that he walks.
Many notes must be played to compose a song. It is the same with life. There are just so many moments to make a life. My wish for Christmas is that each child would receive the gift of heritage that I offer. It is my dearest gift to give.

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