There are some wonderful things about growing up.
Your legs finally reach the floor when you sit down.
You can pick your own bedtime.
You can see over practically everything.
When you have your own home, now there’s where the gittins’ good (a Southernism for those of you not from these parts…).
You can finally start making your own rules. Create your own identity. Establish traditions.
That is part of separating from your own parents. In a good way.
Thanksgiving. Hanukkah. Christmas. Times when those same families and friends come together. Often sharing annual festivities. Things to look forward to. Certain foods. Activities. Religious ceremonies.
Yet we also choose to continue certain family traditions that we experienced as children. It’s comforting. Reminds us of people we have loved. Perhaps who are no longer with us. We talk about poignant memories with our own children. It feels like a bridge between the past and the present.
I play Christmas music while we decorate our tree. Just like Dad did. I try to set a pretty table. And think of my Mom’s ever so careful arranging to have guests feel special.
I will do that always.
Yet lurking in the shadows of your mind, there might be a tradition or two that you can’t wait to abandon. That, as a child, you abhorred.
Me? I have not eaten a giblet since I started cooking Thanksgiving dinner in 1980.
I am sorry. I am sure that there are giblet lovers out there who are now lining the streets to stand up for these poor little defenseless turkey parts.
What are giblets? The heart, liver and gizzard of a fowl. Parts that, in my opinion, should be used for flavor, unless out in the jungle or desert somewhere and close to death. Mushy is the word that comes to mind. But folks cut them up and put them in gravy. And dressing. Whatever.
I can remember when the gravy boat came around as a child. I would glimpse their little bodies, floating like dead fish in the steaming thick sauce. Since I had tasted them before, I wanted to avoid them at all costs. I poured carefully until I saw one creep close to the edge.
“Oops. Darn”. (One slipped on to my plate). I would ease it over to the side. Where it would go unseen. I hoped.
That was usually pretty easy. It was Thanksgiving after all.
These days, I fix stuffing. And wouldn’t you know it? I put oysters in mine. What’s the difference, you ask? They are both slimy. Disgusting to look at for too long.
Just personal taste I guess. Or lack of it. Whatever side of the fence you are on.
Our own Thanksgiving dinner is tonight. The table is prepared. The sun is coming up and I’ve got my pie in the oven. Turkey about to go in, sausage and oyster stuffing crammed into its’ cavities. Yum, yum.
Perhaps my guests will be secretly on the prowl for pesky pieces of oyster.
Yearning for a giblet or two.
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