It’s that time of year. Grand schemes are being drawn up. I’m not talking politics here. I’m talking holidays. In a few weeks hubby and I will be hosting Thanksgiving in our home. The invites have gone out and I’ll put pen to paper soon to make my food list while pondering all I have to be thankful for. My preparations will have in the background beloved noises like . . .
Clanking dishes – The built in corner cupboards in our dining room are chock full of all the good dishes. The big platters, ceramic Easter bunnies, Christmas mugs, and Noritake China my sailor bought for me in Vietnam. I pull open the doors, stand back and decide which pieces will best serve for this particular holiday. As I remove my choices the bowls and plates clink clank against each other in the familiar tune that accompanies my thoughts of our grateful joy in God’s bounty.
Grocery bag tango – This is a whole other kind of music. When I haul in the grocery bags loaded with stuffing mix, apples, heavy cream, brown sugar, fresh parsley and a big honking turkey those bags make a distinctive “thunk” as I set them down. I buy so much special food I sometimes forget I needed hamburger for that night’s dinner (head smack). But the rustle of filmy produce plastic, the crinkle of the chocolate chip bags as I pull them from the tote, and that “finally done unpacking” sound as I fold up my shopping bags, is a happy tune to hear.
Sizzle and Pop – The morning of, the first thing I make is stuffing. Into my big frying pan goes a lump of butter, a splash of olive oil, diced onions and chopped celery. What a nice sound and aroma comes from that combo. When these are all translucent I throw in the sausage – always use Jimmy Dean – and then doesn’t that pan sizzle and pop. If the man comes in from the barn those bits of sausage, well browned and fragrant, are in great danger of being fingered out of the pan. And I’m such a good wife I let it happen – maybe twice. The “Mmmm” I hear is worth it. Finally I add spices and breadcrumbs and the deed is done.
Parades and Football – Gotta have the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on while that sausage is ‘a sizzlin’. Gotta hear the refs whistle, the buzz of the crowd, halftime band, and a silken voiced commentator making sure we know that this fullback’s wife is due to give birth any minute. These sounds all add a big human roar to the day. I have one or the other on in the living room, turned up a little, as I bustle about in the kitchen.
Movie – Oh, how I love Miracle on 34th Street. The one from 1947 featuring Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood, with Edwin Gwenn as Santa. The best version in my view. The opening scene is at the Macy’s parade and fits right in with turkey and stuffing. It also sets the tone for the upcoming wonderful season. I could cook all day with this in the background.
Clanking dishes – And we come full circle. But now the dishes are loaded with good food, forks are scraping the plates, and big spoons are dipping into bowls of mashed potatoes, cranberries, and stuffing. The kids want Grandma’s homemade applesauce and their moms tap, tap a bit onto their plates. Someone always says, "Save room for dessert!" A part of me pulls away to simply watch and listen and my heart nearly bursts.
So here I sit, weeks away from all of this, but glad for the days moving toward it. What happy background noises lend richness to your thankful hearts and busy days?
Image: My “dish closet” as some would call it.