Today I am participating in the Advent Blog Tour hosted by Marg at Reading Adventures and Kailana at The Written Word, they are doing this lovely tour to celebrate holiday traditions, which brings me to one of my favorite holiday traditions, food and more particularly stuffing (or, dressing if you prefer).
I’m not usually not a picky eater. In fact, I’m pretty much known for eating large quantities of basically everything. A friend of mine once anxiously awaited my arrival to an event she was hosting at her house because no one was eating, and she knew it was the first thing I would do after taking off my coat and greeting everyone; she figured that me pigging out would make it easier for others to start sampling some of the dishes on her heavily laden table (she really likes to cook). A dubious compliment at best, but I will take it. I’m very particular however when it comes to stuffing. I get it once a year at Christmas and I am spoiled about it. I won’t eat just anyone’s stuffing. Only mom’s stuffing.
My mother is one of three sisters , and for a time they each settled their families within relatively close proximity to each other in New York City. Each year they would gather their families together to make dinner for the two big holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The meals were divided into dishes, each of the sisters having their specialties, one of my aunts making rice and peas, the other famous for her peach cobbler and macaroni and cheese. My mother making the stuffing? You see, I’m sure at some point and one of my aunts (the one who bakes) and my mother would switch off on making the stuffing. They both learned from my grandmother, and while stuffing isn’t difficult to make by a long shot, it’s a time intensive task, especially if you want to make it right. Meaning not out of the box. Anyway, that’s the way it went for years, and then when I was about 13 or 14, my aunt who bakes moved with her family to Cincinnati and my mother became the one who makes the stuffing for our family.
As traditions go, this one developed a special way in which it unfolds. As the holiday time would draw
near, we would get together to figure out the logistics of the meal. Where would it be? What would we cook? Who would cook what? My mother would begin to grumble as she was automatically assigned the dish which is the centerpiece of the family meal- even more so than the turkey, stuffing is king in my household. Poor turkey. It’s just all about the stuffing and by extension the cranberry sauce.
But anyway, I digress, my mom has to grumble. “Why do I always have to make the stuffing? Other people’s stuffing would be just as good. What are you going to do if I go away one Christmas and I’m not here to make the stuffing. Someone else will have to make it because I’m not making it this year.” At first we would pay her no mind, we knew she would do it. But yes, we would reassure and flatter her. “But your stuffing is the best. It’s tradition. It just wouldn’t taste the same. My stuffing isn’t as good. This is the one thing we look forward to all year. Pleaaaaaase!” But these days, she has us on the run. She holds out for a long time. Days, weeks even. She bargains with us and she plays hardball. She talks about the friends who have invited her for the holiday. She mentions that she might go home to Alabama this year. We offer to buy and do everything for dinner. We offer ourselves as sous chefs and chop all the vegetables. We tell her that she doesn’t have to make or do anything else. She considers and finally at the last minute she relents. That’s the way it goes.
Today is December 22, and she’s still saying that she might go and spend Christmas with a friend in Delaware. We’re down to the wire. But still I’m not worried. After all, it’s tradition.
Other Stops On The Blog Advent Tour:
Think Pink Dana
What holiday traditions do you have?