…making sure that everyone has their favorite pie available to them for Thanksgiving dessert consumption. Even if that means six pies for six people.

(Hey, someone who shall remain nameless has to make things difficult and enjoy most lemon meringue. But I — er, whomever that nameless soul happens to be — strongly maintain that it was not she who polished off that sucker over the course of the weekend. AHEM.)

This year marked a shift — a generational milestone, I suppose. Each year, you’ll find the guys in the living room, watching football and patting themselves on the back for being men or whatever it is that guys do on Thanksgiving (in my mind, it involves a lot of grunts and high-fives); the women are in the kitchen, slaving away over the feast to come. I long ago set aside my battle of the sexes mentality — I’d much rather have us work hard to make a good meal than let those fellows have at it, singe the turkey and lump up the gravy.

That ramble aside, I now lead you into the hallowed kitchen of which I’ve spoken. You would be able to see the same scene from when I was 10 until now: my grandmother and mother do most of the work while I try to do what I can without getting in the way. But THIS year, my grandmother was the one sitting to the side, trying to help as best she could as my mother and I worked the culinary magic.

That’s right, folks: I was cooking. A lot. For people’s consumption. And no one died.

Let’s let that sink in for a moment, as you picture me scolding the recipe book that told me that the chickpeas (for my brother’s casserole) I’d been mashing for 10 minutes would be set to join other ingredients in a mere two minutes’ time.

As the shock wears off, we zoom out of the kitchen, into the dining room, through the much-enjoyed feast (featuring both carnivorous and vegan options) and to a small group still lingering at the table.

Tom looked over at my grandmother. “What was Grandpa like?”

I looked up in surprise. Did the boy read my mind?

And then Gram told us about Grandpa. Not much, mind you — you can reference here my earlier discussion of family affairs — but more than I knew. Little tidbits. Accents of color on what had been, for the most part, composed of the black and white newspaper clippings I’d poured over as a youngster.

As I rested my elbows on the table and asked more questions, I realized that this was the best Thanksgiving I’d had.

And I hadn’t even savored my slice of frothy lemon tartness yet.

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