Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Prairie Thanksgiving

   As fall brings chill to the wide open prairie plans are made for the big day of gathering. Grandma starts her cooking weeks before the actual day: pies and treats fill the farm kitchen with tempting aromas. Grandpa busies himself along the pasture fences..repairs are needed to keep the cattle safe. Travel plans are set for those far away; they return to the prairie for the holidays.
   Grandma sets me to scrubbing every corner; every shelf and section. Polish the silver and dust the good dishes..the day of gathering comes soon! Card tables are set in front of the sliding back door..pretty table cloths are lay over top. This is for the cousins to sit at; a kids' table for the gathering. A few paper turkeys, leaves and pumpkin decorations are pulled from the storage space in the basement. I place them here and there around the living room to make a festive scene.
   The day draws near; aunts and uncles join the mass. Good thing Grandma had me washing and changing sheets all week...every bed is full with family. Two Siamese have decided to hide; they do not like a full house...neither do I. Slipping about the corners I seek every opportunity to scoot out the door for a romp in the chilly prairie wind.
   A day of thanks arrives with turkey sizzling in the olive green oven..regular basting sends the tantalizing aroma drifting through the house. I am tearing bread for the dressing, much to my disdain. My personal least favorite dish..dressing. Soggy bread, turkey 'parts', oysters..gag. Every other dish on the table- total yummy goodness..but not the dressing!
   Grandmothers pass plates as the aunts chatter and laugh. Grandpa sets with his pepper shaker ready to attack all that good cooking with his strange habit. Uncles tease and pester while cousins slip in-between adults for 'one more roll' or 'a bit more potato'. So much food. So much family, and everyone has their place. The meal seems to last all afternoon- nibbling and catching up over 'just another taste'.
   Evening falls to find the cousins playing behind the couch where the little toy box sets; adults sip warm beverages accompanied by pies and cakes. One by one we start to trickle off to bed..our dreams filled with the delights of the day. Leftovers will be eaten tomorrow...the routine will repeat until each guest heads back to their home leaving us to ponder the next gathering...the next prairie Thanksgiving.

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