As the leaves are heard rustling outside in the breezy air, in our house the only thing you can hear is laughter and loads of merriment reverberating themselves throughout the walls. The minute that you walk in the house, different aromas saturate the air and enter your nose. Smells ranging from green bean casserole, homemade breads, and fresh cranberries quickly pass through your nasal passages, but the prevailing smells are all of the fresh, homemade pies.
Struggling to keep your mind off of the wonderful dishes prepared, you look around the room and see all the moms hard at work as the rest of the family is hunkered down in the living room. The television is on but no one is really paying attention, most everyone is either enjoying some games or chatting about miscellaneous things. All the young ones are either downstairs playing or giggling as they chase each other all over the house. Despite all the commotion going on, everyone’s minds are focused on something other than what they are doing.
This diversion that I speak of is the deep fried turkey being cooked up by my dad, the poultry professional. Since I can remember, I do not recall the last time that we had an oven-baked turkey or a ham. For Thanksgiving and Christmas, we always do a deep fried turkey because it is a family favorite. First off, my dad injects the bird with all the perfect sauces and spices. Next, he places the turkey in the deep fryer which contains a peanut oil heated to a couple of hundred degrees.
He then places the lid on top of it and lets it cook the inside of the bird and crisp the edges a little bit. As it cooks, everybody comes out to look at the treasure being created in the driveway. Finally, it gets a beautiful brown edge and it’s time to take inside. As he walks in with the turkey on the tray, everyone gathers around in the kitchen and watches as if he were walking the red carpet carrying a precious diamond. Alas, he has the bird carved and sitting on a silver platter. The table is set and all the enticing food is placed by the turkey.
As everyone gathers around and grasps hands, we all bow our heads to pray and give thanks to the Creator that prepared all the glorious dishes in front of us. With that final “Amen”, everyone grabs a plate and begins loading up their plates and finding a seat around the table. As everyone eats, moans and groans of approval can be heard echoing across the table. Everything is cooked to perfection and many expressions of gratitude can be heard all over as well. Upon finishing their meals, we all just go to the living room to relax and let our stomachs settle before dessert.
Not much chatter is going on right about now because no one can hardly move from eating so much much less move their lips. I would say that the sign of a good meal is not being able to move afterwards and that pretty much sums up how everyone feels after Thanksgiving. Nonetheless, everyone still goes back and somehow makes room for those decadent pies and desserts. My mom usually makes pumpkin pie, caramel pecan pie and some others but my favorite is the caramel pecan pie. I don’t know what draws me to it so much but I just can’t get enough of it!
I try to savor every delicious tier of the pie, the crumbly graham cracker crust, the gooey caramel, and last but not least, the crunch of the pecans. If we couldn’t move before, then after dessert we can hardly get to the living room! Eventually, the food does settle and everyone likes to settle down with a couple of games. Lately, the choice ones have been catch phrase and twister hoopla. Full stomachs and all, everyone always has fun and we all look forward to Christmas and other holidays to come!