My mom got up super early to get the turkey in the oven and get started on Great Nana’s famous dinner rolls. The rolls had to rise twice in order to be the best they could be. It required a lot of patience. There was just something about them though. If they were rushed it was just not the same. My dad, brothers and I kept an eye out for the first batch of rolls coming out of the oven so we could taste test. Those were the days….
Food, family, the Macy’s parade and the Wizard of Oz was Thanksgiving to me. We would start eating from the time we got up until we went to bed. In the morning while prepping we would watch the parade. During dinner, I would sit at the table watching the food get passed around while stuffing my face with countless number of rolls and of course, piles of mashed potatoes. (It’s no wonder I go for the carbs for my comfort food.)
People were eating and connecting with each other. This was back before cell phones so the world was a lot different.
It was a simple time in life for me as a kid. Though, looking back now, I know how stressful it must have been for my mother. As I picture the table now I see at the very least 10-15 people from my youngest brother to my aunts, uncles, grandparents and great grandmother. The women usually helped set the table and bring out the sides and my dad cut the turkey. My great grandmother would be pouring herself some wine and then finding the sugar and adding some to it. Someone always had to keep an eye on her.
My great grandmother was there for her day out from the nursing home. I think she enjoyed getting out of there and spending time with us, though the Alzheimer’s was pretty bad at this point. She usually just sat at the table humming and sipping on her sweetened wine. Once in a while she would say something funny. Great Nana was entertainment for us sometimes. So innocent yet lots of work and patience for my mother and grandmother. Insert lots of patience again.
Moms juggle a lot every day and especially around the holidays. Sometimes it’s more than they really need to do, but sometimes it’s just simply to bring joy to her family. I am grateful for these memories. I am grateful for the rolls, the parade watching, Great Nana’s humming… the joy I feel now when I think of these things. I hope one day that my kiddos think back to their holidays with sweet joyful memories too. (If we can keep them off their phones enough to make them!)
What memories do you cherish from the holidays of your childhood? What memories are you creating for your family?
Oh and by the way, my brother told me years later that he found out that Great Nana's famous rolls were actually the recipe from the King Arthur flour bag. Famous but not from our family. Do you have any "family" recipes you love?
I really enjoy sharing little snippets into my life and hope this inspires you. I’d love to have you join my free Facebook community so we can get to know each other more! Join here: www.jillcoletti.com/community