Yesterday Lily asked for my chocolate pecan recipe so I got it out and took pictures and sent it to her. I think I should probably recopy the recipe, don't you? But I used it today to make a lovely pie for us and then I made Mrs. Matthew's recipe for plain pecan pie and here's what I have on the counter now.
Making these pies I always remember the woman we called Granny Matthews and I have written about her frequently. If you are curious, do a search up there at the top left of the page for either Mrs. Matthews or Granny Matthews although I must warn you that some of the stories she is involved in are, well, difficult. Still, she has a very warm spot in my heart and I like remembering her.
Today has been a day for memories. I watched a five minute video that someone took of driving down the malecon in Cozumel and I watched it, remembering every block as somewhere I have walked, shopped, eaten, drank, danced, or stayed. It brought tears to my eyes. So much magic there for me and I miss it horribly. And of course, memories of Thanksgivings past are evoked by not only the physical recipe cards but by smells and actions, the specific ingredients as I chop them, roll them, prepare them. I have been making Thanksgiving dinners since 1976 and I know that because it was the year that Hank was born and my then-husband's sweet mother and her partner came and ate with us and I'll never forget that she put all of the leftovers away for me which was the greatest gift she could have given me. I remember Thanksgivings where I was pregnant and so tired that after I got the dinner on the table I excused myself and took a nap. I remember Thanksgivings where I set up tables all over my living room like a small restaurant because we had so many guests. I remember Thanksgivings where people stayed so long that I found some of them sleeping in bedrooms hours after the meal was over. I remember Thanksgivings where I was resentful, Thanksgivings where I was truly thankful, Thanksgivings with people whom I loved and adored who are no longer here.
And I remember the Thanksgiving Eves where after a long day of cooking and prepping, I threw giant parties for musician friends and family and neighbors and loved ones of all description. A bonfire, oysters raw and roasted, pasta and so much more and this old, old house welcomed everyone so gracefully and graciously in rooms, porches, and the yard.
How did I do that? I do not know.
But here we are in this quite different year and Jessie and Vergil and the boys are here and I've done all the things I listed yesterday that I needed to do and cleaned out the hen house, too, and there are piles of stuffed animals on beds and little boys watching TV with their grandfather and we are going to eat pizza tonight, thank god, that I bought frozen from Publix yesterday. I thought about making my own but then I thought better.
I am looking forward to tomorrow where Jessie and I will finish up the cooking while the little guys and the big guys wander in and out of the kitchen. No pressure at all. The eating of the meal is not the point of it, in my estimation. That happens so fast and then, it is done. It is the cooking, the loving, the gathering, the rituals, the love. Or at least, whatever parts of that we can do here in 2020.
And the dancing in the hallway and the sip of yum rum. Mr. Moon came through on that one.
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all. It's going to be different this year but we still have much to be grateful for. So very, very much.