Which means I've been cooking for two days.
And when I make the stuffed mushrooms and stuffed artichokes I think of my grandmother. She would stand over the very same iron skillet I used just yesterday, browning the breadcrumbs and cheese in the olive oil-- dragging the spatula through the mixture in slow deliberate movements like a peaceful mediation. Somehow I am eight again, peering over the stove--hungry for dinner to begin--waiting for her to finish my favorite dish so I can eat whatever leftover crumbs may spill from her wood spoon onto a plate. And today, when I chop the onions, celery and apples for the stuffing, I remember my Uncle Link and his magnificent recipe. With each swipe of the blade I think back to that Thanksgiving in New York when he made the biggest turkey I had ever seen...bringing it to my mother's house, bacon strips dripping off the top of the bird while the winds of a very cold Thanksgiving rattled the checkered curtains of my mother's basement kitchen. He was careful negotiating the cement steps, carrying the large bird as if it were some kind prayer he would be offering up for all us. And today when I put out the good china and crystal, I can hear my mother's laughter as she set our family table--how many times?--enough so that all the memories of all those meals feels like just one shining moment in my young life. And this morning when I finished the turkey with butter, I think of my Aunt Faye--who at 92 is still very lovely--who taught me how to prepare a meal on that Thanksgiving, so long ago, when we didn't have much but that one bird and some butter we managed to buy. We did have each other in that hard time. And, I like to believe, we did have the knowledge that we all-- somehow --will find our way into this very future--the one in which I write this small note and send it out into the world as a blessing. From all of us to all of you.