Kitchen lines

Inspired by Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Things Found in a Kitchen

BeckyB: lines&squares

 

ready to make

 

Watch me!

 

What I remember most are her bright red fingernails.

Each shiny nail a perfect oval.

I must have been quite young as her hands were close to my line of sight at the kitchen counter. Watching my mother demonstrate how to flute a pie crust.

First flatten the dough onto the pan’s rim. Press your right forefinger into the dough on the edge. At the same time, pinch the dough around it using your left thumb and forefinger…to form an even point. Repeat the process around the pan until there is a circle of neat grooves. Sealing the top and bottom crusts together. So the juices from all the freshly sliced apples don’t leak out during baking.

The process of fluting is difficult to explain – which is probably why she showed me. Many times.

She was careful. Gentle. No hurrying. No impatient sighs. Voice unusually soft and low. See? This is how you do it. I was mesmerized. Each indentation she made on the crust’s edge forced bits of dough and flour onto and under her nails…red polish slowly disappearing. The tips of her fingers eventually a dusty white.

My mother also wore matching lipstick…which outlined the ever-present red slice of discontent on her face…

…which momentarily slipped away when she was working on a piecrust.

Calmly focused on the pie pan as she expertly rotated it…pressing her manicured fingers methodically into the fresh dough…she was an Artist at Work.

Creating a masterpiece. All her own.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

A day – if you’re fortunate – set aside for family.
For gratitude. For sharing a meal.

Usually a massive meal – in our house it was based around turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, some kind of vegetable. Rolls or banana bread. Every year the “fixins” changed somewhat.

The most important part: many pies. The dinner was basically a stop on the way to pumpkin…apple…cherry pies.

And my personal favorite…playing cards while eating dessert: aka pie.

Dinner was also all about the conversation and stories we shared. So much time and opportunity for prolonged discussion when you are passing endless bowls of food around. Pouring wine. Pouring water. Carving more turkey. I just never knew what subjects would come up; but many became classics.

Such as…

In 1990, my husband and I hosted our first Thanksgiving.
I had never cooked a whole turkey before. An overwhelming task. I had heard horror stories about overcooked turkeys and dried out white meat. That would never happen to me…I’ll cover it! That should do it.

My parents and my in-laws were coming – to join me, my husband and our 2 kids.

I dusted off the big blue covered roaster pan my mother had passed down to me. Coated the fresh turkey with spices and some oil. Tied the legs together.

I put the cover on. It went into the oven. I set the timer. And let it cook. And cook. Many hours later – when, according to the recipe it would be done, I removed it from the oven. Look it’s ready! With great fanfare, I lifted the lid…Oh No!

It looked like a turkey snow angel! All the turkey meat had slid off the bones. We had turkey stew! There was nothing to carve. Legs askew. Wings fallen off. My mother was horrified. I laughed. And laughed.

It still tasted great…and…the white meat was NOT dry!

♥  ♣  ♠  ♦

The following year:

Twelve family members gathered at the dining room table to enjoy our Thanksgiving feast – including my parents, my husband’s parents, my grandmother, my sister and her family.


Upon noticing someone struggling to remove the meat from a turkey leg, my father-in-law shared a memory…a story that has become part of family lore.

He began describing his job at the First National grocery store in the 1930’s. When he helped get the turkeys ready to be sold for Thanksgiving. The turkey carcasses were brought to the store and his job was to pull the tendons out of the legs. Apparently, this made the turkey legs easier to eat. He went into graphic detail. Right in front of everyone. Who put their forks down and stared at him…as he explained this was probably not done anymore. Those pesky tendons still attached.

GROSS! we protested.

Shocked faces…especially those with turkey legs eaten or half eaten on their plates. There may have been some gagging. My big city brother-in-law’s face turned white. He got up and left the room…

♥  ♣  ♠  ♦

Empty nest Thanksgivings…

 left more time for documenting…

IMG_1302

But traditions remained the same.


Happy Thanksgiving!