As I was browning the onions in bacon grease for the green beans (sue me...I'm from the South and it's Thanksgiving), I was overcome with a wave of nostalgia. The smell of those onions cooking in the early morning hours transported me back to when I was a child. Waking up to the smell of onions or meat cooking before 7 am meant only one thing...something really, really good for dinner!
This morning I'm thankful. Thankful that because of generations of good cooking and warm kitchens, I have the ability to feed my family tasty meals and love doing it. Recipes were passed down and honored like prize possessions....Granny's chicken and cornbread dressing, Melody's yeast rolls, Granny's lemon icebox pie, Aunt Lula Mae's heavenly hash.
When all of these people are gone and what remains are memories of the time spent with them, all it will take is one bite and I will remember. I will remember the frantic phone calls to Granny about some detail of a recipe, and the long conversations with Mama in a warm kitchen as she taught me how to saute, fold and knead. I will forever remember the smell of my great-grandmother's kitchen and the way she would say, "Hey, hey, hey!" whenever anyone walked in the kitchen door (no one ever used the front door).
And although the memories will be entirely different, I hope that my children will feel the same way in 25 years when they are making Thanksgiving dinner for their own families. I hope that they will feel that same connection with their past that I do, and be thankful for it.