Haven’t shared a Tuesday tradition lately (so much for follow-up and follow-through). Thought I’d share a little Thanksgiving ritual I have with my brother. A little history first. My big brother, Pat, is six years older than I. He’s my only brother. While growing up he spent most of his time putting up with with my sister Meg and me, the baby of the family. I could tell you all kinds of stories but most of them would make me look bad so in the spirit of vanity and pride my lips are sealed.
Like most families we have our favorite dishes that my mom serves at Thanksgiving. The all-time Thanksgiving favorite in our family has to be my mom’s cornbread dressing. Pat and I love my mom’s cornbread dressing. As far as I’m concerned it’s not a Thanksgiving meal if it doesn’t include mom’s cornbread dressing. I recall the first Thanksgiving I spent away from my family. The experience was tragic (ok, maybe it wasn’t tragic, but it was disturbing); they did not serve my mother’s cornbread dressing!
I think my brother must have had a similar experience because in recent years I’ve noticed a certain desparateness when it comes to mom’s cornbread dressing. As soon as the bird comes out of the oven my brother and I hover with forks in hand in order to get the first taste. The hovering has become a bit competitive as we race to see who is the first to plunge their fork in that moist oven roasted cornbread dressing. [Yes, I know, it’s a bit silly for a 40 something year old man and this 30 something woman to act that way. The only excuse I can offer for myself is that he’s the older sibling and the one setting the example for this little sister.]
Last year my brother spent Thanksgiving with his in-laws. I don’t think they served mom’s cornbread dressing. As I waited with fork in hand for the bird to emerge from the oven it felt a bit strange without my toughest competition standing nearby to claim the victorious first bite for himself. So, I gave him a call to let him know what he was missing (aren’t I a sweet sister?). As always the dressing tasted great but something seemed to be missing. Was it poultry seasoning, salt, or maybe pepper? No, it was the sweet taste of victory. It just wasn’t the same without my big brother next to me vying for that first bite.
This year I’m hosting Thanksgiving and cooking the bird and dressing. I’m not sure if that disqualifies me from competing for that first bite. At least my big brother will be with us this year and I’m sure he’ll let me know either way.
I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday, especially the time you spend with your loved ones.