Once again the holidays are upon us and once again I struggle with the thought that I’m just not doing them right. By “doing them right” I mean, like my mother used to. Because when she left us over twenty years ago, I took over the holiday duties. And although I’ve made them my own, I always have to ask myself if I’m doing them right.
For instance, with Thanksgiving, I know there aren’t as many homemade foods as there would be with my mother in charge. I don’t make pie crusts from scratch. I also don’t make one of each kind of pie. I make five pies and two of them are chocolate pudding pies. We no longer eat butternut squash because, although we graduated to the frozen version, it just got too time consuming heating each package up in the microwave. We don’t even use real potatoes, mainly because of time. And because we prefer instant potatoes.
When I first took over twenty years ago I made the stuffing by hand, crumbling bread in a food processor. I no longer have a food processor, as I only used it at Thanksgiving and it took up too much space in my already small kitchen. I now use pre-made seasoned bread crumbs and saute onion and celery and add it to the mix, along with water or if I want to fancy it up a bit, chicken broth. But that’s not how my mother used to make the stuffing. The way I do Thanksgiving is nothing how she used to do it.
All these years later I should accept that this is the way we do Thanksgiving now. Nobody has complained in the past twenty years and they keep coming to my house for dinner, so I must be doing something right. But I still can’t stop asking myself if I’m missing something or if I’m doing everything right.