Friday, November 28, 2008

All that Tryptophan

What a lovely day we had. Clean house, bouncy family (literally -- the kids spent time next door on the killer trampoline), and delicious food.

At least that's what I heard. Apparently having one's head full of snot makes tasting a wee bit more challenging. As we were preparing the final dishes, I said, "This stuffing is bland! I can't smell the apple pie! Aha! This fresh sage has no smell at all!" (Yes. I did speak in exclamations.)

I was assured that the sage did, in fact, smell strongly of sage, that the stuffing had flavor, and the apple pie did not, in fact, have much smell. There was even a more-generous-than-expected spinach salad when I discovered that unless I use floating row cover, the ubiquitous leaf miners are going to ruin any spinach, chard, or beet crop I attempt. Grrr. The turkey was celebrated, thanked, actually called "The most moist turkey I have ever eaten," and even Thing 2, who had spent slaughter day in tears and declarations that she would never ever kill anything, came back to the platter for thirds. There was enough and more than enough (he'd dressed out to about 11 pounds) for everyone to eat and then be made into the start of a gallon and a half of turkey soup in the evening. Maybe eating that would clear my nose?

I ate and ate, but only tasted the big outlines of flavor, I think. So I got "sweet," instead of "chocolate pecan pie," and "meat" instead of "brined in a number of different flavors turkey," and "buttery, bready" instead of "cornbread, butter, pine nuts, raisins" for stuffing.

No pictures, because the neighbor borrowed the camera to capture all the scary bouncing next door. Besides, I didn't take many eating pictures. Any taken of me feature me blowing my nose, more than likely. But I did knit some, and already have found errors in my Kauni sweater -- I have the attention span of a flatworm, apparently. Have already made resolutions to check my patterning every 20 stitches or so -- they're easier to fix then.

Other highlights of the day? Eric finished the shelves for Thing 2's room -- they fit perfectly and already have her library books plus her birthday books arrayed on them. He's been tasked by Thing 3 to make a set for him, and I've contributed my usual Complicating Design Aesthetic -- often expressed by a casual comment like "Can we put an arch here? What about angling the sides? Do you think beveled edges would work?" He's busily drawing plans and muttering about the woman who hates right angles.

Denise and her partner went mushroom hunting and came back with a blanket full of lovely oysters. Kevin said, with shining eyes, "Here, smell these," and I dutifully did, and said, "I only smell 'cold.'" Apparently I was missing out on something wonderful, so he scooted into the kitchen and sauteed up a batch with garlic, and told me how to do it, and then left some for me to cook and freeze for later. Hopefully for when I get my smelling powers back.

I got to take an adults-only walk with my nephew's dad, and we had a nice talk and saw pelicans and just enjoyed each others' company. We played board games with the kids and I talked to my oldest sister, down in Los Angeles.

When I took some pictures (before handing the camera over) of the children, mine and my sister's, lying on the floor playing Stratego, a jolt of deja vu hit. I've seen those pictures before, only they were in black and white and the boys had crew cuts and were wearing Levis with belts and plaid shirts, buttoned up, the girls in little dresses with crew socks and Mary Janes. Bad haircuts everywhere. Those kids were the few years-older cousins and siblings I grew up watching. I bet they didn't have a clue, when the black and white pictures were taken, that they would, really and truly, be the adults later on, adults with their shares of adventures, heartbreak, and joy. So I snapped picture after picture of the children playing, and decided to have some of them printed in black and white, so someday, when that particular game is lost to time and memory, they might get to see their pictures in a line up of old family pictures and have the photographic equivalent of looking into paired mirrors. Children, adults, families, echoing back over the years and forward into the future.


allisonmariecat said...

Chocolate pecan pie? Do tell. I've never been a huge fan of either pecan or pumpkin pies, but I might get on board if there's chocolate. We actually had no pie at all at my MIL's this year. She's the only one who likes pumpkin pie, and she decided it wasn't worth it. Though I like the smell as it's baking... If I hadn't had my hands full with Lilah, I would have made an apple pie, which is much more to my liking.

I'm sorry to hear about your impaired sense of taste. I hope the leftovers had more flavor.

I love the familiar pictures of children past. We have some of those, and it gives such a lovely sense of continuity and family community.

Ruby Louise said...

Glad to hear you had a good Thanksgiving, despite the lack of tasting abilities. I hope you feel better soon!