We just finished Christmas with all its Santa stories and songs and movies, all of which paint a pretty nice overview of the fat man, his back story and motivations. Not that I have all the answers to a curious 4-year-old’s questions, but “Santa is magic” goes a long way.
Now we are looking forward to other holidays, and the one that has piqued his interest is the one that holds the prospect of more gifts … Easter. We’re talking about holidays in the car and he asks all of a sudden, “Where does the Easter Bunny live?”
Crap. Where does the Easter Bunny live?
I wrack my brain for any stories I can think of about the Easter Bunny, and I am coming up empty handed. I feel pressure to uncover some Easter Bunny details that will do the rabbit justice. I cannot think of a thing.
I confess: “I have no idea where the Easter Bunny lives.”
I wonder how this will go over, but then he laughs. “Mommy! He lives in the grass!”
Just goes to show you that sometimes, the simpler explanation is the better one. Grass. Right!
I hate onions. I love Thanksgiving. And weirdly, Thanksgiving to me means the smell of onions — and I can’t get enough this one week of the year.
It always smelled like onions when I woke up Thanksgiving morning. Downstairs there would be chatter of my mother and grandmother in the kitchen. I’d come into the room, and they’d be piling chunks of white bread into a huge, speckled casserole dish, where it would get mixed with onions, celery and a good amount of butter and become stuffing that night.
I’m not sure I ever ate that stuffing — I was more of a turkey skin girl (my dad always slipped me the first slice when he started to carve) — but that backdrop of laughter and the decidedly non-breakfast smell of stuffing in the kitchen was what kicked off my Thanksgiving, as I shuffled to the family room to watch the Macy’s parade.
A couple years after I got married, I started making my own Thanksgiving dinners. I chose a variation of my family’s stuffing, a version with apples and pecans, but it had the same base. And the second I sautéed the onions with the celery (in the butter, hello!), I smelled it. Thanksgiving.
I won’t deviate from that. I started putting together the ingredients for my stuffing and a recipe I kept from my grandmother’s table for Amish potato filling. They both start with chopping onions till my eyes sting. But as soon as those onions hit the butter and celery, I lean over and inhale as deep as I can. I tried to make sweet potatoes for a couple Thanksgiving, and it just wasn’t working for me. I needed onions. Won’t touch them the rest of the year, won’t even make these dishes the rest of the year.
These Thanksgiving dishes do taste good. But Thanksgiving is way more than taste. It’s tradition. And as much as I like eating stuffing and filling, I like knowing that up in Pennsylvania, there’s a kitchen that smells just like mine.