Roy walked in the house this afternoon with an armful of dried Japanese maple leaves. “Wanna see something cool?” he said, as I scraped pumpkin cheesecake batter into a gingersnap-crusted springform pan. I turned around and fell in love at once with this wispy pink cloud of rosy what-nots. Our first holiday decoration, we decided—Thanksgiving tinsel.
It’s funny about Thanksgiving week, how different and special it feels. The normal routine is knocked about just enough to open up space and time for those pause-button moments, when you notice something beautiful that the wind blew in to your back yard.
Sure, it’s cold. The chickens’ water is frozen. Ratzilla is back in the attic. (And his cousin, Ratatouille, is in the kitchen. I found his stash of chocolate chips, toasted almonds, and doggie kibble behind Mastering The Art of French Cooking the other day.) The wind blows through the windows of this old farmhouse like nobody’s business.
But the hoop house is warm and snug in the early afternoon sun—a good place to go and just rest for a minute. And Roy’s newly built insulated “walk-in” shed is keeping the eggs from freezing.
This week the sun is closing down before 4 pm, and the early darkness is startling. But morning brings customers down the driveway to buy three or four dozen eggs at a time. Everyone is smiling, talking about who’s coming to visit, whether the boats will run in the storm, what they’re planning to cook, how the menu’s coming together. For cooks, there’s sheer joy in all the choices, the dogearing of cookbooks and downloading of recipes. The permission to bake everything from dinner rolls to lattice-top pies. Or to completely deconstruct the spice rack, as I did this afternoon. That I admit, was probably not necessary. If the spices are getting a little old, well, at least there are fresh herbs still alive outside. Sage and rosemary—my heroes.
I love this holiday that celebrates food and gratitude. What more do you need, really? Well, a warm house would be nice…not that there’s anything wrong with this one…