Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and I’ve already started preparing. I get very nostalgic around this time of year. It’s really hard not to. I absolutely wouldn’t trade the way I celebrate now and who I am surrounded by, but sometimes I can’t help but miss some of the people I grew up celebrating with.
I spent my childhood with my german grandmother during holidays. She was a tough lady with sparkle of orneriness. She would never take much flak from anyone. Ever. She was tiny. I towered over her by more than a foot. But her tininess was not a force to be reckoned with, as she spent most days in high heels and lipstick with perfectly manicured nails while driving a huge white Lincoln with her little head barely over the wheel, cigarette daintily between her fingers, all the while throwing around a german curse word or two, and maybe some in english as well. And then she would chuckle.
She was also the best Atari player I ever met.
We had a soft spot for one another. My whole life. She would never let me misbehave, and always put me in my place, but she did have a soft spot.
I don’t regret much in my life, but I do regret not letting her teach me to cook a few things. I didn’t really cook until she was gone. And I wish that wouldn’t have been the case. So I think if I learn something from that…..I need to force my kid to learn things from me and his grandparents, he will appreciate it later.
During Thanksgiving, most of my life I ate only a couple things. Dinner rolls. Cranberries from the can and dinna kucha. Dinna kucha is a German dessert. Finding a recipe for it is nearly impossible, as many of the old world recipes are passed down through the families. Kucha is bread in German. This one happens to be a sweet bread. Kind of like a white coffee cake. We had this for everything. For holidays. For weddings. For funerals. It was always there. And it reminds me of my grandmother.
I had a family reunion this past summer and I got to spend some extra time with my grandmother’s sister. Who, as the years pass by, looks so much like my grandmother, that sometimes it takes my breath away when I see her. I asked her to show me/ teach me a little bit about German desserts and kucha.
And so I gave it a try. I don’t think I put things in the right order, but my mother assured me, that me being me, it would be fine if I put my own spin on it. As that’s what I do with everything in my life. I do it my way. My grandmother would have probably laughed and cussed at that at the same time. Hopefully she would have liked it too.