Today’s twist should be really easy for me. It’s about infusing the post with your own unique voice, and while I wouldn’t necessarily call my voice unique, I feel that I always write with my own voice. It actually may be a detriment sometimes.
Anyway, today’s post is a little different and fun, so let’s just get down to it.
Tell us about your favorite childhood meal – the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory. Today’s twist: Tell the story in your own distinct voice.
My stomach is the same today as it was when I was a kid: it loves all kinds of foods, and many of the favorites have stayed the same through the years. I used to eat Mr Noodles several times a week for lunch at my grandmother’s house, and I still love them today (even if the salt content threatens to kill me). When I was a kid I was obsessed with Pizzaronis, and today they’re the first thing I look for if I have a night without the husband and daughter.
But if you’re talking about special meals, something with lots of memories involved, I would definitely go with Christmas dinner.
At my house we had turkey three times a year – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter – but though the food was technically the same for all three of those meals, the Christmas one was different somehow. When I was young my mother almost always had to work Christmas day, so she’d put the turkey in the oven on a low temperature first thing in the morning (or sometimes even the night before) and let it slow-roast the whole day until she got home. I’d spend the day playing with my new toys to the delicious scents of poultry seasoning and butter. When I was old enough to be trusted not to scald myself I would be responsible for making sure the turkey got basted every hour or so, and I took that very seriously. The meat had to be kept nice and moist, I knew, so it wouldn’t turn out like the Griswold family turkey from Christmas Vacation.
When my mom got home from work she’d chop up some potatoes, carrots, and turnip, and set it all to boiling. Then she’d take the turkey out of the oven and start scooping out the stuffing – homemade, of course. She’d make a box or two of Stove Top as well so there would be lots, and mix it all together in a big bowl. Before she wrapped up the bowl to keep it warm, I’d grab a little handful and shove it in my mouth – I’ve always loved the stuffing the most.
And then, of course, there was the gravy. Mom would make it from scratch using the turkey drippings and the vegetable water, and it was always amazing. To this day, although I cook my own Christmas dinners now, mom still mixes up the gravy for me.
The meal was as much about anticipation than anything, but of course the eating was the best part. I would eat and eat (especially the stuffing) until I could hardly breathe, and it was always the perfect end to an awesome day. Someday, I hope my daughter will be able to say the same thing about her Christmas dinners.