Well it is here — the big holiday season of the year!
It is a time where we give thanks for faith, family, friends, health and all the work our ancestors did to give us a better life.
Growing up in Huntsville, Alabama, gave me some delightful moments as a child. On Highway 72, the neighbors knew everyone, and going house to house with friends brought wonderful new treats for the holidays of all faiths and backgrounds.
The children, including myself, did more visiting because we knew who baked.
Mama Shirley Milam is the world’s best cake and mint maker. Mrs. Peirce had a mean peanut butter cookie that was always waiting just inside her door for all the children.
But also, there were the seasonal changes. You knew when the leaves changed colors, the holidays were near.
And at Christmas, we would even have some snow. One Christmas we had enough snow that we had snow ice cream every day during Christmas week.
Not to mention, I would bean my little brothers, Richard and Charles, with snowballs. They still made snow angels and snowmen with me, though.
Although our family loves our traditional holiday foods, one of my favorite holidays was when our nephew, Bryan Horaist, treated us to a seafood delight. This man can cook.
We had a Louisiana feast of fried fish, étouffée, and who knows what else. I think I really gained 10 pounds off that one meal alone. But it was so good I can’t stop talking about it.
We have had our adventures on holidays, too. Once, our stove went to having only one eye working.
Yes, we cooked one ingredient at a time. Potatoes for potato salad, then peas, then boiled eggs for deviled eggs, then turnip greens, then, then... Don ended up buying a two-eye camp stove set to keep things warm.
This meal was eaten up, because we knew we were blessed to be able to cook one thing at a time.
I think we, as a family, spent more time together that year than any of the others.
These are the memories I love to think about during the holidays.
As I grow older and wiser, I am willing to let the cooking go to others. I’ll do the cornbread dressing; I like my dressing, but I’m ready to do more of the talking and visiting. ■