food at room temperature

My sister and I went swimming one particularly warm Thanksgiving day in our hometown of Tucson. I was 8 or 9, maybe 10. We were so proud of ourselves, in our swimsuits, splashing each other in the cool water of my Aunt’s apartment building swimming pool. I do not remember much else about that Thanksgiving, including the food. I do not remember even why we went to my Aunt’s as opposed to my parents hosting as they normally did.

Did we have turkey and stuffing? It is very likely the women of the family (in the  1980s and the men were not quite with the times of cooking or doing dishes yet) were bustling around the kitchen making sure that all the traditional dishes were there and accounted for. Were they hot? Did we eat off of paper plates? Was the turkey dry? I do not know any of those things. And I am positive at 10 or whatever age I was on that particular Thanksgiving, I did not care about any of those things.

I kept this in mind as my family hosted Thanksgiving this year. We do not always have lots of family around as most all our parents and siblings are spread about the US. This year, however, 2019, we had family from out of town and in town and also friends and the people count was at 17.  A number much less impressive when you remember that 9 of the 17 account for my husband and children. The idea of the dishes possibly being hot all at the same time for people to serve themselves is baffling.  Room temperature food finds our green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole. The turkey, gravy, and stuffing were served warm.

But it didn’t matter, especially to the kids.

Dishes piled up in the last few moments of serving the food. I needed the sink to drain the macaroni. People were in and out of the kitchen with their drinks, their stories and their laughs. Everett’s school friend called. He was stuck in the snow at the beginning of our neighborhood. Everett and Bill went to help him up the hill as the turkey waited to be carved and the gravy needed to be made. Once back inside, the older kids teased the younger kids as to who would sit where. Finally, everything was ready. The food, some hot, some not, relieved our hunger. Will lasted about 5 minutes at the table.

“Come play outside,” he begged his aunt who just started to eat.

GG had a game planned for everyone after the meal. One that everyone smiles as the 7 year old tries to organize our vast spanning generations.

Scattered memories of Thanksgiving past. I wish I had talked with my grandparents more. We had both my mom’s parents and my dad’s parents in Tucson. Almost every Thanksgiving, we were together. My memories are also of lots of food and even more dishes. Fretting over the turkey, is it unfrozen, is it done, is it dry? Conversations filling the house, political views, varied and wide.

This year, our kids played in the snow Thanksgiving morning. Scant on the snow clothes as the younger kids finally outgrew the older kids hand me downs. They did not care, however, tennis shoes, jackets, double layered pants were piled on. We knew the 3 inches of snow would only last the day.

Swimming pools or snow, hot food or not, it was a good day.

**Please note: if you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time, I have archived all my content from August 2016-October 2019. It was time to move forward. It has been a beautiful, growing time and I feel like we are entering a new time of our lives. The future, as futures are,  filled with many uncertainties, but also hope.

Here’s to upcoming hope and help, kindness and understanding, to new and exciting adventures and snow and swimming on holidays!