This year, as our home slowly fills with the people I love, and empty glasses collect in random places throughout the house, and the washing machine begins its steady thump, and pots bang on the stove, and earnest chatter fills every quiet room, and strong hands plump extra pillows, and muddy footprints track snow across the family room rug, and mounds of shoes sprawl in front of the doorway, and wet coats pile on the landing, I am especially grateful for my family.
They come and go easily, just like they did when they were little and we gathered around the kitchen table every night to recite our silly dinner prayer.
“We love our bread. We love our butter. But, most of all, we love each other. Thank you for our food. Amen. Enjoy your dinner.”
Back then every meal ended with a passionate debate over whose turn it was to clean the kitchen; the negotiating often took longer than the task.
These days, the kitchen is our favorite place to be. We jostle, advise, taste, sneak, duck, check, sip, spill, skid, challenge, whip, burn, scrape, baste, flute, season, and enjoy. Katherine attempted to corral the chaos this year with a detailed spreadsheet noting recipe assignments, stove and oven times.
We all admired her efforts.
Still, I expect tomorrow to be hectic. Someone will run to the grocery store for the bacon I forgot to buy. The smoke alarm will sound. The sugar will spill. No one will be able to confirm that the meat thermometer has been properly placed in the turkey thigh. (Last year I cooked the poor thing upside down). We’ll be short a serving bowl. The water glasses won’t match.
We’ll burn the bread.
We’ll melt the butter.
But, most of all, we’ll love each other.
Thank you for our food.
Enjoy your dinner.