Today is my mother's birthday. It is hard to believe she has been gone over 8 years. I miss her most as I prepare to cook for Thanksgiving.
My mother's dressing was the stuff of legends. Each year we would pull out a huge enameled dishpan, and the ritual was begun. Cornbread was baked, bread crumbs made, sausage browned, herbs and vegetables cut, and bathed in butter as they cooked. Her secret ingredient was water chestnuts, which added a wonderful crunch. All were combined and delicately tossed, so that it would not be mixed to much. Some would be put inside the turkey, but most would be baked as we ate our Thanksgiving dinner so we would have plenty of leftovers to satisfy our annual indulgence.
Traditions are important to families, and can be made in so many different ways. I am sure as my mother rose before dawn to prepare the Thanksgiving meal, she was not aware that she was building memories that would last long after she died.