I think what I'm actually trying to recreate is that magical feeling I had as a child. At Thanksgiving, we'd go to my grandma's place and all my aunts and uncle and cousins would be there. Grandma would cook for a couple of days and we'd have an amazing meal. As I got older, I got to help with the cooking. I learned a lot from my Grandma. I learned how to mash potatoes and make gravy and read a recipe and tinker with a recipe. I learned that when you cook with love in your heart, you can taste it in the food.
Kind of like that book that's out now, where the main character can taste the emotions of the person who cooked the food (I loved this book...The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender). I'm definitely one of those people who feels that a great home cooked meal is a perfect way to show someone how much you care about them.
Obviously, I know striving for the perfect holidays is elusive and kind of silly. Inevitably, each year, something will mar what could have been perfection. Sometimes it's a squabble among my siblings (all who feel the same pressure to create perfect holidays), or illness (one of us usually has some nasty cold/flu/bronchitis crap) or a failure to get everything on the list done (what, no Christmas cards sent for the fifth year in a row?). I also know that in the end, whatever gets done is great, whatever doesn't really didn't need to happen and we always have great holidays anyway!
This weekend I started on my quest for perfection by working on handmade Christmas gifts and preparing for Thanksgiving at my house. We usually go to San Diego for the holidays, but this year the gang is coming to my house for Turkey Day. We'll have 17 guests and my plan is to make everything from scratch, including all the pies (well, except for the butter...haven't figured out how to churn butter yet...thank goodness!) Hopefully, I'll have time to take a few photos along the way and share the fun and festivities! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving this week and get to share the holiday with someone you love.