Wednesday, December 01, 2010

November 2010

With a few hours left on December 1st, I would like to remember November.

As I sat here, gathering my thoughts, I realized what a fun, blessed and full of 28 things done month November was.

Let me tell you... ahem,

Hubs and I traveled to visit some sweet friends.  The time in the midwest was full of surprises. Warm weather, a trader joe's opening, chinese pizza, ah-mazing scones, friendships that continue though distance and time separated us, beautiful fall leaves, Christmas trees, etc. etc.

I proceeded to develop my crocheting and sewing more in such fun new ways. #25 on the list.  I made mittens. I made clutches. Too much fun!!

Since Hubs and I had some down time in the midwest I was able to plan and shop for the menu for Thanksgiving week with my family.  Since I didn't have my trusty recipe books with me, I had to use the internet and two cooking magazines to get me through.  It was too much fun and shall I say I am doing well with #11 on my list?  Some of the tasty nubs included; pho (vietnamese chicken noodle soup- thanks Liz), chicken and black bean tortillas, two layered pumpkin cake (thanks alissa!!), and cham soup.

Now what is cham soup, you might be asking?

well, I will tell you.  Cham soup is the greatest mistake that ever happened to me.  All my recipes came from one desire... the desire to use up most of what my parents already had in their freezer and deep freeze. (The deep freeze is in the basement.  Basements are what midwesterners have to store all their overhaul of things... like children (Hubs and I slept in the basement) and food (the deep freeze)). I know you sweet Californians don't have basements so I thought I'd enlighten ya!

Back to cham soup.  There I was digging through the deep freeze looking for chicken broth which my mother promised we had.  I found it.  Took it up and started to thaw it. Hmmm.... looks interesting.  The dark meat was beginning to look weirdly dark and purple.  So I asked, "is this really chicken broth?" yup, my parents promised so I threw it in the le crueset (my dad has accumulated an almost entire set from ebay and garage sales. I love cooking at my parent's house!!) and proceeded to cut up the chicken and coat it in a mixture of corn starch and water and then dumped them in.  When I lifted the lid I noticed something... the dark pieces of meat where actually... ham like.  And so it was. The best mistake to ever happen to me.  Chicken noodle soup with just a smack of ham in it. (anyone?)

It was probably the best hearty soup we have ever had and I deemed it cham soup.  If you want more details on the recipe, let me know.

Then my family and I gathered and I always look forward to those moments.  I love to hear the giggles of the children and the either indepth or foolish bantering between my brothers. Most times a conversation contains both.  I love that my sisters (in-law) trade advice back and forth about babies, husbands, food and beauty.  I love that we play games and pretend to have energy after the children are asleep.  I love that from the first floor we can hear a sweet voice (2 yrs) singing "Go Tell it On the Mountain" and another (3 yrs) answer back, "Stop it!" and it's not mean.  It's just that the singing has gone on... and sleep must come.... eventually.

I love that my family trades books and websites, authors and stories as easily as others swap handshakes.  I love that Hubs fits in and has easily found his own place.

Time in the midwest was good.  I had a lot of poetic moments and memories flood my heart from time to time.  I love visiting places that remind me of my childhood.  I don't often get to visit the old town where I spent a lot of my childhood. I don't get to drive the fifteen minutes into town from where I grew up and I don't get to pass the sweet house, tucked back between two hills where my best friend lived.  I don't get to go there often and I know I'll be scolded because I should. I just should.

But time, money, travel and life passes me by and so when I get the chance to visit a place where I remember my childhood I quickly take a hold of it and squeeze all the juice of love, life and laughter out of it.

One of those places for me is Mattoon, IL.  That town has barely changed and my Grandparents home with it since my mama was a baby.  I love that I know my way around town.  That when I pull into the drive I can see, in my mind's eye, my brothers riding the tandem, one of them up in a tree and my cousin out in the lawn.  I love that the dolls my nieces play with are the same I did and before me, my mama.  I love that there is a little corner where my Grandaddy's grocery store used to stand.  I love that this town hangs yellow ribbons from their light poles with the names of those in the armed forces through downtown.  I love that when I ride through downtown I feel like Miss Bagelfest 1992 when she rode down that street on her parade float.  Well, I don't remember if there was a Miss Bagelfest but yes, there was a festival for bagels because Lender's Bagels was made there.  I love that my mama taught me to drive stick on the streets surrounded by corn a "block or two" from her home.  I love watching the school buses go by and hearing my Grandma talk about how when my mama used to ride those she was the first one picked up in the morning and the last one dropped off (because they lived on the edge of town) and my mama would always fall asleep and the bus driver would always have to wake her up.  I love that if you pull the kitchen door just so, you can see the names and heights of all the grandkids growing up through the years.  I do not like that I am the same height I was when I was 16. Why did I stop?  I love that the tile seems to be the same, the wallpaper and the furniture.  In my mind I can see my mama getting ready for all her dates, her wedding and bringing home her first born baby to this house....

I meant to tell you about November... but it seems November meant more to me than recipes and clutch patterns.  Oh I love that I sew and cook and that I am slowly learning to carry on traditions but I think I love more that what November gave to me was moments and memories like those above.

Words, although I tried, cannot do justice to what a wonderful and blessed month this was. I will always treasure November 2010.

1 comment:

Beth Caldwell Realtor said...

I love your beautiful sentiments, and the lovely way you write about them!! xoxoxox