November 17, 2012 6:39:13 PM
Pass the turkey and all the trimmings! It's almost time for Thanksgiving, and even though families will gather over delicious plates of old recipes with all the fixings, don't forget to count your blessings when it comes to beauty.
I reckon once Grandma's potato casserole has been properly blessed and the old-fashioned pecan pie has been consumed, folks will sit for a spell swapping stories. Some stories I wish to tell you are those of Thanksgivings past that still spill over to the present and most likely into the future, entertaining anybody who wants to toss another log on the fire and pull up a chair.
My holidays are filled with memories of falling asleep around midnight, with my mama having spent hours basting that Butterball turkey and rolling out homemade dumplings. The smells escaping the oven still make me smile. Usually with hair in rollers, donning nothing but a fuzzy housecoat and well-worn slippers, Mama would be in the kitchen late the night before and was the first to hit the floor on Thanksgiving morning.
To this day, nobody gets a better crust on the cornbread for the dressing. Her potato salad will make your mouth water and my, oh my, that woman can bake a ham like nobody's business. Even so, it wasn't just the food that was scrumptious around the dinner table's festive centerpiece. Mama always kept us waiting, then and even now, for her to grace us with her presence. Never one to disappoint, she is still the only woman I ever knew that could cook a holiday meal for 12 and manage to shift from apron over housecoat into an autumn-hued ensemble, hot rolled bouffant and rouge, all before the turkey got cold. And she made it look so effortless.
I knew it was not magic because I was right on her heels from the double ovens to the big blue bathroom as she stuffed a turkey with one hand and took down rollers with the other. Mama was a force to be reckoned with, both in the kitchen pantry and her bathroom vanity.
I can't think of a single Thanksgiving without the aromas escaping from pots on the stove while I sat patiently observing her powdering, puckering and backcombing in the baby blue porcelain tiled bathroom of my childhood. I always got a kick out of the little squares of tissue she left behind with mauve colored lipstick stains, because she knew a lady always blotted a bright lipstick several times for just a hint of color on the lips.
My mama was always fashionable and often late. It was a blessing for me to be such a huge part of her holiday rituals and, although today she might not feel like baking a lemon meringue pie from scratch, she will enjoy a dessert or two, all while looking beautifully put together. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and celebrate that special flavor which comes from the kitchen and from the family.
Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at [email protected]