When the world around me is buzzing and travelers are in a frenzy as they wind their way to their destinations, I am in my kitchen and I am serene. The vegetables are before me that I cut and cook and puree. It’s the day before Thanksgiving and I am at peace.
My childhood years were spent in a packed car on a highway creeping toward a relative’s home too many miles away. Year after year the trip seemed longer, the roads more congested and the car ever smaller. I vowed, once a grown-up, I would have Thanksgiving in my own home and leave the traveling to others.
For the past thirty-three years, I have kept that promise. I’ve hosted Thanksgiving, enjoyed cooking, entertained family and friends while being home. This is the first year I will venture out on Thanksgiving Day. We’ll travel over the Hudson River, to our son and daughter-in-law and granddaughter’s home to celebrate together. Though I love to cook, my daughter-in-law, as the founder and creator of Olivia’s Cuisine, is ready to take on Thanksgiving.
There is one dish that I will bring that I have been making since 1999. It is Pumpkin Soup, that I make each year, in honor of our departed friends Bob and Sharon Fitzpatrick.
I first tasted this soup at the Fitzpatrick’s Port Washington home when we were invited for a family dinner. I was struck and still remember after all these years, the first taste of that soup and the flavors that blended together ending in a ‘bite’. Many years later, after they retired and settled farther out on the North Fork of Long Island, I mentioned to Sharon how delighted I was with her soup, especially the sharp surprise at the end of each spoonful. As Sharon was recalling which soup recipe I was referring to, Bob had plans for the rest of us to troop down to the bay. Sharon demurred, as she had been on these jaunts before, while Bob led the rest of us through the tall grass to the lapping bay waters as he pointed out horseshoe crabs in the shallow waters. Upon our return to the house, I was delighted to find a newly penned Pumpkin Soup recipe “a la Sharon” from the master chef herself.
As I pull out the recipe each year from my wooden recipe box, I honor my absent friends as I make the soup again.
Who do you honor with your Thanksgiving recipes?
Wherever your day takes you, whatever you bring along, may your memories travel with you always.
Olivia’s Cuisine: http://www.oliviascuisine.com/
Bob and Sharon Fitzpatrick: http://www.nytimes.com/1999/11/07/sports/sports-of-the-times-farewell-to-an-old-friend-and-faithful-reader.html
Pumpkin Soup Recipe: “ala Sharon”