The air has changed this week in the mountains. It was slight, but just enough to know that Autumn is around the corner. The farmers are out doing their thing, some of the leaves are starting to change. School started already. I got a flyer from my oil supplier to lock in rates now before they go up.
Every time the seasons change out here, I get homesick.
Somewhere along the way my father took over as the main cook in the house. I don’t recall my mom cooking the daily meals, but she always cooked on Thanksgiving and Christmas (if we stayed home) and Easter. And she ALWAYS baked. To this day, as soon as the season changes to Fall, it takes me back to going to Richter’s Farm and hauling out bushels and bushels of apples. I can still smell the apples. All different kinds. And of course, sitting at the kitchen table having to peel them all. I swear…these apple pies wound up being so heavy I’m surprised the rack in the oven didn’t break.
Thanksgiving was always at my house. Dinner was on the table at 2pm. If you were there, great! If you were late, that was just fine too! On Thanksgiving morning, my momma would be up, at the latest, by 5am to start working on the turkey. I’d wake up around 8am most likely, but ONLY because of the aromas wafting upstairs into my bedroom. I’d fight getting up. I knew as soon as I moseyed my way downstairs I’d be put to work.
I used to watch my dad cook like his mom used to. I don’t remember what he was making (it was most likely a macaroni of some kind) but there was a LOT of flour involved and he didn’t use a bowl. He mixed the flour on a wooden board, made a hole in the middle for the wet ingredients and mixed everything together with his hands. I’d ask him to teach me to cook and he’d tell me to just watch. He’d give me little tips here & there, but mostly I just watched. And I learned.
Surprisingly…I never cooked in my parents kitchen. Not that I wasn’t allowed to, I just never took the initiative to. Sure, I’ve heated up soup or chili & whatnot and baked a boxed cake or two. But not until I moved out did I actually cook a meal or bake something from scratch. And I’m finding it extremely difficult to recreate some of the dishes. Something’s missing.