Monday, November 09, 2009

Traditions of the Holidays

I had intended to post a photo of narcissus. For some reason the blogger site did not want to cooperate and after an hour of trying to get it to work, I decided the heck with it, I'll just post. Spoken like a true Aries.

Around Halloween, in previous years, the traditions of the holidays would begin. As the kids would carve the pumpkins, the innards of the pumpkins would be saved and separated from the seeds. The seeds would be roasted and the pulp would be saved to make "from scratch" pumpkin pies. If you've never had a pumpkin pie from the pumpkin pulp, you would be amazed at the flavor. It is nothing like the canned pumpkin - nothing.

So that would be the first tradition of our family. Carving of the pumpkin. Of course when the kids were littler, I would be busy at my sewing machine making costumes, but it has been eons since I did that!

Then as Thanksgiving would approach, I would always be buying narcissus bulbs to force in water. The fragrance of these little tiny paperwhite flowers (usually seen in flower beds) is exquisite. It is the smell that I associate with Christmas, along with pine, cinnamon and vanilla.

Narcissus bulbs are not available in Mexico. My methods of getting them here is one of stealth, guile and plain old subterfuge. IF the "powers to be" knew how many bulbs I've brought in over the years, I could be hanged just like the revolutionaries from the gallows in Guanajuato. OOOOH, yuk.

I can't remember how long ago or why I started this tradition. It has been a long time. I place the bulbs all over the house. When the kids and grandkids were little they loved to watch the bulbs grow. First the little green nub of what will become the bloom eventually pokes out of the bulb. It doesn't take long for that to happen. Then the stalk starts to extend up, up, up. Many a time a grandchild would say "Grammy, Grammy come look". And of course I always did. We marveled together about how much they had grown in a few days.

Within about four weeks, delicate white little flowers with a fragrance that belies the size of the flowers envelops the house. That coupled with pies baking, turkey basting and family and friends dining makes for great's the best.

I'll be here this year without family but always with friends. I have no plans about a turkey but I can't imagine not having friends over at some point. It seems this is going to be a non-traditional holiday for me. But I'll try to throw in a few traditions for me, just so I don't feel lost.


Anonymous said...


I hope you have a nice and peacefull Thanksgiving. I only wish I were in San Miguel this year celebrating but being with family is also wonderful. Take care and enjoy the Holiday.

Friend from Houston

Tancho said...

Sounds like you need some people to impose on your hospitality...
I was amazed at the quantity of frozen birds at your Mega last week as I walked around in awe....They have everything else, I'm surprised they don't have bulbs there too....not the electric ones...
Well there is a business for you , importing the little knobby things. Have a nice holiday season, Christmas on the beach?

Babs said...

Thanks Pat - too bad you won't be here. You enjoy the holidays also.

Tancho - LOVE having big groups to cook for - it's the story of my life. It has been an adjustment to cooking in small quantities....Yes, Mega has made our lives so much easier. When I first came we had to drive to Queretaro for all that kind of stuff - just about everything - business - no way! Christmas will not be at the beach. But I'll be there a few days later...YEE HA You have a nice holiday season also. said...

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friend. We are going to Charlotte on the 18th and I'll save a big helping of cornbread dressing for you. I think about you every time I see one of those big electric roasting pans on sale and wonder if I should pick one up for you.