Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Let the Season Begin!

by M. J. Joachim

I don’t know what it is about the holidays, but every year around mid November, I start to feel the slow and steady nudge of the season. It begins with a quiet thought, as extreme heat from summer drastically fades. The first signs of it are simple enough. The windows get opened during the day. We are able to leave the door open while we sleep at night. A thin blanket dawns on my side of the bed, assuring my husband colder days are close at hand, and I scramble to find that light-weight sweater to wear with my jeans. Today I’m pulling out the comforter - even my husband feels the chill in the air now.

Not one to shop, mid November calls to me to pick up new jerky spices and get some thin sliced meat. Tradition mandates that I make it every year - all season long. This year my daughter wanted to try her own spicy marinade, so we worked side-by-side in the kitchen, trimming the little bit of excess fat off the meat, pasting our herbs, spices and rubs all over it and putting it in the fridge to cure. I like to say we cure it, but we all know it’s marinading for a while until I find time to put it in the oven to dry, which takes several hours.

Once that first batch of jerky starts getting made, I’m all about Thanksgiving. Busy as I can be cleaning, shopping and moving things around; everyone else pretty much stays out of my way unless they expect to be recruited to help. And when I say recruited to help, they know it might just be a Mombo sized project or chore, so they tap me on the shoulder once in a while, smile and nod knowing I’m doing my thing, announcing the holidays with my usual charismatic flair. I live for these moments when Mom can do no wrong, because even if things aren’t perfect, Mom did them, so they’re the best! Things rarely are perfect, you know, so it’s just as well my family is flexible and loving about it. Let the season begin! The first batch of jerky is in the oven and Thanksgiving is only a week away!

Here’s hoping all your reflections of the season are as nice as mine!

Best to all,

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: 1st batch of jerky 2014, M. J. Joachim, ©2014 All Rights Reserved