• Linda Nygard

Thanksgiving Love

The smells of the kitchen permeates the air with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and turkey. The kitchen bustles with creative activity which takes place in the form of cooking. The scent of the warm kitchen on Thanksgiving transports me back to a time where I felt comforted and safe. It is as if I am wrapped in a blanket of warm delicious smells, and surrounded by mom and grandmas love.

Past holidays were a wonderful time, and is an exquisite feeling to replay each holiday. Its amazing how the smell of turkey can positively capture this vegetarian.


I have always found cooking to be a uniquely creative process. After I have cooked or baked something once by using a recipe, strictly adhering to the ingredient list, its quantities, and obeying each instruction; I improvise.



Thanksgiving 1965


My mother cooked without a recipe. How to create a dish was passed down from generation to generation. Measurements were in the form of “a pinch of this”, “a splash of that”. And voila’! Mom just made grandma’s spaghetti sauce.


I remember standing at my grandmothers side as she showed me how to make stuffed zucchini. She poured the Italian seasoning in her palm. “A pinch of this.” She said.


After expressing interest in obtaining my great Aunt Rose’s recipes for her focaccia bread and colorful Italian cookies, my mother informed me that I would have to spend a week with my Aunt Rose in order to learn how to cook like her.


I love the legacy that the kitchen holds with its secret recipes. I cherish the love and camaraderie that takes place in the holiday kitchen with the telling of stories of previous Thanksgivings. I can’t tell you how many times we have retold the story of the year the thermometer broke and leaked into the turkey.


I may not eat that turkey or gravy, but I still enjoy the scents of the holiday kitchen.








With Great Grandmother & Grandma

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