Many people are curious about the squirrel mold we use for our cranberry sauce. This is a post that I wrote about it–I guess when I first began my blog. For the very first time, my mom won’t be with us at the table this Thanksgiving.
Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings
In the opening monologue of Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye, the Jewish milkman with five daughters who lives in a Russian shetl called Anatevka, says, “You may ask, how did this tradition start? I’ll tell you. I don’t know. But it’s a tradition.” I suspect most people seldom think about how for every tradition there had to have been a first time it took place—before it was a tradition. Most of us never consider how a tradition started. There are many different types of traditions. There are all encompassing cultural and religions traditions, destructive traditions that label particular groups or people as inferior and deny them rights, and there are fun cultural traditions. Groups of friends and families also have their traditions.
In my family, the cranberry sauce squirrel is one of our most cherished traditions. Every Thanksgiving the squirrel makes his appearance on our table . . .except for…
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Too good …. and a tradition passed on. Happy Thanksgiving!
Thank you, Frank!
I love this
Thank you, Beth!
What a great story to share, Merril. I’m sorry to hear your mother won’t be at your table. That’s difficult, I know. Maybe you all can share memories of her and past Thanksgivings. I remember my mother getting up at 4:00 a.m. every Thanksgiving to put the turkey in the oven. This morning when I called my mother, like I do each day at 7:00 a.m., she asked if I was in my “cubby.” That’s what she calls my office cubicle. It’s really hard, but I thank God for all of the wonderful memories. Wishing you and your family a blessed holiday, Merril. xo
Thank you, Jill. It’s all very complicated this year. Some of my siblings will be with her today, and I’ll see her tomorrow.
Might be the best Thanksgiving feast story yet! Your mother (younger) must have been spontaneous and playful … as well as more coordinated than some of us … to succeed with that head maneuver!
Thank you very much! She wasn’t particularly playful–I’m not sure what that move was about, but we all remember it. 🙂
The empty chairs are filled with the memories that we cherish for as long as we breathe. That doesn’t make them less painful, but the “firsts” are the hardest.
Thank you, Sheila. My mom is still alive, and other family members will be with her today. She’s just not able to manage going out now. On the plus side, I’ll have both of my daughters and their spouses here today.
This is a wonderful story, Merril. Thank you for linking back to it.
Thank you very much, Ken!
I love this, Merril. Traditions become traditions when we strive to repeat them year after year and they become cherished when it continues for more than a generation. What a wonderful Thanksgiving story.
Thank you very much, Dale. It is something we cherish.
A wonderful tradition – so sorry about your mother’s absence
Thank you, Derrick.
This is a hinge celebration for you, which makes it important. Hang onto the traditions, especially the ones that are so obscure nobody can really remember where they started.
I realise I haven’t been getting notifications from you—that’s the second post in a row.
Thank you for looking for me. I guess the WP Gremlins are at work again.
I cherish our cranberry squirrel. The mold lives at my house, but my niece makes it, so in the fall I wrap it in tons of bubble wrap to transport it to her house. 🙂 I think this is the first year though that she made it without my mom, so it’s sad.
It’s the start of a different epoch for you. Maybe time to start a new tradition or two to pass on.
Yes, it is different. I think the best traditions just sort of happen–so we’ll see. 😉
We seem to have just made a tradition out of dismantling the ones we inherited. It’s a shame, but I moving geographically as well as ideologically has made the old habits redundant. Our children are going to have to create their own myths.
Yes, each generation does, I suppose, and they will someday.
I hope they attach themselves somewhere.
I hope so, too.
A bittersweet holiday. The empty chair, the unfilled space.
My older daughter is the keeper of things being just the way they have always been. But we have no squirrel mold, alas. (K)
Thank you, Kerfe. That mold is unique. We’re in such fear that it will break!