Cardie in November
My most vivid memories of my aunt in November have to be our trips to Orient, NY to stay with my uncles in their beautiful house above. It has since been sold but I will be forever grateful for many Thanksgivings we got to spend there.
With The Carpenters CD playing and the car full of goodies, we made the trip from Lancaster to Long Island in a few hours.
I think my aunt loved the main meal during Thanksgiving just as much as the next person but I would wager a guess that the dessert portion was what she looked forward to the most. She was the queen of pies. She would always make a pumpkin and apple pie but she tested out other recipes each year. Mincemeat pie cookies were also a staple and I remember making those every year with her.
Instead of a huge pie full of mincemeat (don't knock it until you try it!) she found a recipe for half moon sugar cookies filled with an orange cream cheese mixture and a dollop of mincemeat. One year we made them ahead of time and put them on the front porch of the house. It was ice cold and kept the cookies cool and fresh. There was a party one night and me being nervous and introverted, I snuck onto the porch and thought I'd try a cookie. One led to half a tray and the next thing I knew I had a belly full of mincemeat. Yeah, gross.
Another favorite were pecan tartlets. Those went pretty quickly and there never seemed to be enough.
Aunt Cardie enjoyed brief fall walks (she didn't like her ears getting cold) and I remember one year, the two of us decided to take my uncle's dog Louis on a walk up the street. He pranced along until we were just out of sight from the house and he stopped cold. Aunt Cardie and I both looked at each other and gave him a gentle tug. He moved an inch and stared back at us in disgust. He was not walking one more step further - he wanted to be carried. I don't know if you are familiar with French Bulldogs but they aren't light. In fact if they happen to fall into a swimming pool, it is highly likely they will sink. So we only got a block down the road before he was just too heavy to carry. We started walking back and within view of the house he pushed off and scrambled to the ground. We came to the conclusion that this behavior was probably not allowed by his dads but with us - he figured we were just clueless enough to get away with the royal treatment. He snorted with delight at his cleverness.
Being the queen, Aunt Cardie got her very own room in the house during Thanksgiving. She liked it that way and don't even bother with a wake up call. She would get up when she was darn well ready.
Upon arrival, she would put in her order for a cocktail and saunter upstairs to hang up her clothes and put away her things. Even though we were only there for a few days, she arranged her things like she would be there for a month. And it should not come as a surprise to anybody that it took her the longest to get ready on Thanksgiving day. All of us enjoyed a relaxing morning watching the Parade, the dog show and preparing our big meal but somehow, my aunt always slipped away a little earlier to leisurely shower, dress and do her hair.
There were a lot of memories from Thanksgiving but one of our favorites I think was post meal. With bellies full, we made our way over to the Florida room (how cool does that sound?!) for the viewing of The Wizard of Oz. With my uncle's projector screen up, we gathered around (trying not to fall asleep) and marveled over the fun of watching a movie on a big screen. We also had the lure of Aunt Cardie's pies and treats eyeballing us from the table in the corner. It was the perfect way to end the day.
While we weren't allowed playing Christmas music until December 1 (worst rule ever!), we got the added fun of getting ready for Christmas right after Thanksgiving. Once we returned home from Orient, we took trips to local tree farms to find the tree that would enjoy a spot in our living room for the next month. Stay tuned for Aunt Cardie in December. I may need to start writing it now.