I know I am a week early, but Happy Thanksgiving! I wanted to make sure that I got this one-shot posted before I forget or become too busy preparing for the holiday.
Warning: this chapter mentions the death of a loved one. If you are sensitive to loss and grief, please brace yourself. Or you could watch cat videos to cheer yourself up.
I do not own Ib.
Guardian Angel: In Grandma's Stead
As far back as Ib could remember, the Kouri family would spend Thanksgiving at Grandma's house. Every woman in the family was expected to contribute by bringing a dish to share. Ib's mother always made a bean casserole for these gatherings. While Ib liked her mother's casserole, her most favorite dish by far was Grandma's cranberry salad. It was a sweet jello with cranberry shavings and fruit in it.
When her grandmother passed away, Ib was 16. She was old enough to understand that death is a part of life, but she was still young enough to be surprised when life still went on as scheduled. She was confused when her mother started planning for Thanksgiving.
"Where are we going to spend Thanksgiving?" she asked Mrs. Kouri as she added the ingredients needed for the casserole to the shopping list.
"I'd like to have it here, but Aunt Jean may have more table space than us."
"So we're doing the same thing, only in a different house. Who's going to make the cranberry salad?"
"I don't know. We'll figure it out if the recipe is still around."
"Could I be the one to make it?" Ib blurted.
Mrs. Kouri glanced up from her list in surprise. "I didn't think you would be interested. If you want to make the salad, you can."
Ib affirmed her decision with a nod. After all, it couldn't be that difficult to make if she followed the recipe.
Eventually, an aunt dug up the recipe from a long forgotten notebook and sent it through an email. The girl added the necessary ingredients to the shopping list and studied the directions carefully. The recipe she initially thought to be simple had parts that she didn't understand. Even so, she was determined to at least try.
On the day before Thanksgiving, the teenager took control over all of the counter space. She had to chop the cranberries into slivers in quick pulses with the food processor, open and mix together several cans of fruit, and put all of it in the jello before it completely set. Because it was her first attempt at the dish, she completed each task slowly and carefully.
The salad ended up being not as perfect as she would have liked, but it was presentable and smelled just like her grandmother's salad. She placed the salad in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.
The next day, the members of Ib's extended family gathered around the table to feast on turkey, mashed potatoes, bean casserole, rolls, pies, and Ib's cranberry salad. She received many praises from her relatives for her success, but even complements didn't compare to her elation when discovering for herself that the salad had the same taste as her grandmother's.
It took me a while to write this one-shot. It isn't about my own experience as much as it is my mom's. My mom had to take over making her grandmother's cranberry salad when she passed on. The memory of my great-grandmother's cooking is preserved in my mother's recreation of her salad. It still is one of the foods I look forward to the most when the family gets together for Thanksgiving.
Have a good holiday and eat lots of food!