Thanksgiving Memories

As a child, I had Thanksgiving memories of Turkey, dressing, succotash, rolls, mashed potatoes and more pie that anyone could eat. Of course, every child hated succotash, mince meat pie and sour cream pie but Mom continued to put them on the table every year like they were every one's favorite. The good news was that there were no food Nazi's that made us eat anything we didn't want and there was always enough pumpkin and apple pie to fill us to the brim.

A couple of weekends ago, we traveled to my brother's house and we were discussing life in general. My nieces said that they thought my mother was a terrible cook. They only ate at her house when she was older and perhaps some of the bloom was off the vine. I think Mom tried to cook as much as she could until at the family soup kitchen Christmas she confused Cinnamon with chili and made a big old pot of something so disgusting that no one could eat more than a spoon full. Oh My God, how could she not smell the difference even if she was way past reading the fine print on a spice packet. Now that I am also older, I realize that the sense of smell does go away and I no longer smell the cinnamon in the pumpkin pie mix.

One of the first traditions to go away in our family was the pie making the day ahead of Thanksgiving. Someone pointed out that Mrs. Smith's and Marie Calendar both made such delicious pies that nothing we could make at home would rival those store bought pies. I think some of the enthusiasm was because neither of the a fore mentioned pie makers made mince meat or sour cream pie. I'm sure that Mom missed them but none of us kids ever will. We miss Mom, but there are no treasured recipe cards for those pies.

The Tulsa group now have a tradition of buying the entire Thanksgiving meal at a local store and no one has to spend hours cooking. I can understand it to a certain extent but there are things that a special touch makes so good and no commercial meal can quite match. OK, I have gone to Stove Top stuffing, but I use my own grilled sausage and chicken broth to bring it up to my standards. We have a local store that has hand made bratwursts and I always try to grill a few the week before Thanksgiving. I think it is funny that when squeezed out of the casing to add extra smoke to the meat the brats look like someone grilled dog poop. Looks funny but taste's great.

I am not sure why, but imagine it is my mind racing ahead to the meal, but I do not sleep well on Thanksgiving eve. Perhaps it is knowing that a nap will overcome my ability to stay awake in the afternoon, but it is probably my mind trying to go over the "To Do" list and not forget anything. When I hear people over exaggerate how cold it is or how something is going badly, I remind them that if it was that bad, you would find dead bodies after such an event. I promise you that we only look dead after stuffing ourselves to the brim.

Once the dreaded 5 pound bloat is out of our system and we have eaten the last of whatever leftovers we could imagine, the next step in our lives here at Rabbit Run is candy season. It all starts with Barb picking up a package of pecans and those Crisco containers that look like sticks of butter but aren't. I said, "Why are you buying marshmallows, we aren't going to have sweet potato casserole." Duh Dennis, it is for the famous Aunt B's fudge I so love. That will be followed by divinity and Uncle Chuck's Chocolate Chip Cookies. Barb will box up a small goody box for her family members and send it early enough to have by Christmas.

Well, better go up and see if the turkey has thawed out enough to take the giblet package out of the bird. I never seem to get that part right. Oh well, on to make my own memories of food and basketball.



  1. Two years ago, it was all home made at my youngest daughter's in laws. Last year the wife was still in Wichita and did the same. I went to Palmdale and the Sister in Law's.
    This year The Missus ORPO1 and I are going to Palmdale for the afternoon. Just her, sis in law, brother in law and me. Debbie and Ralph are doing the cooking. Smaller heapings you might say. But more for the time visiting nowadays.
    To all of you in Tecumseh, wishes for a Splendid Day.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving, MUD!

  3. I cooked for my crew at station 20 today. Everything from scratch...except the stuffing but I also doctored up the Stovetop. It's good stuffing and sounds like we do pretty much the same thing.

    As for the day before Thanksgiving pie making, Mom and I have been carrying that tradition on for several years. She does the crusts and I do the fillings. We made 11 pies yesterday and I'd wager that Mrs Smith don't even come close.

    And Uncle Chuck's Chocolate Chip cookies are my all time favorite!