Thanksgivings Past

The worst Thanksgiving for me was 1968.  I was a forward Observer out with a Mountaingnard Company in the Au Shau valley north west of Pleiku.  It was a long way from any other American unit and I was sent out with a radio that didn't work.  When I got to the unit, I had been told it was a three day operation and it turned out to be a three week operation.  I had to resupply myself with the Indigenous LRRP (Long range Recon Patrol) ration that was basically instant rice.  I did manage to keep one small C-ration Turkey meal and that was the meal I ate, Turkey and instant rice at room temperature.  It beat going hungry but not by much.  When I got back to base camp, it was all the signal officer could do to keep me from killing his assistant that gave me that bad radio.  I did insist he got a letter of reprimand for his negligence.  I found a tag inside the battery case that basically said the radio was a 15 lb paperweight.

The best Thanksgiving has always been any one that had family involved.  One year I went with my niece Janet to visit her daughter Amy in Alabama and it was a great time with a lot of new things to eat.  In addition to a deep fat fried turkey, everything else was a casserole.  Their tradition is to bake as many of the side dishes as they can.  I made my favorite Garlic mashed potatoes and and they loved them.  I always make too much and have potato pancakes the next day.  Take a cup of planned over (I always plan a little extra not left overs)  potatoes, a cup of flour, a teaspoon of Baking powder one egg and enough milk to make them batter like.  Cook them in a non stick pan with a little oil.  I eat mine without syrup but am not a snob if you like them that way.

This year I smoked a turkey on Wednesday and then finished it in the oven Thursday.  We had Dave and his wife Barbara over and had a nice laugh filled Thanksgiving.  I only mildly over ate this year and we still have a bunch of turkey left for enchiladas.   i think Dave asks for a smoked turkey just so there will be enough for a big batch of enchiladas.  Either today or tomorrow I will whip up the best I can make.  

I will always miss having my mother over for Thanksgiving.  She always told stories and we would laugh for hours.  It was always the beginning of the family season and soon the family would all be together for the Petty Family party.  This year, It will be here at Rabbit Run on the 17th of December.  Everyone will bring their favorite soup and the traveling trophy will be awarded for the best.  Jennifer will bring a salad and Barb will make her best rolls and we will provide the drinks.  We plan on a 1 PM start time but everyone is invited to come early and stay late as you want.  I know Carie and Dan have an office party that evening and there are always those that hate to drive after dark.   Weather permitting I have a hint that Rick from Oklahoma will be here.  I sure hope he manages to bring Kristin, Kristy and Ethan. 

In the Petty family we have a tradition of the saying a party is a party and if you can't come, we will miss you.  Those that can't be with us just will miss as many smiles as we can manage.  The second saying is that if you go home hungry from one of our meals, it is because you wanted to.  

May your holiday season start soon and go long.


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