Sunday, November 23, 2008

An Early Thanksgiving

We will not be home this Thanksgiving, and my insurance man
was beginning to worry about the lack of turkey leftovers.
So, when we bought a couple of turkeys to freeze, I decided
to cook one up for an early Thanksgiving, and eat the leftovers
until we left.
It was a cold day outside on Thursday, with the clouds
hanging so low they were just tatters among the trees. It
was a perfect day for baking and cooking, so I set the mood
with candles burning and soft music playing.
I put on my Mom's turkey cooking apron and felt
ready for the task. She made this apron in high school
home ec class (1940's), and always wore it in the kitchen when
cooking for the holidays. It is a wonderful apron, and fits 'just perfect'.
It has held up so well, and I would love to copy it...but that would
mean tearing it up into it's pieces to cut out others, and I just
can't bring myself to do that. It's a red print on white with cute
zigzag trim. I keep it on display and usually confine myself to
using it on days that I'm going to be in the kitchen alot.

The first thing I did was make up a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip
muffins. One is missing, so I guess you can see the benefits
of doing the cooking...the tasting : ) I got this recipe from
another blog, and they were wonderful. I sent some with
my insurance man back to the office for an afternoon staff

Around lunch time I made the stuffing and got the turkey
all ready to go. I come from a long line of really good turkey
roasters. My Mom was a wonderful cook, and she learned
from her aunt that she lived with after age 8. Her aunt's name
was Jennie and she was a wonderful and particular cook. This is
Jennie's roaster that has been passed down to me. It does a really good job
as you can see by the results. We have tried several turkey
cooking methods, deep frying, smoking, brining etc. But nothing
beats our old roaster. We invited company, and celebrated
an early Thanksgiving Thursday night with some of the trimmings.
Growing up for me meant not only a really good turkey dinner, but
lots of family and company at the table. Families were larger then, and
my Mom had 7 siblings. Holiday dinners tended to be a gathering of the clan
and all ages were grouped around the table. I remember fondly
the fun we had not only eating, but playing with lots of cousins
for the whole day.

This is Thanksgiving in 1955. It was a smaller group than
usual, with my family...and Mom's sister and her family and
a stray brother. The turkey was large, and took center stage

In 1957 there was a larger group. Mom always included
elderly relatives and friends, even on most Sunday dinners.
One uncle had contracted polio, and in the photo above
he is shown with his table 'gear' that allowed him
to eat by himself.

This is the other side of the table, and we are down to
the pie course now. In looking at this photo today, I noticed
that the sugar, creamer, and serving bowl are in my
kitchen cupboards and in regular use. It's so nice to have a
legacy of utensils, dishes, cooking instructions and especially
hospitality to look back on.
Good Memories

It's only my brother and I now...and Mom has only 1 sister left of the
original eight kids. Things change...but we are going to visit my
brother and family this Thanksgiving, and for the first time in many years
we will celebrate together. I'm looking forward to it.

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