What was Thanksgiving like when you were growing up? What days did you usually have off from school? Do you remember any Thanksgiving activities at school, such as a play or a meal? During the Thanksgiving weekend, did you travel to spend it with relatives or did you stay home? Or did relatives travel to you? What was your family's day typically like? Did you watch the Macy's Parade or something else on TV? Have you ever attended a Thanksgiving parade? Was football a big part of the day? And of course, we have to hear what your family ate! Were there any traditional foods that were part of your family's meal? Which of your growing-up traditions do you do with your family today? And if you are married, how did it go merging your two traditions/expectations?...oh and one more question....do you call it stuffing or dressing?
Just like Linda of Mocha With Linda Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays too. Some of my own earliest memories are of smelling the turkey cooking while I watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with my dad and brother. Our typical meal when I was little was turkey stuffing (inside the bird and the extra baked in a casserole dish), homemade cranberry sauce with berries,green beans or English peas, mashed potatoes, and sweet potato souffle (which I hated), and a dessert. I loved to eat my cranberry sauce on top of the stuffing. My mom also made giblet gravy (with eggs and innards and without). I am a huge fan of turkey. The first Thanksgiving after my brother died there was only three of us so my mom cooked a large chicken. Now I have to admit that I have never liked baked chicken as much as turkey...there is just something about a turkey that I love. We only did that once....my dad complained about there being no turkey for sandwiches later in the week and there was no good turkey noodle soup the next week either....so we went back to turkey after that. Thank goodness. When my grandmother Sasser was in Florida for Thanksgiving we would add coconut cake (yuck) and ambrosia (fruit, marshmallows, coconut, and some kind of white dressing) to the mix. I detest both....mainly because I am not a huge fan of coconut. When it was just us and the neighbors who came to eat...we would have chocolate and lemon pie, pumpkin pie, and sometimes banana pudding. Desserts in our house were heavenly! Lunch was always at 1:00. The parade would be over and football would not have started yet. All the kids knew that in the afternoons, the TV belonged to the men and was always on some college football game. It did not matter who played....it was football.
We had a traditional Thanksgiving meal at the school usually on Monday or Tuesday. Parents did not come and sometime during the week we would do a Thanksgiving program with Mrs. Murphy. I guess parents came to that....I don't remember. When I was younger we would make a construction paper turkey from a handprint and the teacher would put it on the board or wall. As I got older we would usually write a story of some kind. We also did games where everyone would have to see how many words could be found in the phrase "Happy Thanksgiving." I too was a word geek even way back then, and my competitive streak made it that much more fun...btw....I usually won! Thanksgiving was always a time of family and friends and still is today. When I married and moved to Alabama I was introduced to dressing....and to be honest it is not one of my favorite dishes. I eat it...because most of my family and friends here make it and serve it....but it is NOT stuffing. I love the smell and taste of sage and celery and onions sauteeing. My mom would make butter nut squash stuffing, oyster stuffing, walnut stuffing...and it was all good. Frank's family's traditions for Thanksgiving were much the same as mine so we merged well. He loves big gatherings with lots of food....and laughs at me because even though I do not eat sweet potatoes...I make a great souffe. One year I cheated and made a carrot souffle for me....in a small dish....there was none left when I got to the dish...everyone else loved it. Sigh! Must have been good. One other funny memory....in my family...some like the sweet potato casserole with nuts and brown sugar on top....others like marshmallows melted....so one year I made it with both....brown sugar and nuts as layer two and marshmallows on top....it was a gloppy mess...but so good everyone said. I never attended a Macy's parade...always wanted to....Frank on the other hand played in the Choctahatchee Style Marchers band and he has marched in the Macy's, Rose Bowl, and Orange Bowl parades...how cool is that? Thanksgiving is special to me because it is just about food and fellowship......there is no commercialism built in. It is the holiday that Walmart forgot....and you know...I am kind of glad. It is one of those special days....that is special just because it is....not because someone is going to give you a present. It is a time to be thankful for all you have, for family, for friends, for everything...it is a blessed day! Can I get an Amen?
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
9 months ago