Thanksgiving brings back a lot of memories. When my relatives set down to dinner they had no idea of the many hours, days, and weeks of preparation that went on in our kitchen preparing for the Thanksgiving meal. I recall my mother freezing the end slices (otherwise known as the heal) from loafs of bread for months prior to thanksgiving. They would later be mixed with homemade cornbread, butter, seasonings and turkey broth to make a delicious stuffing. Broths left over from soups and vegetable dishes would also be frozen and later mixed into the turkey broth to add extra flavor to the turkey gravy.
Women from my mom’s era learned to use every resource to make a tasty and plentiful meal.
In addition to my mom working a full time job, she cleaned the turkey, stuffed it, roasted it, made homemade pie crust for pumpkin, walnut, and other assorted pies. She baked a from scratch German chocolate cake and peeled two kinds of potatoes for creamy mashed and candied sweet potatoes. Then, there was Jello salad, cranberry salad, green bean casserole, along with dinner rolls and on and on and on.
In contrast, I will be hosting my husband’s family, the Williams’, at my home this Thanksgiving 2009. Yes, I work too, but I will go to Von’s and buy a pre-cleaned Butterball turkey with a thermometer. I will brine it for 24 hours and then roast it in my convection oven. I will make semi homemade mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and will trade the candied yams for oven roasted dill carrots, and the green bean casserole for roasted garlic green beans. I will make a homemade walnut pie and pour it into a pre-made Mrs. Smith’s frozen pie shell along with a from scratch Red Velvet Cake (hubby’s request). I will make fresh cranberry salad, and then I will toss a Dole ready to toss Caesar salad, and lastly, I’ll brown and serve dinner rolls. After all is eaten and done, I will pack the dishes away in my automatic dish washer and retire to the computer to update my Facebook.
Thankfully, my two dear sisters and sister-in-law, will be cooking Thanksgiving dinner at my parent’s home. My mom will be tucked away in bed, she may not know who is around her or what day it is, but she will be lovingly fed a delicious turkey dinner, and she will feel the love around her.
To my mom and mom’s everywhere, thank you for the many Thanksgiving meals and all the work and love that went into every bite. May we make you proud and carry on the traditions you taught us.
About the Author
Debbie Williams is the author of Recipes that Remember, a recipe blog dedicated to her mother who passed away from Alzheimer's disease in 2010. Learn more »