“Don’t assume you’re always going to be understood. I wrote in a column that one should put a cup of liquid in the cavity of a turkey when roasting it. Someone wrote me that ‘the turkey tasted great, but the plastic cup melted.’ “

Today is downright cold. The sun is shining but the light is weak and muted. The pine tree limbs in the backyard are swaying from the wind as are the dead leaves still hanging off the ends of branches. I had an early appointment and was out of the house before nine. It was 31˚. Now it is a lovely 34˚, basking weather, almost deck weather.

Yesterday I was a whirlwind of activity. Not only did I finish my four errands, but I also swept the kitchen floor, cleaned the top of the stove, dusted and polished a couple of tables and changed my bed. I was exhausted.

When I woke up this morning, Gracie was in a ball right beside my head and between the two pillows. I figured she must have gotten cold during the night, and I was warmth.

I remember well Thanksgivings when I was a kid. For some reason my mother was always up with the birds as she used to say.  She’d get busy making the stuffing first. I can still see her using her hands to mix the bread chunks with the other ingredients including Bell’s seasoning. Even now, all these years later, one sniff of Bell’s brings back my mother and all the turkeys of her lifetime.  She’d finish the stuffing then put it in the bird. My mother used a giant roasting pan which just fit into the oven. It was oval and blue with white specks. She’d put the turkey and the turkey neck into the pan then the pan went into the oven though sometimes my dad did the oven as the pan was too heavy for my mother. At nine we’d settle in to watch the Macy’s parade. My mother put out tangerines, mixed nuts and M&M’s for our watching pleasure.

It didn’t take long for the wonderful aroma of turkey to spread about the house. My mother, still in the kitchen, would start on the vegetables. Always we had mashed potatoes. I think it is against the law not to have them on Thanksgiving. Creamed onions, canned asparagus for my dad, green bean casserole and later the squash casserole, our all time favorite, would be prepared in no particular order. Before the big day my mother had made the pies: apple, lemon meringue and one more, usually pumpkin or custard. With the left over crust she’d make the turds as my dad called them which always made us laugh. They were rolled dough with cinnamon and sugar in the middle which had been baked in the oven.

I remember the kitchen windows covered with steam from all the cooking, the aromas of the different dishes and how special the whole day seemed.

I put out mixed nuts and buy tangerines. I watch the parade. I make a pie and this year I figure I’ll make some turds. My dad would be happy.

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18 Comments on ““Don’t assume you’re always going to be understood. I wrote in a column that one should put a cup of liquid in the cavity of a turkey when roasting it. Someone wrote me that ‘the turkey tasted great, but the plastic cup melted.’ “”

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Bell’s Seasoning was a little yellow box that lived in our pantry cupboard and only came out twice a year onThanksgiving and Christmas just to season the bread stuffing.

    My mother did the turkey overnight in a low oven. My unheated bedroom was above the kitchen so I’d be smelling turkey all night in my dreams. I’d wake up ravenous. The best part was that the bedroom floor would be nice and warm for a change.

    My mother didn’t use the giblets. She would boil them and use the water to moisten the bread for the stuffing. The giblets themselves went to the cats who always knew when it was Thanksgiving and stationed themselves beside the stove. There was always the possibility that something might drop on the floor and they wanted to be in position to scarf whatever it was.

    No canned asparagus. Instead, we had canned baby peas with pearl onions. Squash, rutabagas, mashed potatoes were also on the menu. A cylinder of Ocean Spray canned cranberry sauce would be lying on its side on a plate, the impressions of the can seams and ridges very visible. 🙂

    Musn’t forget the Pillsbury rolls in a can that I opened by whacking it on the back of the chrome kitchen chair. I cringed while removing the label because the roll often exploded open in my hand when I did. But the hot rolls slathered with butter were worth the anxiety. 🙂

    It’s cold and sunny up here. Porch is toasty and warm from the sun. Rocky has dibs on the only chair out there.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I always thought cranberry sauce was decorated then when I was older I found out it was from the can ridges. I still like that sauce.

      Sometimes I roast a chicken and stuff it-I pull out the Bell’s. I had to send some Bell’s to my sister in Colorado. They don’t have it there.

      My mother did the same thing with the giblets and I did too. I’d cut up the heart and liver and give each animal a Thanksgiving surprise of the meat.

      That canned asparagus was disgusting. It was so limp. I could never eat it.

      We never had rolls, but I remember the banging of the roll cylinder and the explosion after from rolls at other dinners.

      It stayed cold and is getting colder.

      Have a great evening1

      • Caryn Says:

        I went looking for Bells Seasoning at the grocery store, today. None to be found. I might have to recreate it with real herbs and spices. 🙂

      • katry Says:

        Caryn,
        I have to think it will be around especially with turkeys cooking next week. Maybe you just have to try another store.

  2. Birgit Says:

    Turkey day is already coming again? But you’ve just had it last year!
    Dear turkeys,
    if you seek asylum in Europe please avoid the Netherlands, you may get the bird flu. Our country seems to be safe for now if you avoid the highways. (Cars are holy over here.) If you don’t mind Swedish winters I think they have some lovely crane-free lakes now and also less highways. Just ask Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      Strange isn’t it? It does arrive quickly!

      The turkeys are happy to report that cars stop for the wild turkeys here. They travel in a flock with sometimes as many as 12 or more. They had disappeared from the Cape and were reintroduced. Now they are all over the Cape.

      Turkeys replied that they wouldn’t like the winter in Sweden, especially where Christer lives.

  3. olof1 Says:

    Grey, warmish and dull here again but it will turn to colder tonight and then turn towards warm already on Sunday again. At least it won’t rain until tomorrow evening.

    I guess it must have been rather cold in my bedroom last night because I had two dogs sleeping very close to me, so close I had problems getting up when the alarm bell rang 🙂

    I have no experiense in Thanksgiving so I really can’t say much about it 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      We’ll have a warmer weekend than we’ve had the last few days. Today was as cold as it’s been.

      Gracie would have joined you as it seems she was cold too. Fern was on the other side of me so I had to slide my legs out so I could get up.

      You would love Thanksgiving and all the food.
      Stay warm!

  4. flyboybob Says:

    Still here in Toronto where it has been unusually cold and windy all week including early snow showers. This has been unusually cold early for Toronto. Canadians have their Thanksgiving in October but still enjoy the shopping madness next Friday also known here as Black Friday

    My mother always made the stuffing in a separate pan in the oven. We always had sweet potatoes instead of mashed. My dad loved sweet potatoes especially on Thanksgiving. Personally I like the dark meat and most commercial turkeys are breed for large Breasts and small thighs. I would rather have a duck than Turkey but roasting one is mess of fat. My mother always bought a pumpkin pie which I hate almost as much as Indian food. I’m a fruit or cream pie kind of guy. I wonder if the Pilgams even had turkey at the first Thanksgiving or pumkin pie.

    Ben Franklin wanted to make the turkey our national symbol instead of the eagle. How can one soar with eagles when you work with turkeys. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      Amazing that the Canadians still have a Black Friday with no Thanksgiving before it. Now the commercials here are touting a black weekend and on and on.

      I also love sweet potatoes and when we were older my mother added them to the menu. I like both dark and white meat-makes no difference to me. I’m making a chocolate cream pie to bring to my friends’ house where I always have Thanksgiving.

      Wild turkeys were common back then so they probably did have fowl.

      What would we eat on Thanksgiving. You can’t eat the national symbol!

      • flyboybob Says:

        Selling merchandise for the holidays doesn’t require a nearby holiday. If we didn’t have Christmas, Chanukah we would have to make up a holiday such as Kwanza to keep the economy going. If a retail store doesn’t have a good holiday season there is nothing else they can do for the following year to make up for that revenue loss.

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        I get that stores need sales at Christmas, but it was here long before the sales and the store displays. It can be whatever you want, as big or as small.

  5. MT C Says:

    You can send of a couple of those turds this way, if you don’t mind. They sound wonderful. And about that squash casserole, would you share the recipe?

    Today’s post reminds me of many Thanksgivings we had. Usually not at home though as I had three aunts and 9 uncles on my mothers side (and about nine bigazillion cousins) that would all meet for the day, usually at a rented hall, depending upon who could make it. Later in life, with my own small family and traveling with the military, our T-days were at home with us doing all the ‘fixings’. The girls still remember that, especially the day I dropped the turkey coming out of the oven. When I was attending to the burns, the dog made off with one of the legs. But it was so hot, she couldn’t eat it, but managed to fend us off until it cooled a bit. What could we do but laugh.

    Yesterday is the first day since the 6th of November that it has been above freezing. And a couple of those days it never got above 0F. Been a quite chilly stretch here, and it was quite a relief to have a day in the 50’s. AND the snow has finally melted. It doesn’t usually last for more than 3 or 4 days. Its nice to see the grass again.

    Carl

    • katry Says:

      Carl,
      I wish I could give you a couple as you would taste right away why my dad loved them. I will share the recipe. I’ll post it here later today.

      That’s a great story, about the dog. I imagine having turkey seemed only right to that dog as the rest of the family was getting ready to eat it.

      We are entering a warm spell for the next three or four days. No show here as yet and I’m not hoping for any. Yesterday was the coldest day so far while the nights have been the coldest of all.

      Today is my to nothing at all day.

      I’ll hunt down that recipe!!

  6. katry Says:

    Here you go, Carl!

    Squash and Carrot Casserole

    2 dozen Ritz crackers
    8 oz. package of softened cream cheese
    2 cans cream of mushroom (or just about any vegetable) soup
    2 eggs beaten
    1/2 cup melted butter
    2 1/2 lb cooked butternut squash
    6 small grated carrots
    1/2 cup chopped onions
    1 cup herb season stuffing mix

    1. Place crackers in greased baking dish (all spread on the bottom of the dish)
    2. In bowl combine eggs, cheese, butter, soup and beat well
    3. Stir in squash, carrots, onion. Spread in baking dish.
    4. Put stuffing mix on top
    5. Bake at 350˚ for 30-40 minutes.

    Enjoy!!


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