“My favorite meal is turkey and mashed potatoes. I love Thanksgiving, it’s just my favorite. I can have Thanksgiving all year round.”

Today is a sunny day but not a warm, sunny day. Gracie’s ears are always cold when she comes back inside the house. There is hardly any breeze, and only the tips of the dead leaves on the smallest branches move. The summer sun warms us while today’s sun, the deep fall sun, only gives us light.

My hand is still swollen, but I am back to my two fingered typing. When I went to get the papers this morning, I walked gingerly on the brick walkway, the site of yesterday’s fall. All went well.

Just before Thanksgiving never had the excitement of just before Christmas. In school we colored turkeys and cut out construction paper turkey tails we’d later glue to our papers though a few usually ended up stuck to our fingers. I hadn’t ever seen a real turkey, just pictures of one. My turkeys came in a package and were usually frozen. My mother always bought a huge turkey which fed us endlessly after the holiday. She’d put it in the blue, enamel roasting pot then into the oven where it would cook for hours. She’d baste it with its own juices, and she’d sneak a bit of the stuffing, the crusty part sticking out of the turkey. My mother made the best stuffing. The secret, but not such a big secret here in New England, was the Bell’s seasoning, which my sister and I still use. It comes in a small yellow box with a turkey on the front and is a combination of rosemary, oregano, sage, ginger, and marjoram. My mother would cook the onion and celery in butter then pour it on the bread, add milk and finally the Bell’s. I used to try to sneak a bit of the seasoned bread before it even went into the bird. It was delicious.

The house on Thanksgiving smelled the best it ever smelled. Every time my mother opened the oven more of that aroma would spread into the air and fill all of our senses. The turkey, when it was finished, was a beautifully browned masterpiece. My father always carved. He’d ask us what we wanted. We always said the white meat. When I was much older, I realized the dark meat was the best, moist and tasty. My father always took a leg. He’d cut what he could then he’d pick up the leg and eat the rest of the meat. When he was done, the leg was stripped clean, only bones and cartilage were left on the plate.

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14 Comments on ““My favorite meal is turkey and mashed potatoes. I love Thanksgiving, it’s just my favorite. I can have Thanksgiving all year round.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    We had turkey once in my family, my mother who for once would try to actually make somethimng special for I think christmas bought a big turkey. It wasn’t until she was about toput it into the oven she realised it was way too big and wouldn’t fit 🙂 I can still remember how she cursed the poor animal while she tried to cut it down in smaller pieces 🙂 I can’t remember what it tasted like though.

    I do have a small turkey in my freezer and I’ll have it for christmas, I unlike my mother have already checked that it will fit in the fire heated oven if I so wish to use that one for cooking the bird.

    I thin it has rained all day here and it has been a bit above 32F and it will be even warmer the coming days and I like that 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      When I was a kid, we had turkey for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. When I was older, we had it only for Thanksgiving and had a roast of some sort for Christmas. I really like turkey.

      The sun is still shining, but it is getting colder. Last night was the coldest we’ve had so far, 30˚, but tonight will be just a bit warmer.

      When we had rain the other day, we got an inch of it-a lot of rain.

      Have a great evening!

  2. Hedley Says:

    Turkey will appear twice down the MDHs, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Much of the discussion revolves around how the brussel sprouts are prepared, will bread sauce be included, should the potatoes be mashed or roasted? The Christmas meal is supplemented by English style sausages which have to be ordered well in advance from Ackroyds. I know how to carve – a gift from my Father.

    The cars and the planes are about to roll. Fullers and Green King Beers have been secured for the Lions game on Thursday. Once small herds would leave first thing on Friday to shop, today its the light of the ipad that attends to the early purchases (but not at the table)

    It will all go so quickly, but this weekend brings the house to light with the glow of Christmas and the rediscovery of ornaments and mementos from our travels.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      We always ad canned asparagus on the table but only for my father. He wouldn’t eat the fresh. His mother was the worse cook which gave my father the narrowest of palates. Sometimes you had to hide the ingredient because he was of the if he doesn’t see it, he’ll never know it’s there school of foods. He did carve well.

      I too have shopped on the internet, but I do like the small shops all up and down Route 6A. My list of what I need is getting smaller. The only one I need for right now is for my grand-nephew Ryder.

      I so love your last paragraph. I am the same when I put up my tree. I always hang the ones heavy with memories.

      • Hedley Says:

        Kat
        Saturday will be “top heavy” as the two Michigan college teams have dates with Ohio State and Penn State, Sunday morning brings Tottenham against Chelsea at 7.00 am and then the decorating will begin.

        We brought some fab new things home from Vienna as well as London. I have challenged the Prince that he will get $1.00 for every new ornament that he can find – I expect to be down at least $5.

        We also have the tradition of an advent “calendar/box” where we place treats behind each door. I loaded up on our European travels and am ready to stock it as the season begins. The Prince wants to go first so door 1 is his.

      • katry Says:

        MDH,
        My father would be right there with you watching the games. He was the fastest eater at the Thanksgiving table unless it was half time.

        We didn’t and I also don’t decorate my tree this early as it is a live tree, but I have a scrub pine tree which I put in the dining room every year. It is as ugly as a real scrub pine. On it go the oldest ornaments, many of them from my childhood.

        I always bring home ornaments or somethings I can use as ornaments when I travel. Morocco was difficult but I did fine colorful tassels I put on the tree.

        I have a paper Advent calendar like the ones my mother gave us ever year. When she was sick and we guessed it might be her last Christmas, I bought a box advent calendar and wrapped a small present for every door. She loved it.

  3. Richard Says:

    Bright, sunny, in the high 50s, low 60s … no clouds, and if I were at sea, the proper term would be ‘becalmed.’

    Sorry to hear your hand’s still all (to use a ‘Southern’-ism) ‘swole up.’ You sure nothing’s broken? I know you said you have movement, but you didn’t specify if it moves the same way it did prior to the fall. I hope it’s just a matter of waiting for the swelling to go down and nothing more serious.

    That ‘just-before-Thanksgiving’ was, for us, nothing more than that: ‘just-before-Thanksgiving.’ We must have had similar curricula, ‘cuz we had to make cards, cut things out of construction paper, and use that white Elmer’s paste glue that tasted just terrible. I preferred mucilage. Must be a ‘guy thing.’ It just looked gross when y’ stretched ‘n pulled it (knowhutimean?).

    Your description of the blue enamel roasting pan brings me back to an earlier and simpler time … the tenting of aluminum foil, basting, and all the other little ‘finishing touches’ needed to make sure everything was just right were part of the day. So was tasting. Especially that ‘crusty part’ of the stuffing. Mom always made oyster dressing to be stuffed inside the bird, and it was always the thing that made the next days turkey sandwiches so much better. Turkey, cranberries, and dressing between two slices of bread loaded with mayonnaise. Oh yeah.

    I bought some Bell’s Seasoning to try, and it, much like Old Bay, must be one of those things y’ have to grow up with. It’s a good seasoning, but not the taste I associate with holiday food, esp. turkey. I use it for other things I cook, but not for holiday items.

    You’re right about the ‘Holiday Smell’ … there is no smell anywhere that beats the Thanksgiving aromas wafting from the kitchen to every nook ‘n cranny of the house. Makes y’ want an ‘air sandwich’ … Dad, as you say, was always The Carver. I never learnt to properly carve a turkey until I was in my 20s … I still like white meat best, but I’m not opposed to thighs or legs in a pinch. Turkey’s turkey, and ain’t none of it bad. Well, wait a minit … a friend of my grandmother always asked Mom to save the tail for her – she said the best part of the turkey was the part that went over the fence last.

    And now for something completely different – if you’re a lexiphobe, look away now:

    Venison for dinner again?   Oh deer! 

    A cartoonist was found dead in his home.  Details are sketchy.

    I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.

    Haunted French pancakes give me the crêpes.

    England doesn’t have a kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.

    I tried to catch some fog, but mist.

    They told me I had type ‘A’ blood, but it was a typo.

    My iPod’s name is ‘Titanic’. It’s syncing now.

    German sausages are the wurst.

    I know a guy who’s addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop any time.

    I stayed up all night to see where the sun went – then it dawned on me.

    A girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I’d never met herbivore.

    When chemists die, they barium.

    I’m reading a book about anti-gravity and can’t put it down.

    I’m writing a theatrical performance about puns.  It’s a play on words.

    I didn’t like my beard at first, but it grew on me.

    The cross-eyed teacher lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils.

    Broken pencils are pointless.

    What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary?  A thesaurus.

    I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.

    Velcro is a rip-off.

    Don’t worry about old age; it doesn’t last.

    • katry Says:

      Richard,
      That groan you are hearing is coming all the way from Cape Cod and from a woman who once, a long time ago, was an English teacher who knows these are clever but……

      I agree that Bell’s is one of those things you have to grow up eating. As I said, I think it is New England’s stuffing herb of choice. I eat other stuffings, even ones I make myself-sausage and apple being a favorite, but I miss the Bell’s.

      My glue came in a bottle with a rubber top the same color as an eraser. You had to gently snip the top and squeeze the bottle.

      My mother would tent the bird if it appeared to be browning too fast. She always served cranberry sauce from the can as that was the only cranberry sauce my father would eat. I always thought it was neat that they decorated the cranberry sauce with all those rings. Later we had two: the can and homemade sauce with fresh cranberries right from the bogs down here.

      I can use my hand with bigger stuff so I think it is okay. The giant swollen lump is now gone but has been replaced by a hand swollen equally across the back.

      I do love those turkey sandwiches piled high with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mayo. I also loved the first dinner after Thanksgiving when we had open turkey sandwiches covered with gravy.

      I watched 6 wild turkeys cross the road the other day. Cars on both sides stopped as the turkeys slowly crossed. Wild turkeys used to astonish me, but now they are quite common.

  4. Bob Says:

    I’ve always liked the dark meat more than the breast meat but turkey is not my favorite meal. Give me a ham or a beef roast any day. I think the Saturday Evening Post cover by Norman Rockwell of the guy carving the turkey at the table has been a huge windfall for all those turkey farmers. I do enjoy stuffing even if it was baked in a pan instead of inside a bird. I don’t think the Pilgrams even ate turkey or stuffing on the first Thanksgiving. Of course they also didn’t have the canned cranberry sauce or football.

    Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird instead of the Bald Eagle. Thankfully the other forefathers picked the right bird. One of my favorite sayings referring to some of my coworkers is, “How can you soar like an Eagle when you fly with Turkeys”. 🙂

  5. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I’m glad to read that you are back to two-fingered typing.

    My mother made the Bells Seasoning stuffing. I was in charge of tearing up the bread. When I was older, I got to cook the giblets for the cats. The liquid was added into the gravy later on.
    I did get to make stuffing once when my mother had gone to California to visit her sisters over Thanksgiving. I started out okay but then my adventurous culinary soul took over and nontraditional spices went into the mix. Curry might have been involved. My father and one brother were not pleased but my other brother and I thought it was very good stuffing. Just not like my mother’s. 🙂

    It was cold up here, too, but the sun was out all day and there wasn’t any wind. I decided to shut off the outside faucets and take in the hoses. Two of the hoses had frozen water in them. A few hours lying in the sun took care of it.
    There were some puddles here and there in the neighborhood that kept a skim of ice on them all day. Winter is coming I guess,

    Enjoy the evening.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I can use both fingers but my hand looks worse that it had. Four fingers are swollen, and the hand has no wrinkles as it is so swollen. My fingers are turning black and blue. It is not a pretty sight. If it isn’t better by tomorrow, I’ll hit Urgent Care.

      We make gravy the same way: adding water later. We make a roux which we then put into the turkey pan, and it thickens the water we had added.

      I did Thanksgiving a few times down here, and my mother loved the sausage and apple dressing. I also made Bell’s but put it in a casserole dish in the oven.

      It is going to be cold again tonight but will start to get warmer. Thanksgiving could hit 60˚.

      My yard is already battened down for the winter. The irrigation guy came a few weeks back and his machine sucked all the water out of the system so it wouldn’t freeze. They cleared the yard on Sunday and all my deck stuff is either stored or covered.

      During the summer, from my neighbor’s deck, I can only see the top of my umbrella. I was at my neighbor’s yesterday, and I can see the whole deck. Yup, winter is coming.


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