“There is something nostalgic and significant about the cascades of autumn leaves.”

Fall is right outside my den window. The sky is a deep blue. The sunlight is bright but not warm. The wind is blowing even the tallest branches, and every time it blows, the leaves twist and fall. It is cold, in the high 3o’s. All in all, it is a lovely fall day

When I was a kid, I’d be out bike riding on a day like today. I’d ride in the sidewalk gutters filled with leaves and watch them fly left and right as I sped through them. My father and all the other fathers would be raking leaves and burning them.

I seem to remember my mother putting the turkey in the oven really early in the morning. She’d make her stuffing first then fill the bird. I loved my mother’s stuffing so rich with Bell’s seasoning and sage. I’d sneak and open the oven and grab a bit of the crisp brown stuffing hanging out of the bird.

My sisters and I still wonder why my mother put the bird in so early. I was thinking maybe she used a low heat, and given how huge the bird always was, it took more time but not all day.

The Thanksgiving menu changed as we got older and had more sophisticated palates. My father, though, still had his favorites like the wilted asparagus in the can, cranberry sauce also from a can and his turkey leg. The squash casserole we all love has survived and still appears on our thanksgiving table. Sweet potatoes now have a spot. I change-up the dressings sometimes. My favorite, which my mother also loved, is the one with sausage and apple

No thanksgiving is complete without the green bean casserole. Over time the canned green beans have been shelved, replaced by fresh. A few years back I ditched the mushroom soup in favor of fresh mushrooms and béchamel sauce. My father would not have approved.

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10 Comments on ““There is something nostalgic and significant about the cascades of autumn leaves.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    Grey and dull here all day with lots of rain as well. I caught two mice at the same time in my have a heart trap so I had to walk to the forest in the dark in pouring rain to release them 🙂 🙂 I’m pretty sure I’ll catch more very soon.

    I guess she had a very low temperature in the oven so the bird shoulnd’t get dry. Something my mother should have thought of the one and only time she cooked a turkey.

    For one thing the bird was way to big for our oven and slightly frozen as well. She chopped the poor dead bird with an ax and threw it all in a way to warm oven. Well it was a dinner to remember, the surface was burned and the rest was mostly raw 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Sorry about the rain. Saturday should always be the best day.

      I remember catching 42 mice in my house with my have a heart trap. No matter the time, I’d take Gracie and the trap and drive a mile away and let the mouse go. I wished him well in his new home.

      That was also what I guessed about the early start. I don’t remember if her turkeys were dry or not when I was a kid, but they weren’t when I was much older.

      I chuckled out loud when I read about your mother and her turkey. She did get creative.

      I hope tomorrow is a great day!

  2. Bob Cohen Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Due to the five early freeze events this month the trees are just now starting to turn fall colors. We usually don’t get our first freeze until the week before Thanksgiving and then the leaves begin to change color.

    The big thing around here is deep fried Turkey. It’s a Cajun tradition but requires a lot of skill to fry so as not to burn down your house. Most folks deep fry them outside on the driveway to prevent burning down the house or burning up your backyard. Popeye’s Louisiana kitchen fried chicken restaurants will sell you a frozen deep fried turkey if you order it in advance. Somehow I think it couldn’t be as good as frying it in a big pot on your driveway. 🙂

    Just heard a podcast yesterday with the author of a new book,“This Land Is Their Land, The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving”

    Most of the story of the first Thanksgiving is a myth. It doesn’t really matter because it’s an excuse to watch football, stuff your belly with family and friends and be thankful for what we have.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      We had our first freeze last week. The few flowers which were still hanging on died and shriveled. I hate the drab winter garden. I’m going to get some flowers to brighten the house when next I shop.

      I have see turkeys being deep fried on the cooking shows. I was toying with making one, but I decided I couldn’t get far enough away from the house given my track record. One year I did have a turducken. It was delicious. No Popeye’s around here. Stop and Shop will provide the whole meal including potatoes and vegetables.

      The Wampanoags have had a heck of a time. It took them a few tries before being recognized as an Indian tribe. Next they wanted to build a casino-no go on that one. Lately the tribal head was arrested for me embezzlement of a huge sum from the tribe.

      I love Thanksgiving. We go out now so I really miss leftovers.

      • Bob Cohen Says:

        The surprise for me was that Wampanoag had been dealing with Europeans for at least a hundred years before the pilgrims arrived. I like what Will Rogers said about the treaties between the white men and the Indians. “This land will be your’s as long as the sun shines, the wind blows and the river flows. However the land the Indians got, the sun always shone, the wind always blew and the river never had any water.” I’m glad to see that the Indian casinos across the Red River in Oklahoma are doing well. At least they are profiteering from the white man’s weakness. Better them than the mafia.

      • katry Says:

        The Wampanoag have reclaimed their culture in many ways. Getting recognition was the impetus.

        No reservation for Indian tribes in the east.

  3. Rowen Says:

    Sounds like you make a good green bean casserole.

    • katry Says:

      I made this last Christmas. My friend had 3 helpings. His wife commented that he never ate that much of her casserole. He said this one is really different and left it at that.

  4. Hedley Says:

    I have been loitering all day, it’s cold, the snows are still done and I have drifted from one aimless task to another accompanied my the music of the moment (think Kid Creole and the Coconuts] and Michigan State getting slaughtered by Michigan.

    Mrs MDH is preparing the Thanksgiving battleground and will involve multiple trips to Metro and folks scattered all over my home. Not my strength but what is !

    Chapel calls, I love the Saturday evening Mass, it’s a little quieter and I have some time to reflect. Thinking about our friend Doug the Painter who left us way too early

    Big Rick checked in at random, I have no idea why, it’s been months. I think he was driving somewhere and was bored. He did, of course, have some cockamamie get rich scheme which as usual is designed to bring untold wealth, not your basic $5million. It sounded like an old scheme but I didn’t yell Deja Vu.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I went grocery shopping. Tomorrow is game night, and it is my turn for the starter. We’ll have guacamole and tamale pie. That was it for my day. I spent the rest of the time in pursuit of leisure.

      Mrs. MDH is a treasure.

      I remember when we used to get together at my parent’s house for holidays. We’d stay up late talking and drinking. We’d play endless games of cribbage. Football games blared. It was wonderful.


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