Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Too Much Turkey!

It is only right and proper that we should stop the onslaught of Christmas for just a moment to remember our blessings and give thanks before we head out, en masse, with credit cards in hand to storm the malls for decking the halls. So, as we are flooded with Pilgrim and Native American imagery, enough turkey and tofu recipes to gag on, this is the best time to reminisce about the good ole days. In other words: the food!

Thanksgivings with the Grandparents were crowded and tension filled, but the food helped us all get along in those cramped quarters. As a kid, I didn't notice the family tensions or politics, just the FUN. We kids played together well, and packed enough toys to supply an underprivileged country. However, as the years progressed, one thing stayed constant: that fantastic cooking!

The feasts on either side of my family were tremendously indulgent. As I look back, what seemed to me a feast meant for a small village was actually a familial act of appeasement. I was so impressed by what my Grandmothers made. Every wonderful side dish imaginable was there, plus that ginormous turkey, followed by several different desserts! But why did they go to soooo much trouble? As my Mom has taken over the main Thanksgiving meal over the years, we have a great turkey, plus a few side dishes, bread and then pumpkin pie for dessert. Nothing as complex as the "olden days". So what gives?

I finally realized that my Grandmothers were practicing that age old talent of keeping everyone happy. If we took a tally, each person would probably have a favorite something - and the Grandmothers cleverly remembered what those were. Which meant slaving over the stove for hours, making sure everyone got their favorite dish for Thanksgiving. This practice of appeasement.....or, aka, selfless love.....was the reason we had such a wondrous feast every year. And which is why the above picture of Grandpa was taken by my Dad back in the late 60s after the feast....obviously Grandpa had many favorites....and whoa to those of us who indulge in all of our favorites on the table, or you too will be grabbing for the first sight of that clever product placement as seen in the photo!

To wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, a safe and profitable Black Friday, and a creative leftover turkey weekend, I will offer the following tidbits:
**Note, the number of adult married women present at the first Thanksgiving was 4! That's right! 4! And according to the accounts of who attended, there were 5 adolescent girls, 9 adolescent boys (good grief), 13 young children, 22 adult men....and drum roll please.....at least 91 Native American male guests! So, maybe our Mothers and Grandmothers have really just been carrying on the tradition of female exhaustion for Thanksgiving!

Oh, and try to spend as much time as possible WITH the family, and not glued to the TV like this group of naughty pilgrims:

From the Gizmodo Thanksgiving Photoshop Contest

Remember....eat lots of Turkey...but not too much!



Ah! on Thanksgiving day....
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before.
What moistens the lips and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich pumpkin pie?
~John Greenleaf Whittier


Alice Keesey Mecoy said...

Hello! I enjoy your blog and have awarded you the Ancestor Approved Blogger Award. You may see the write up and collect your icon for the side bar of your blog by visiting my blog at http://johnbrownkin.blogspot.com/2010/11/finally-back-and-found-i-received-2.html

Cheri Daniels said...

Alice...thank you so much! This is indeed a great honor, and how unique to come from someone with your illustrious ancestry....now to complete that homework!


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