“Thanksgiving… a Labor of Love”

I thought I’d let my thoughts wander to my Mom and Dad‘s home for a moment… It is Thanksgiving Day …

Actually, I’ll have to back up a few days before… maybe weeks…because my Dad was the shopper   and bought all of the ingredients for our wonderful Holiday Feast of Thanksgiving … From the moment I could remember… I watched him slowly begin to bring in all the ingredients   a little at a time… not knowing then, how expensive a big dinner like we were about to have cost… anything my Mom needed to cook our meal for this glorious day! … About a day or two before the big day my Mom would start to thaw the turkey … It was placed in water sometimes to thaw…

Usually not enough room in the refrigerator … with all the goodies for baking pies   or making salads… especially 5-cup Salad… pineapple, mandarin oranges, sour cream, coconut, and maraschino cherries   … I woke up to the smell of the turkey already baking  wafting through the air …enticing my nose with the anticipation of homemade dressing with lots of celery and onions…not just one kind but, three … regular, cornbread and oyster… I tasted all of them! sweet potatoes with marshmallows melted  and browned in the oven mashed potatoes with extra butter sitting right in the middle of them oozing down … the colorful salad with those wonderful cherries only bought on holidays … I, hoping there were some left for me to eat right out of the jar Green beans, Ford Hook Lima-beans   and corn for our vegetables… Mom’s homemade Mashed Potato Rolls… the aroma was scrumptious… wonderful turkey gravy made from the “drippings”... Cranberry relish made from fresh cranberries, sugar and oranges YUMMY! … besides the traditional jelly type… There would be pumpkin pies, pecan pies , a cake or two… I set the table with a pretty tablecloth, napkins, the “good” dishes/silverware and glasses… many years later… paper plates, but not in this memory!… I iced the glasses…cut the cranberry jelly in rings and placed in the pretty relish dish… sometimes there would be celery stuffed with pimento cheese… because of left overs from making dressing… The table was so crowded and just sumptuous! … We waited for all to arrive… My two brothers/wives/kids…my two sisters and their families … and friends and relatives who were invited…  Never enough room at the big dining room table…although at least a dozen would crowd around… Extra places in the living room sufficed for the little ones and whoever was running late… Grace was said  by whoever volunteered to thank our Lord for the abundance of food and family that we shared…

I remember all talking at once, much laughter and lots of “yums” as the food was passed and tasted… My Mom had outdid herself again … and now I wonder how she pulled it off… So much to do…So many to prepare for… and not one complaint… I can only believe it was done with the help of Dad, a good provider… and the LOVE  she had for all who entered their home … a true blessing!

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“My Kids”…

I just recently heard that two of my favorite teachers, a Ms Mantooth and a Ms Grubbs are thinking of retiring… They were the leaders of a team of students at TJ called “The Shooting Stars”

… Every other October this team held what was called Muster Day… Some would call it Pioneer Day … The kids mustered together like they did so many years ago and planned a big event for the Fall Harvest

Included in this tradition was a roasted pig (BBQ) , fried bacon, homemade apple cider , corn on the cob, beef stew

, pumpkin pie, corn bread and butter making … Pioneer games, jewelry, corn husk dolls and square dancing … Displays explaining many aspects of pioneer life… A wonderful event enjoyed by the students, teachers , friends and families… Soon after these same teachers and students held a Thanksgiving Luncheon complete with turkey and all the trimmings for all the participating students and their families… And since our little group of Special Ed Kids provided the beef stew , corn bread   and pumpkin pie   (“Pioneer”- Patriot Bake Shop) for Muster Day…we were included…  Tablecloths were spread on the tables, handmade center pieces arranged on each table, food set out in long rows with great care… The students greeted everyone that was invited and then enjoyed the fruits of their labor just like the traditional Muster Day people   … The LOVE  these teachers showed through this event was truly a blessing!  ...They will surely be remembered.

Happpy Thanksgiving Everyone!

8 thoughts on ““Thanksgiving… a Labor of Love”

  1. We might have had the same mom! But not the same dad! My father was great, but he would have been lost in a grocery store!

    Love your post. I think we really did have most of the same foods for Thanksgiving when I was growing up. Well, we didn’t have oyster dressing, but everything else sounds very familiar.

    I agree, only as an adult could I appreciate the cost of the big meal that fed so many, and would feed us several more times before all the leftovers were gone. And it was/is a huge amount of work. I love it though. When I am not with a lot of extended family and do most of the cooking myself, it feels like home to make all the traditional foods. Thanks for sharing! ~ Sheila

  2. I need your mom. Seriously…I can barely drag myself to the kitchen and your mom is creating fabulous dishes! The 5 cup salad sounds wonderful…thanks for sharing! :) Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  3. Such lovely Thanksgiving memories and traditions! Thank you for sharing your stories! Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving :)

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