Saturday, November 26, 2011

My 2011 Thanksgiving...

... was a good one.

I went and got Chinese on Wednesday. It was wonderful. I also bought my turkey but since it was too late to thaw for the holiday I talked Eddie into smoking it on Friday. Nothing in the world is better than smoked turkey!

On Thanksgiving Day a local charity delivered dinners to our building. I got 2 of them. It was very good. I had turkey, ham, dressing, potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pie and a roll. I even tasted some of that canned cranberry sauce for the first time in my life. It tasted like cranberry jelly. I think it would be good on toast.

I lulled around all day and watched tv. I picked up Eddie's turkey dinners for him since he was spending the day with family. Then I heard a knock at my neighbor's door. I realized it was the turkey dinner people trying to deliver her dinners to her. She had a stroke a few weeks ago and may not make it back to the building. So I went to tell them.

After I told them she wouldn't be home they started asking me about other people on my floor who were supposed to get dinners. I knew the guy next to me wouldn't be home. He goes home at the end of every month and won't be back until he gets his check on the third. Then they told me another resident wasn't home and she went back into the hospital the night before. So she wasn't there either. Then my neighbor, Billie, wasn't home either.

They asked me if I could give them their dinners. I told them I would try but if they didn't show up by Saturday I would give them to other's who I knew needed them. So I ended up with 10 Thanksgiving dinners. I put notes on everybody's doors telling them I had their dinners and how long I would keep them.

One neighbor (who I don't get along with) heard me knocking on doors and asked me for one of the dinners. I gave her one of the stroke victim's dinners, since I knew she wouldn't be home anyway. A couple of hours later a guy came for the dinners that belonged to the woman who went into the hospital the night before. That left me with 5 extra dinners.

Yesterday a woman asked me if I had her dinner. I told her no but I gave her 2 dinners that belonged to the guy next door. If Billie doesn't show up by this evening I will give her dinners away as well.

Eddie smoked my turkey yesterday. While he was smoking it we found out a woman on the third floor had died and they carried her out of the building. I didn't know her well because she smoked and I stay away from smokers. She was sweet and quiet though. I heard her brother is also in the hospital.

Makes you want to count your blessings, huh?

One Year I Had 7 Thanksgiving Dinners

I felt like a blood soaked tick the next day. I couldn't even move. I believe I would even describe myself as having a food hangover! I remember just laying face down on the table in the breakroom and going to sleep. I even fed a racer! Something I had never done in all my years in the dog business. That meant the dog was scratched (couldn't race for 10 days) and there was a $50 fine (fortunately my boss didn't make me pay it)

It was the first Thanksgiving after I left my husband and all the people who had helped me that year and my family wanted me to have Thanksgiving with them. So I did. I didn't skimp on not one meal. I did my morning work at the track and I had the rest of the day off. Here is where I ate 7 FULL Thanksgiving meals.

1. Mom's house

2. Dad's house

3. Granny Brennan's house

4. Granny Farley's house

5. Sis's house

6. Mike and Mitzie's house

7. Dave and Gail's house

After that year I learned to tell people "no".

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Through the Years

We had the great family feasts that everybody had on Thanksgiving. There was the featured Turkey and Dressing AND the giant Ham with granny's special glaze (grape jelly - believe it or not!). The ham was then decorated with pineapples and cherries. All the sides were there - the mashed potatoes and gravy in a gravy boat. The corn and green beans. My personal favorite - the sweet potatoes drowning in syrup and covered in marshmallows. I can't forget the chicken and dumplings (ohh, I might have to make those this year!) There was so much food that it would hardly fit on the table.

We would be playing with cousins and, in my case, aunts and uncles. Occasionally stopping to wash the dishes every so often so the kitchen wouldn't be in complete chaos! I always made sure I was there to lick the beaters when the potatoes were mashed or the latest batch of cake batter was ready.

As we got older and the family expanded my Aunt Edna started to rent the Omar Women's Club for Thanksgiving. It turned into our yearly family reunion until everybody moved so far away it just wasn't feasible to do anymore. Granny still did the Turkey and the Ham but everybody else kicked in the side dishes and the decorations. Those were probably my favorite Thanksgivings.

I would show up with Bobby and my cousins would show up with their newest children. That side of the family more than made up for my sides lack of progeny.They reveled in their children and I reveled in their children too - and then I was glad to go back to my honeymoon lifestyle that Bobby and I maintained throughout our marriage. It was good.

Then I moved to Florida. We invited friends and coworkers from the track because no one should be alone on Thanksgiving and we all lived a vagabond lifestyle. For one day we would drop our guard and leave the competitive bodyslamming at the track. We had a true truce.

I usually would have a job that would allow me to have morning kennel work off and I would get dinner ready. Then my coworker and I would split morning and night turnouts so we each had a little time off. The dogs still had to be cared for - they don't know it's Thanksgiving. We would close night turnout with an extra treat of vanilla wafers or marshmallows for the dogs. So they had their holiday too.

Once I got divorced and moved back to West Virginia I had to make the rounds for everybody's house on Thanksgiving. That first year I had 6 Thanksgiving dinners and each house would send me home with leftovers. I was so stuffed that not only did I have a food hangover but I was litterally as stuffed as a blood soaked Tick! Food Hangover would not cover the state I was in that year!

Now I make my own feast again. I take it easy. I may go to my uncle's house - or not - just depends on my mood. My mom gets no joy from the holiday, although she does cook. She and my sister can do their thing and I will do mine. I prefer peace to the tension that they seem to revel in.

I usually cook and invite people over who I know don't have anybody. I dont' feel like cooking this year. I did donate a bag of food to a coworker who recently lost her job due to injury. We all went together to make sure she had a nice holiday. Chalk one up for Fruth employees doing good deeds once again.

My First Married Thanksgiving

We went to my parent's house and my new in-law's house. The part I really remember was at my in-laws home. I had a most excellent mother-in-law. We grew to be great friends over time but when I was first married, she had major issues with the fact that I refused to wait on my husband hand and foot. Don't get me wrong I didn't mind doing things for him, but what I did mind was someone thinking that I should cater to his every whim just because he was a man and I was a woman. WRONG!

She wanted no help in the kitchen. She had her own way of doing things. I respected that. So the whole family was gathered throughout the house doing whatever until dinner was ready. It was really very nice not to have to worry about helping to prepare the meal - I was used to helping my mom and it wouldn't have been a problem to help my mother-in-law if she had wanted the help.

It came time to eat and she called everyone to the kitchen. It was buffet style. I jumped right in and fixed myself a plate of food and as I was walking away she yelled, "Bobby, come and eat, Pam has your plate ready!"

I just looked at her and smiled and said, "this is my plate, I have no idea what he wants to eat!" I took my plate and when Bobby had his plate ready he joined me. Thankfully she didn't make an issue of it and neither did I so it was a great Thanksgiving. Bobby and I laughed together many times about it over the years and she was eventually able to have a little giggle about it herself once she started to come to my home to eat Thanksgiving dinner.

I remember how pleased she was that I was able to even cook such a meal. "I didn't know you had it in you, girl." she smiled at me. I did however let her fix whatever she wanted in my kitchen. The more the merrier was my philosophy and it still is.

I bake my turkey upside down

One year I had sprained my ankle and my husband had to cook Thanksgiving Dinner. He went to put the turkey in the oven and it was upside down. I tried to stop him but he told me he was cooking dinner and for me to leave him alone. So I did.

The turkey was perfect.

You cook it upside down until about the last 45 minutes or so, then you flip it. That way the breast meat is as moist as the dark meat usually is! Also the skin on the bottom is crisp and brown just like the skin on top.

A perfect Turkey everytime.

My Brush with Fame

It has been a long standing joke that I have never washed my truck since the day I bought it. Nope not once. Amazingly enough everybody always comments on what a pretty truck I have. Since I bought it in 2005 and it is a 2003 model, you really wouldn't think it should look as good as it does. But it does.

Anyway I called my friend Rusty, who sold me the truck yesterday. The dealership is giving away tickets to a Landau Eugene Murphy Concert and I wanted him to enter me in it. Mike Ferrell Ford is the dealership where he worked washing cars before he won America's Got Talent earlier this year.

Rusty asked me about the truck and I told him it was fine. I mentioned in passing that I had never once washed it since I bought it. He started to laugh. He said, "You know what that means don't you?"

"No." I said.

"That means that Landau was the last one to wash your truck! He washed it right before you picked it up!"

I was thrilled. I knew there had to be a reason that I was so adamant about never washing that truck! I have had Landau's fingerprints on it for the past 6 years.

My Little Red Ranger is famous!

The Preacher Forgot the Turkey

Ha Ha

I thought it was hilarious. What was really funny was that nobody that was at the Thanksgiving Dinner last Sunday even noticed it. There was so much other food that they all just dug in.

The local church had a dinner for Lee Terrace on Sunday. As usual, once the opening prayers were closed everybody raced to get in line for the food. I sat back and watched the show. My philosophy is that if they run out of food that is just less calories and salt for me! Everybody was enjoying the meal when I noticed that Pastor Rick was no where to be found. They somebody whispered in my ear that he forgot the turkey. I thought they were joking because everybody was digging in and enjoying their meals. Sure enough, about 20 minutes later he arrived with the turkey. Then everybody got back up and formed a line again!

A good time was had by all.