I refer to it as the forgotten holiday. Even Husband Joe commented that he thought Thanksgiving came after Halloween and before Christmas. Can’t get much past him.
So, once again, the push for Christmas shopping came immediately if not before the last piece of Halloween candy was eaten. It is because of that I will, with some sentimentality, devote this column to Thanksgiving.
I could give space to the Pilgrims; thank you to them and the Indians.And I will give them space, but only a short space. Think about it; what did they really eat? Nothing, I’m sure, like what we gorge ourselves with on Thanksgiving.
Without the Butterball hotline, I’m sure their turkey, if that’s what they ate, was quite different. I would suppose they had corn or maize and not courtesy of the Jolly Green Giant. Surely they had cranberries, although I don’t remember seeing any cranberry bogs in the history books. My preference is the jellied form of cranberries right out of the can. I would have been a lousy Pilgrim. I have always said I was born in the right era. Since I don’t have much of an adventuresome spirit, we would probably still be overseas if it depended upon me.
So here we are with our modern day conveniences and our holiday traditions. For my family, and this goes back to my childhood, the highlight was my mother’s sweet potatoes. Yum. She had a large Pyrex casserole bowl that would be filled to the brim with the holiday favorite.
She would get pounds of sweet potatoes, peel them, cook them and mash them and mash them and mash them until they were smo-o-oth.
The mixture would include crushed pineapple, brown sugar, butter and I don’t know what else. If there was anything else, it was blended to perfection. Just before serving time she would scatter marshmallows all over the top and pop it in the oven until the white puffs melted and formed clouds over the orange-gold mixture.
She knew just when to take it out and get it to the table without any burnt marshmallows. Years of experience came into the making of the dish, and it was a perennial favorite wherever we were sharing a holiday from my childhood to adulthood.
Even when the years took their toll on her body, she still insisted in doing her part for the meal with her sweet potatoes. Then came the time she made her specialty and, while transporting the leftovers in the Pyrex bowl to the refrigerator, it slipped from her hands and fell to the kitchen floor. The dish broke and the leftovers were scattered all over the floor.
She was quite upset about it, but we tried to assure her it was an accident and she could really use a new bowl anyway. Little did we know that would be the last time mom would make her famous sweet potatoes, because she passed away before the next holiday. We didn’t think of the coincidence of the bowl breaking at the time, but later I began to wonder.
So this year remember and be thankful for those who are with you in person and those who are with you in spirit.
I’m thankful again for my entourage from Basili’s, Grumpy’s (who has so kindly been providing the coffee for “Koffee with Kosey”), the gang at Aunt Diana’s, my family, friends and the people at the award winning Landmark newspaper, especially Dan Haley and Bob Uphues, and of course the readers of this column. Thanks for your comments!
OK, now you can start Christmas. I have given Thanksgiving it’s due, sort of!