Kim @ Kids Matter
In our family, as in most families, Thanksgiving, is a major holiday. When I was young, Thanksgiving was so much fun because all the cousins played together the entire day. Thanksgiving was about getting together with family. Oh, okay, and the food. Yes, the food. My mother was quite the cook. She always bought the biggest turkey as the whole family was coming for dinner (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc). She made the stuffing, stuffed the turkey (which was quite a production) sewed the turkey shut, and skewered the legs tight. It was kind of scary the first time I tuned in to watch her do it. But oh, how the smell of that turkey cooking set in my memory, and ever after cemented the longing for turkey each Thanksgiving Day. My mother began cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the family when my grandmother, the matriarch of the family, was not able to cook anymore.
I love a story she told about mashed potatoes while she was growing up and I have to share the story with you. In the early 1930s, my mother and her two sisters had to mash potatoes by hand until they were creamy, with no lumps. It was quite a chore sometimes, especially if there were going to be many guests at the dinner table. The sisters would take turns mashing to keep the arguing to a minimum. One day my grandmother bought a MixMaster to mash the potatoes. My mother tells the story about the night my grandmother brought the MixMaster home. They were peeling potatoes for the evening meal, and my grandmother had to leave the house to run down the street to a neighbor’s home. She told the girls not to use the MixMaster because she had not yet trained them how to use it. Well, sisters will be sisters. Of course they knew they could use the MixMaster, and have it back in the box before my grandmother returned. So the sisters opened the box and set up the MixMaster. My mother put the beaters in the potatoes, slid the switch to on, and WHAM potatoes flew everywhere! The story goes that my mother was up on a chair with a mop wiping potatoes off the wall when my grandmother walked into the kitchen. Such a great story! I had the best laugh when she told it to me.
My mother and one sister have passed away. My Aunty Pat is still with us and she has always been a character. She is very witty, funny, and enjoys life very much. I was named after her and when I was young she took care of me, sometimes. I remember one Thanksgiving… something about Lancers wine and “Hey Aunt Mary, the peas are green”, but that is another story to be kept in the family.
I also remember being so upset one day after my mother passed because I could not find her fudge recipe. Thank goodness, I eventually found it while looking through her many recipe books. I now make many of my mother’s dishes and her turkey and dressing are a tradition carried on by my son and his wife. We now celebrate Thanksgiving with my husband’s parents as well but still also cook at our house so we can savior Thanksgiving all weekend.As the holiday is fast approaching, I remember that my grandchildren are storing their family memories and traditions. May each of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with great memories to store, and remember to grab those recipes to carry on your family traditions. Also, remember your children are storing memories. Make them wonderful.