Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving eve

On holidays, I really miss my mom’s cooking.  Even though it’s been two years since she passed away, and more than 40 years since her heyday as the matron of the family, spending hours and hours preparing Thanksgiving dinner, I can still remember the sights, sounds, and tastes of her busy kitchen.

She would start a day early, cooking cornbread and toast for her homemade dressing (or stuffing, for you Yankees).  The bread would be combined with onions, celery, chicken broth and a variety of spices into a soupy mess that would firm up and taste delectable once cooked in the oven, not in the bird.

Not that we had a bird, anyway.  Dad was not a fan of turkey or chicken, so we would have ham on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

My grandmother would fix a mess of fresh pole beans with potatoes.  Pole beans are basically fat green beans, and my grandmother and I would fill the plastic bags full of the fresh beans at the grocery store, and she would snap them on the days leading up to the holiday.  She also would bake mincemeat pies, something that Ella’s mom started doing for me before she died.

My favorite dish, though, was the potato salad.  Mom had this huge metal bowl in which she would mix all the ingredients, and after spooning the salad into the serving bowl, I would get to lick the bowl, so to speak.  Usually, she left a little in the bottom for me to sample.  It’s no wonder that I was a little fat kid.

It seemed like an all-day job to fix that meal, and it’s funny that I remember helping to fix the food better than I remember actually sitting down to eat it.

These days, I am the designated cook in our household, but due to turkey troubles in the past, which I wrote about last year, my plan on Thursday morning (yes, morning … it will be packed by afternoon) is to take Ella and the bottomless pit that is Duc’s stomach to Golden Corral for their all you can eat Thanksgiving buffet. 

No fuss, no muss, but, unfortunately, no leftovers.  So, I’m going to be bold and daring, and try not to undercook or overcook a big bird on Friday.  My motivation is that I need a picture of Duc holding a drumstick.  He’s never participated in the ritualistic gluttony of an at-home, rip the meat off a turkey carcass holiday dinner.  Plus, hopefully, it will help feed him over the weekend.

In between big meals, I plan to get as much listed as I can since I have a four day weekend.  Lately, in the evenings, it has taken all my free time just to get everything packed and ready to mail.  I have had steady sales over the past week, and I really hope that the weekend brings plenty more “cha chings” to my phone.

I got a positive feedback on Ebay yesterday for a box of books that I sent to the little town of Belton, TX, back on November 14 via Media Mail.  I realize that Media Mail is slow, but I think these books took the scenic route.  According to tracking, the books went from Warner Robins, GA, to Jacksonville, FL, to Atlanta, GA, to Dallas, TX, back to Atlanta, GA, then to Memphis, TN, then back to Dallas, TX, before finally reaching their destination. 

I’m fortunate the buyer didn’t ding my shipping DSR.

So far, there is only a spattering of ignorable yard sales on Saturday, which really isn’t surprising, and means I get to sleep a little later.  The local auction house, though, has promised a big night, and despite temperatures predicted to be in the lower 40s after sundown (the auction is held outside), I may venture forth and freeze my assets off just to find a deal.

Speaking of deals, I am taking Ella to Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving night for their annual “let’s see how many people we can pack into one store” brouhaha.  It’s my concession to her since I absolutely refuse to get up before the crack of dawn on Friday to participate in the Black Friday madness.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of family and friends, and, of course, turkey.  We’ll talk again next week.


  1. I miss my mom's cooking too. She's been gone 11 years and she was a fabulous cook. Thanksgiving and Christmas were festivals of delicious food. There were usually about 14-15 people around the table. We'd eat around 2-3 in the afternoon, have dessert and then pull all the leftovers out again in the evening. (I was a little fat kid too). Those were the good old days. This will be the first year we spend T-Day with my husband's family. We're looking forward to it. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Ella and Duc.

  2. has a fantastic turkey recipe that will cook an average turkey in 2 hrs--no kidding! It was done by Sunset magazine, and we've used it for years now--and the best trick--we leave the breast side DOWN, so it bastes in its own juices! You basically roast it on a rack on a higher temp--makes a bit of a mess in the oven, but...delicious and NOT Dry!! Try it! Happy Turkey Day--love your motivation idea with the drumstick...