Each Tuesday, a slice of life is shared at Two Writing Teachers.
Many Thanksgivings were spent traveling to our great aunt and uncle’s house in Adelanto, CA. I wrote a poem about our trips HERE.
This year I’m traveling to Southern California to be with my brother on Thanksgiving Day. I believe the last time we were together for Thanksgiving, he was in high school.
This brought up a discussion about favorite seasonal foods. It started with a question about what he’s like to have as a food from our childhood Thanksgivings. He responded mincemeat pie.
Mincemeat pie? I hate mincemeat pie. I honestly thought he’d say this dish:
Our Great Aunt Blanche made this dish every Thanksgiving since I remember. And when she couldn’t make it anymore, our mother made it. And now I make it. Autumn isn’t complete without it.
Surely my brother forgot about this delicious dish. So I texted him. “Hey, what about the Bleu-cheese-tomato-soup-cauliflower casserole?”
His response? “Eww, it’s the reason why I don’t eat cauliflower!”
Wow. It’s funny how our memory shapes us. I had no idea his distain for this dish and cauliflower. We haven’t been together for this holiday in over forty years so of course, the conversation never happened before now.
So I made the casserole last Sunday for book club. There wasn’t much left. But whenever I cook it the memories of Thanksgivings past return. The smell brings me back to that tiny kitchen. The hour long trip to the high desert, the adults preparing the food, and investigating all the treasures of their home flood my mind.
What Thanksgiving food memory do you have?
I’ve left Thanksgiving to the last minutes this year. There is a small and urgent YIKES, bouncing around in my consciousness and all I can do is make a list, wait for the car to come home fixed, and thank God for freezer to oven turkeys. Side dishes on Wednesday will do it, so all is well, but somehow, time still feels like it is closing in.
In addition to the turkey, which my mom baked according to directions found on the box of Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil, her signature dishes were dressing and dumplings. The dressing would be mixed in a huge Tupperware bowl, with many separate additions of sage until the taste-tester, my dad, declared it just right, and then it went into baking pans that were whisked into the oven when the bird came out. Believe me, Stove Top Stuffing pales in comparison.The dumplings, which everyone always loves, are deceptively easy- roll out canned buttermilk biscuits (several cans-the cheapest kind!) in flour and cut into pieces, drop in a big pot of rich turkey/chicken broth (may have some margarine melted into it, too, for good measure) to cook. If you are feeding a big crowd, you might need two batches. Keep the first batch warm in a crock pot. We ALWAYS had a big crowd!