Friday, October 12, 2012


Another Thanksgiving has come and gone, leaving in its wake one bare-bones,skinny bird, and several not-quite-so-skinny over-stuffed revelers, at least in this family.

I love the anticipation of thanksgiving almost more than the day itself… getting together any recipes that will be needed, and getting family members to decide where they plan to mark the day, and. by that, I mean with whom they plan to stuff themselves, because, it seems to be a traditional requirement, You MUST leave the table, having eaten so much you’re in pain!

I’ve just got to share Stephanie’s wonderful method for cooking squash. It’s a brilliant, no-fuss affair that I wish I had have thought of first… No peeling, no wrestling with the thing, just cut out the top, as you would to carve a pumpkin, cut a small bit off the bottom, so it sits up straight, scoop out the seeds and gunk ( is there a more appropriate word to describe that slimy stuff!!?) inside. Put some butter in the cavity (how much depends on your taste, sprinkle in a little brown sugar. Set the lid back on lightly. Put the whole squash in the microwave. Cook on high for 10-12 minutes, and Voila! Squash is ready to be scooped out and served, in an almost mashed condition, complete with butter and brown sugar… it’s a method that takes squash from holiday dinner to weekday dinner!!

Well as for the aforementioned Holiday dinner requirements, Check, check, check and check, Our youngest daughter, her boyfriend, Kent, and myself have all met that seasonal requirement, a relatively small group for this house.
One daughter, a boyfriend and three young grandsons doing the holiday elsewhere this year… accounts for the massive amount of turkey left over, and, we all know what that means, But, Oh, well, better to celebrate with some than none. I prefer to have a houseful, no matter the confusion and “mess” to clean up. We can always recruit a couple of sous-chefs and dish washers. Mind you , things were much simpler when I was on two feet and using two hands, especially keeping young grandsons in order!!

There have been Thanksgivings and even Christmases that Kent and I have had dinner with only ourselves at the table, sadder times I don’t dwell on, Well, you know how family dynamics can be I just try to take the happy times when they come and be grateful for that blessing. There’s the one we spent alone, and another which we would have spent alone and apart, but, I had been graciously
permitted a weekend “pass” from the Rehab center following my stroke. I likely don’t need to explain how happy that celebration was!

There is one memorable Thanksgiving when I was only a small child, but, which
my dad won’t let be forgotten and we all laugh quite heartily upon being reminded.  My mother had worked very hard to put the meal together for her two young daughters and husband. Mom, I know, was trying to create memories for her children to take into adulthood, I know my eyes were sparkling at the holiday crackers we’d get to pull open, and perhaps we’d get a crown-shaped hat to wear for the entire dinner!  The table looked as festive as if it was out of Ladies Home Journal or Chatelaine, festive and beautiful, yet simple and tasteful, reflecting the rather meagre upbringing in an outport in depression era / pre-war Newfoundland as we all sat down to Thanksgiving Dinner.  Everything in its place: Turkey, squash, Brussels sprouts, dressing (as Mom always called stuffing (probably not liking the implicated image of the word “stuffing”), when suddenly, much to Mom’s horror, and Dad’s chagrin it was noticed There were NO

My dad is first-generation British immigrant, brought up as a farm boy in B.C.
Potatoes were, and still ARE, de rigueur for most meals, and especially holiday meals.  Will Mom ever be allowed to forget this faux pas? Not likely, but therein lay the life-long memory holiday dinner (not quite likely what she was going for, but memories, nonetheless)!

Stay healthy and safe!


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