Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving ~ Column

It just occurred to me that I’m running out of year. I woke this morning to the sound of a thunderstorm stomping its way through Empire. 

All the dogs became antsy and wanted on the bed with us, but together our dogs outweigh our refrigerator so they had to make do on the floor next to the bed.

With my head on the pillow and watching the morning come alive through the openings between the tiny slats on our window, I realized there are only six weeks left in 2011. I know it has turned into a tired clich̩, but I have to know Рwhere has this year gone? THANKSGIVING IS THIS THURSDAY!

I got up and put on a pot of coffee and as I listened to it gurgle, I flipped open my laptop and located my goals for 2011. I thought to myself – “How could this be? My second book was supposed to be coming out before year’s end, and the singer/songwriter CD that Jilda and I have been working on should be playing on my stereo. Regretfully, these goals will have to be moved over to 2012.

When I was a kid, it seemed like a year between Labor Day and Thanksgiving and another year from Thanksgiving to Christmas, but these days I’m afraid to blink.

After the storm passed and the dogs settled down, I drifted off to sleep and I dreamed I could smell the aroma of turkey and dressing wafting from the kitchen.

Nothing says Thanksgiving like the aroma of turkey and dressing baking in the oven. The memory of past holidays is so vivid it feels like I could stick a fork into it.

My mother was a master turkey and dressing cooker, but so was Jilda’s mom Ruby. I started eating Thanksgiving at their house when we first started dating (Jilda, not Ruby). 

Thanksgiving dinner (lunch) at our house was sedate compared to Ruby’s house. That place started buzzing before the chickens got off the roost, and by lunch time, the police had to direct traffic in and out of their yard. 

Ruby also made a sweet potato casserole. She made it in a pan as big as a checkerboard and she toasted buttered pecans and sprinkled them on top. 

It was all I could do to keep from getting naked and wallowing in that pan of sweet potatoes before eating my way out of it. Perhaps that was a little too much information for some readers, but I think it gives one a feel for just how good that dish was.

Ruby passed away in 2005, but thankfully she passed those old recipes down to Jilda and her sister Pat, instead of taking them with her to the grave. There are a lot of families that feel they are too busy to learn to cook the old traditional dishes. A lot of families order up Thanksgiving dinner from a supermarket. 

I made the mistake last year of having store bought turkey and dressing. It tasted like toasted grits mixed with chert rock, and some kind of mystery meat. It was fowl, but I don’t think it was turkey (pun intended).

This Thanksgiving we plan to help serve food to the needy at the Community Center in Sipsey, but we’ll find time to get together and feast with our families on the good stuff.

I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving, but take my advice and steer clear of chert rock dressing.


  1. Anonymous8:36 PM

    I'll stick with the home made stuff.

  2. Those family recipes are the best, aren't they? Tomorrow I'm using my Mom's recipe for cornbread dressing and also her homemade dinner rolls. Like Jilda's Mom, she is no longer with us, but we celebrate her memory with the recipes she handed down.

  3. I've tried many store-made foods at the deli etc. Nothing tastes like homemade meals. Have a lovely Thanksgiving day!

  4. Another wonderfully evocative post and I enjoyed the humorous interjections. Enjoy your selfless day at the shelter tomorrow and your meal at home afterwards.

  5. I always love the way you gather thoughts and memories post them with humor and fun...

    Happy thanksgiving Sir Rick and Miss Jilda!


  6. Yes, with my small family of 13, we will have a groaning table. I'm blessed with family that shares in the cooking so we will have a feast! Two turkeys please and thank you will be injected and roasted in the greaseless fryer. Trimmings galore. Remembrance and gratitude shared for those gone before us.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Jilda and your family...

  7. Happy Thanksgiving to you both.

  8. You know the older I get the more time flies - literally, years just seem to collide and before I know it, it's another new year! Yikes!!

    Anyway! HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and Jilda and all your loved ones and friends and family and woofies and chickens and wild deer..! Take care

  9. Anonymous8:19 AM

    Well I'm learning to cook Thanksgiving dinner this year. It should be interesting for sure! Loved this post. Also loved that you spewed coffee on your Mac reading mine! Yes! I win! BTW I love you book and you need to hurry up and get your next one out!

  10. And a Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours. TR

  11. Anonymous2:34 PM

    It all sounds great Rick - Have a great Thanksgiving!


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