Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Food and family...two great things to be thankful for

I’m sitting here the morning before Thanksgiving and remembering the Thanksgivings from when I was a kid. Every year my parents, sisters (3 of them), and I would travel to my grandmother’s house in Iowa. We would drive for over three hours and the whole way someone would ask “how much further?” or “are we there yet?” When we would see the huge statue of Pocahontas we knew we were getting close.

When we arrived family members would come out of the woodwork. I’d see cousins that I would only see once or twice a year. Inside the house the place would be jammed with more relatives and the counters would be covered in fresh, homemade pies. I love homemade apple pie with cinnamon and sugar on top. My father is more of a banana cream pie guy. The one thing my family agrees on is we have to have pumpkin pie with Cool Whip on top, not whipped cream. Yes, there is a big difference.

Before we could eat pie though, we had to eat dinner. Dinner usually consisted of turkey and/or ham, baked beans, some disgusting 3-bean salad, this icky green salad that my family loves even to this day and I can’t stand. The icky salad is made with cottage cheese, lime Jell-o mix, and pineapple. I’m sorry, you will never convince me that is yummy. There would be rolls, mashed potatoes, and candied yams. My favorite part of the dinner is the candied yams. All that gooey marshmallow, butter, brown sugar melted on top of sweet potatoes. Delicious!

My favorite part of Thanksgiving when I was little was sitting around watching sports with my dad and uncles while waiting for dinner to be ready then getting through the meal just to get to the pies. It’s all about the pies!

Later, after much of the family departed we would all have that snack craving hit us. You got it, I went for the pie. So did dad.

Even now when I no longer live close enough to go to my grandmother’s house and watch sports with the men in the family, I still watch and yes, afterwards I eat pie. I make a deep dish pumpkin pie and absolutely top it off with Cool Whip.

What’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving?

6 comments:

Keith Goodman November 25, 2009 at 8:48 AM  

Denise,
It has been a long time since we have been able to make the trip for Thanksgiving. I guess that 1500 miles is a lot farther than the 300 miles we used to travel. I can just imagine the number of times I would hear the “Are we there yet?” expression coming from the back seat amongst the other squabbling that would take place among you girls.
But, Thanksgiving has not changed all that much. It is just that the number of folks present has changed. Mom is still going to make the pumpkin bars with the cream cheese frosting and I’m sure that there will be enough baked beans to require the need for Fabreze as the evening football game plays out. This year we are having ham and your sister will be making “spizzerelli” instead of the “icky” green salad that you never liked. She is probably doing that just to make you miss us more. So, the rest of the menu will still follow your memories with the mashed potatoes, candied yams and I’m sure there will be pumpkin pie with Cool Whip.
I know and understand that you will not be there, but we will miss you and think about you as we manage to stuff our face with too much food. And I’m sure that you will miss the bean soup that will obviously be made with the left over ham. Again, another need for the Fabreze.
Have a great Thanksgiving and think of us and all the good times we used to have when we were all together. Who knows, maybe we will be able to do it again.
Love ya,
Dad

Denise November 25, 2009 at 9:25 AM  

Oh sure, make your grown daughter cry.

I miss you too and whenever I take a bite of pumpkin pie I will think of you.

Thankfully, I still have some frozen soup you made before you left last week. :-)

Love you!

Anonymous November 25, 2009 at 10:03 AM  

Thanksgiving from my childhood also meant going to Nana and Grampy's for dinner. I don't think the Turkey skin made it to the table as everyone who walked by snuck a piece. There was the kids table in the kitchen and the adult table in the dining room. The good china was pulled out, and the silver was polished. There were even some years, if the weather was nice enough, we would head down to the school and play a game of baseball. Grampy's gone now, and my cousins are grown, some with kids of their own, which means we are scattered for the holidays. But Nana will be joining us at my mom's house. My Aunt and her family will be there as well. My sister and her family. There will be more food than people to eat it, but it's all about being with family. Oh, and the phone will be ringing as we call other family members to wish them all a great day of thanks.

Gina Leuci

Denise November 25, 2009 at 10:45 AM  

Gina,

That sounds wonderful and familiar.

We will all be on the phone with each other too. Happy Thanksgiving!

Emma Leigh November 26, 2009 at 10:53 AM  

My favorite part of Thanksgiving when I was younger was my cousins being around and all the fun we had -- and yes, chocolate pie. Now cousins are grown and moved away and family gathering is just immediate family. Food is always good and it's time with family. And of course, chocolate pie still!!!

Denise November 27, 2009 at 5:21 AM  

Emma Leigh,

The good part is every time you eat chocolate pie you remember those cousins and the fun you had.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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