“Over the River and Through the Woods”


My parents had moved across the country from their parents and relatives, so at Thanksgiving we celebrated with another family who had similarly left their families behind in the East. Our good family friends had tried for years to have children, and finally adopted two, including this little one on her father’s lap.

We had a very predictable dinner for the times: turkey, stuffing, potatoes, green beans(without that crunchy topping.) But the real fun was before dinner when we would stick ten blacks olives on our fingers, one per finger, and chase each other around. We would also stick our fingers in the wax dripping off the candles and make little wax fingers. We had the opposite of helicopter parents, for sure.

My mother did teach me one important skill I use every Thanksgiving, how to make giblet gravy. I remember how when I start making it, but I would be hard pressed to explain how I do it. My husband, who grew up in the South with very different ordinary foods, was knocked over the first time he had the gravy. Now it is his most looked forward to food each year. I also converted him to the New England whole cranberry sauce. He missed the little ridges from the canned cranberry jelly the first year we were married, but he has come to prefer mine.

Happy Thanksgiving all.




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