Flashback Friday…Thanksgiving Memories

Today I’m sharing Thanksgiving memories of the past for Flashback Friday.  You know, I never really thought about it, but apparently I don’t have many outstanding Thanksgiving memories from my childhood–but I do have one!

When I was probably six or seven years old, my family decided to spend Thanksgiving with a hunting club.  At least, I’m pretty sure it was some sort of hunting club.  I know it was a group of families camping together.  The men and boys went out hunting together, while the women and children stayed at camp and cooked.  We lived in Florida at the time, but it gets cold at night in November–and I remember trying to sleep, and being cold.  I also remember thinking that it was a strange way to spend Thanksgiving!  My dad was a hunter in those days, so I’ll bet it was his idea–but I only remember going once!

I suppose our family spent most Thanksgivings like other people–cooking and eating too much.  I remember watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade on television, but I don’t remember much football watching going on at our house.  I remember watching mama make dressing–yes, we call it dressing here–and thinking what a lot of work that was for one dish!  We never had mashed potatoes with our turkey–only dressing.  We usually cooked some fresh mustard greens(from daddy’s garden), candied yams, and ambrosia–among other things.

Once I married Ed, we ate most Thanksgivings with his family, but my parents were invited, too. ( I always appreciated Ed’s parents including my parents in their holiday celebrations.)  My brother lives out-of-state, and rarely came home on actual holidays–so it was usually just my parents and me.    

Ed’s parents made dressing different from my mom and dad, but it was still good.  Both families mixed their dressing the same way, then baked it, but my in-laws didn’t put celery in theirs, and they used more boiled eggs and spices.

I remember watching some of the parade on television, and lots of football after the meal, at my in-laws house!  My mother-in-law was the mother of three boys, and she loved football.  Me?  Not so much.  My father-in-law didn’t seem to care much for it either.

As my in-laws grew older, I began to prepare several dishes at my own home for the Thanksgiving meal.  I’d transport all of the food to my in-laws house for lunch.  They still insisted on cooking the turkey and dressing, as well as a few other things–like fruit salad.  Nobody could make fruit salad like my mother-in-law!  We did the meal this way for several years. 

By the time my children were all in school, my in-laws were well into their sixties.  My husband and I decided it was time to begin our own Thanksgiving traditions at home–and take the burden off of his parents.  I began to learn to bake the turkey and make the dressing, along with all of the trimmings–and I’ve been doing it ever since!  I don’t know how tasty those first couple of Thanksgiving dinners were, but I learned over time.  Ed’s parents resisted coming for a year or so, then eventually began to come and join our family for Thanksgiving at our house.  I’ve been cooking Thanksgiving dinner for more than twenty years!

I’ll come back next week and post about those Thanksgiving memories with my husband and children at our own house…until then–I hope you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Published in: on November 19, 2010 at 12:00 pm  Comments (10)  

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. We call it dressing too but I cannot for the life of me make it as good as my grandmother did and my mother does. And they put in the celery! LOL

  2. Traditions are hard to break. Once you’ve done it you see that new ones can be made and they can be nice too but that initial break is hard. Last year was the first year my mom did not host Christmas. She’s on board now but prior to the day she was anxious.

    Happy Turkey Day!

  3. I hope you, Mr. Ed and the rest of the family have a fantastic Thanksgiving !!! 😀

  4. As hard as I try I can’t remember Thanksgiving Day when I was young. Not until my married days. And then it was like you we went to my in-laws. I’ve cooked a couple of times but I just can’t cook as good as my Mom, or older in-laws.

  5. I can´t wait to read about your celebration next week. This was really interesting for me, because we celebrate Thanksgiving totally different and at a different time of year.

  6. I’ve never had Thanksgiving at my house since I’ve been married. Both sets of parents and most of the siblings all live in Houston so we have always been the ones to travel.

  7. wishing you and your family a safe and pleasant Thanksgiving. rose

  8. When I was a kid we had Thanksgiving at my grandma’s house and I remember it was always packed! I loved it but it was hard being a kid then because there was no place to go without being told you were in the way or being too loud. It was usually snowing or raining so being outside for long periods of time was out of the question. Still, I remember my cousins and I looking forward to Thanksgiving and being together.

  9. We always had cornbread “dressing” and never mashed potatoes with our turkey. Field peas, sweet potatoes –sometimes as a casserole and sometimes baked, fruit salad, cranberry sauce and rolls were sides to our turkey. i make dressing now, but it never tastes as good as my mother’s. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

  10. We called it dressing if it was baked by itself and stuffing if it was put in the bird 🙂

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