Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Makes Memories

Judy's Homemade Apple Pie
If I had to guess I would say that Thanksgiving Day means something different to everyone. It is a national holiday that we are taught to celebrate with our family and friends. But let's face it, not everyone is close (both literally and figuratively) to their family and often friends are not in town or are otherwise busy with their own family. My first vivid memory of Thanksgiving was 1954. I had just turned five and I was in kindergarten. My teacher's name was Mrs. Smith. She decided to produce a little Thanksgiving Play about the Pilgrims and Indians and the First Thanksgiving. Most of the children were cast as Pilgrims. I remember she had a teepee and she wanted to have an Indian Chief, an Indian Brave and an Indian squaw. In a class of about 30, I was the only little girl with black hair...so I became the Indian squaw!  Thanksgiving makes memories...

Over the years I have had some wonderful and interesting Thanksgiving Days. My mother was not a great cook, but she made a remarkable Thanksgiving dinner. When we owned our country inn Thanksgiving became a really busy week for us. We would often serve over 50 guests for Thanksgiving. I would try have the traditional menu and add something different every year.

This year we will celebrate Thanksgiving with Aaron and Alli and Dennis' first cousin Ken and his wife Carol. Daniel will not be home for Thanksgiving, but we will be thinking about him.

Today I thought I would share my sister Joann's latest Thanksgiving watercolor and our planned menu (remember Aaron is an Executive Chef and he loves making everything from scratch!).

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu 2010
***
Super Moist, Spiced Rubbed Roast Turkey
Pork and Herbed Apple Dressing 
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Turkey Gravy
Cranberry Relish Salad
Homemade Pumpkin Pie
Homemade Apple Pie
Coffee

As I write this, the turkey is in Aaron's special brine, the apples and pumpkin await me, Aaron is reviewing the tamale recipe, and I am going to set the table complete with little printed menus! But really, I want to remember our family members who have passed, our Daniel who lives in Oregon and our siblings and their families that live far away. I want to say thank you to our friends that we have shared holidays with over the years, thank you to our military who serve to protect us and as I whip the cream to dress the pies I will remember fondly my father's usual caution: "Remember, you are making whipped cream, not butter!"

If you find you can't be with family and friends this year, consider volunteering at a local Thanksgiving Dinner for the homeless. Make memories.

By the way, do you have a favorite Thanksgiving Day memory? I would love for you to share your favorite Thanksgiving memory right here. Leave a comment...

**Aaron's recipe appeared in the Arizona Daily Star; however, the journalist mistakenly listed the restaurant owner, Travis Reese, as the Chef. Didn't want you to get confused.
Judy's Homemade Pumpkin Pie

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2 comments:

John said...

Hi Judy,

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I loved reading your memories.

I think if you and my mother entered a pie contest, you'd tie for first place.

As you probably know, Thanksgiving in Canada happens in October and though it's a really great family holiday, it doesn't have the same importance as American Thanksgiving.

I have many fond memories of Thanksgiving but I have a new one just added that relates to American Thanksgiving. Darren and I were in Chicago on Wednesday and had lunch at Macy's at State and Washington in what I gathered is a long-standing tradition for many families. It was crazy busy as people lined up to have lunch beneath the 2 and a half story high Christmas tree in the Walnut Room. It really gave us at least one angle on why Thanksgiving is a big deal. It also put us in a holiday spirit.

Have a piece of pie for me.

Judy Helfand said...

John,
Being in Macys the week of Thanksgiving is a lot of fun. Particularly if you are in NYC or Chicago or Philadelphia. There is something about the feel of these classic department stores. Even if you don't buy anything, it just makes you feel good to watch the the people.
I remember about Canada's Thanksgiving. We hosted many Canadian guests at our inn for their Thanksgiving.

Our dinner turned out great, so many new taste treats and Aaron, Alli and I had fun creating the feast. The tamales were a big hit!

Thanks for your memories.
Judy

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