Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

What did we eat as a kid for Thanksgiving? Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy (my mom made the best gravy) and the can of cranberry sauce that you slice. I think I remember rolls, corn and always an array of pies. Christmas was pretty much the same. We were pretty poor, but you would have never known it at the holidays. I never had a olive until I was engaged to G and had black olives at some celebration at his house. They always had a bowl of black olives for every holiday and his sisters do it now. I never had eggplant, avocados, eggplant as a kid. I did have parsnips, rutabaga and turnips on a regular basis.

Typical normal dinners were chicken a la king (didn't like it because of the pimento taste - still don't like pimento), chipped beef on toast, various types of hash and stews. My mom could make a pound of meat feed all us kids. There are nine kids now but the first seven of us are the main memory because there was five years between the seventh and eighth kid and another five between the eighth and ninth. My mom could really stretch a buck. We always had 'half and half'' milk; real milk mixed with powdered. I remember some of my favorite meals were in the summer when we ate 'in season foods' and would have corn on the cob, watermelon and tomatoes for dinners.

We got to pick what we wanted to eat on our birthday and I always either chose mashed potatoes with kielbasa and sauerkraut or tuna casserole with crushed potato chips on top. I was very fond of Sheppard's pie too. I can't remember much in the line of dessert but that may be because I always had a savory palette rather than sweet.

Lunches were sandwiches; bologna with butter on Wonder bread comes to mind. We were always jealous of kids at school that had twinkies and store bought cookies in their lunch. We had to have homemade. Can you imagine wanting store bought cookies back then? I used to think of those windmill cookies that were hard that we would get as a treat and dunk them in milk.

One of my fondest memories of food related times were when we would go skating at a local pond and all come home freezing and my mom would have a massive dutch oven on the stove full of sweet hot tea with milk. She would make a loaf of bread into buttered toast and it was like heaven.

7 comments:

Corky said...

Oh, we had that half & half milk too. I hated it. I knew we were rich when my mother finally would let us drink the milk straight!

Anonymous said...

Very nice Tom.

Anonymous said...

Very nice Tom.

spikemuffin said...

Very nice Tom.

Cindra said...

We had regular milk, but many of the same meals otherwise. Tuna fish casserole with potato chips on top... I make a tuna noodle casserole that way now, but much creamier. I remember the chipped beef,,, blach! We had breakfast for dinner alot. Pancakes!
We had sliced cranberry yesterday... I still love it.

Jeri said...

It was fun reading your food memories. We, too, had 1/2 and 1/2milk. I will always remember the taste. Blech... I always took my lunch to school, too. I wanted so badly for my sandwich to be cut on the diagonal like Teresa's mom cut hers. Mine were always cut into two rectangles. On my birthday, we would go to the market and Mom would say, "Pick the cake mix of your choice," then she'd laugh and laugh. This is my first Thanksgiving without her. I sure do miss her.

Anonymous said...

Tommy,
I don't know why, but I still remember that your mother made her own Thousand Island salad dressing. I thought she had to be the best cook in the world to tackle something that had to be so difficult to make. WE only ate store bought Thousand Island on special occasions. Otherwise we were stuck with vinegar and oil dressing.
Debbie Davis Jones