Everybody has their own WAY… to PREPARE for a “Thanksgiving Day Meal” … but this … WAY – – over the years – – I found to work best for me.
When we were little kids – – in the early 1940’s – – my DAD would start the big cooking the night before… the special DAY. Of course “ME” the oldest and always watching and there in case something was needed… as I was the “Go-For-Kid” – – and was “Mama’s little helper” – – as she always said that I had the “Wings of MERCURY” on my heels – – a first class messenger.
So… early in the day – – start making cookies… warming up the house – – with good smell and snacks for the energy to continue till done. Next a couple of pies – – making the pie crust from scratch … Pumpkin and APPLE with another fruit and in a larger size baking dish… where you make the crust larger than the dish… put the apples and fruit and nuts and spices in and with the over-flowing crust – – bring it up and over – – and in the center area… it is open. Brush the top with butter and extra cinnamon-sugar – – and have the best of desserts since the other fruit used … generally pears – – just so terrific.
The “TURKEY” is clean and ready to be filled with the stuffing and put in the oven – – it could be one o’clock in the morning and I am tired and everybody is already in their bed.
BUT… when we were kids… Daddy would be cooking up the onions and celery and spices in a cast iron skillet and lots of butter. In the oven… trays of bread… toasting just enough to then be broken up into a large pan — and then the magic of him being a CHEF by trade – – some of this and that – – combine all of this – – and into the cavity of the bird and up and under the neck opening all filled with the home-made dressing. Into the oven… and we all went to bed… DADDY stayed up a little longer – – to be sure the oven did its start up on baking – – then lowering the temperature – – and the aroma was just as if you were floating around in HEAVEN.
Since we all were up late – we would get up later than usual but still in time to go to CHURCH. The oven temperature was low – – so that the “TURKEY’ could take its time – – baking to just the right ‘tenderness’ – – and the house would smell like HEAVEN – – with all of the cookies and pies and “WOW” that TURKEY and DRESSING – – and of course there was always mashed potatoes – -as my DAD was called “TATTER MAC” – – everyone in his FAMILY loved potatoes.
Since that was the way my DAD did the TURKEY – – and the house always smelled so good all night while… you were dreaming of being in HEAVEN – – it just was the “WAY” to make magic – – and around two o’clock in the afternoon … the company would show up – – and everyone could just sit back – – enjoy the day – and always remember – – that this was this best day for a FAMILY get it all together – – -making more memories to remember!
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