A Thanksgiving Story

a thanksgiving storySince I first learned how to roast a turkey (courtesy of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook), I have made Thanksgiving dinner every year.  My Thanksgiving feasts have served as many as thirty and as few as three.  Didn’t matter to me, because I love to cook and I really love to cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. And to tell you the truth, I was kind of legendary for my Thanksgiving soirees.

That year was no different.  For the three days leading up to Thanksgiving, I did the shopping, prepped pies, cleaned the house and every other chore that would ensure a great Thanksgiving dinner.

So on Thanksgiving Day I got up not quite at the crack of dawn but early.  Stumbled into the kitchen and made a pot of coffee and got to work.  I pulled out the bird and made sure it was completely defrosted.  I rinsed it and patted it dry.  I pulled the innards and neck bone and put in some water to boil for the pets.  I prepped the stuffing, stuffed the bird, tucked the wings, tied the legs, and rubbed it down with the basting sauce.  And into the oven it went.

Throughout the day, I checked it, basted it, tented it, and checked the temperature.  I prepped the potatoes and yams, the rolls and veggies, the salad and pies.  It was going to be awesome.

The whole house filled with the smell of turkey and stuffing and yams and all the wonderful scents of Thanksgiving.  The dogs were practically licking the air, it was so delicious.

The timer went off and I pulled out a bird that was that perfect, honey-brown and smelled of Heaven.

And finally.

At four o’clock we sat down to dinner.  My mouth had been watering for this meal for days and I was practically shaking as I raised my fork to my mouth.

And then.

The first bite.

I looked up at my room mate, still heaping his plate with all the goodies.  “Why does the turkey taste like fish?”

Roomie froze with the mashed potato spoon poised in mid-air.  “What?”

“The turkey tastes like fish,” I repeated pushing my plate away.

Roomie immediately took a bite of turkey.  Then another.  And then another.  “Yep, it tastes like fish all right.”

So it was four-thirty on Thanksgiving Day and there was no way we were going to get another turkey and cook it.  So we decided to make the best of it.

“Well there’s still stuffing,” Roomie said.

“Nope, that was in the bird,” I replied.

“There’s mashed potatoes and gravy,” he offered.

“Potatoes are okay, but the gravy came from the bird,” I reminded him.

He shrugged, “At least we have pie.”

Okay then, Thanksgiving dinner was mashed potatoes, sans gravy, cranberry sauce, rolls, salad, yams, and pie.

By about six I was ready to go to bed because I was so carb’d out but somehow managed to watch a movie first.

Since that day I haven’t cooked Thanksgiving dinner.  I’ve ordered Thanksgiving dinner and it’s been fine.  I’ve missed cooking Thanksgiving dinner but the thought of having another fish flavored turkey always makes me think better of it.

But this year.  I’ll try again.

Wish me luck and pray that I can once again channel Fannie Farmer, or Martha Stewart, or somebody who can tell a turkey is bad and shouldn’t be cooked.

Oh and Happy Thanksgiving. Gobble

Writer Chick

Copyright 2013


Thanksgiving Recipes

I can scarcely believe that Thanksgiving is a mere couple of weeks away – but it is. I don’t know about you but I love the traditional foods eaten at Thanksgiving – still, I also like to try new things… So in the spirit of something different, why not give one or two of these a try for Thanksgiving?


2 tbsp. butter
1  onion, chopped
1  potato, pared and diced
3 c chicken broth
16 oz can pumpkin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/2 pt heavy or light cream
Croutons or chopped chives

In a large pan over medium heat, saute onions and potatoes for 5 minutes in butter. Add chicken broth and cook to boiling. Cover and reduce heat until vegetables are tender. Ladle 1/2 of vegetable mixture into blender; blend until smooth.  Add remaining mixture and repeat. Return mixture to saucepan. Add pumpkin, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Over high heat, heat to just below boiling. Cover; reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes. Stir in cream; heat through.  Ladle into  soup bowls and garnish with croutons or chopped chives.


2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp  cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger
1 c softened butter
1 c sugar
1 c canned pumpkin
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 c chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and allspice. In another bowl cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, with electric mixer at medium speed. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla; beat for 1 minute.  Gradually add flour mixture, beating at low speed until well combined. stir in chopped nuts. Drop by large tablespoons onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. flatten lightly using the back of a spoon.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.

1/2 c sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 eggs
1 lb cream corn
13 oz can evaporated milk

Oven at 350 degrees. Lightly grease medium baking dish. Combine sugar and cornstarch in medium bowl. Add eggs, corn and milk and mix well. Turn into baking dish and dot with butter. Bake until center is almost firm, about 1 hour.


2 boxes frozen green beans
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp grated onion
1 c sour cream
1/2 lb grated cheddar cheese
Parmesan cheese

Melt 2 tbs butter, add 2 tbs flour. Cook until it forms a paste over low heat – remove from heat. Stir in sugar, onion and sour cream. Fold in cooked green beans. Place in 2 quart casserole. Cover with cheddar cheese. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees until cheeses bubble.


1 qt water
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp coriander seed
2  cinnamon sticks
2 qt cranberry juice cocktail
2 c pineapple juice
4 c grapefruit juice
1 c raisins

Combine the water and spices in a large saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the juices and bring just to boiling. Remove from heat and serve.


1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into slices
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a saucepan, heat up the cream with thyme, chopped garlic and nutmeg. In a buttered casserole dissh place a layer of potato in an overlapping pattern and season with salt and pepper. Remove cream from heat, then pour a little over the potatoes. Top with some grated Parmesan. Make 2 more layers. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes.


2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup  flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbs butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 450. Lightly grease a 24-cup mini muffin pan. In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, mix the onion, milk, eggs and butter. Fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture until  just moistened. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the batter into each of the muffin cups. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the hush puppies are firm to the touch and golden brown around the edges.

The Giving of Thanks…

Well boys and girls I am back or should I say I have arrived. We got in early evening last night after we had logged in more than 3000 miles between here and L.A. I will try to regale you with individual stories of the road but some of the highlights include: a windstorm (including tumbleweeds) in the New Mexico high desert, dark county road under construction and getting lost, unbelievable gas prices, mcdonald’s coffee and how to pry your cat off a motel 6 bed.

But for now, I’ll say thanks to my buds Michael, Moe, Panther, Teens & Evyl for their great guest posts- for all of you and my friends and family for your good wishes and prayers for our safe journey (which is was/is) and to the universe in general for making this a special thanksgiving for me and for giving me something for which I feel truly grateful.

And of course no Thanksgiving would be complete without a few toons, eh?

Have a great one – see you guys on the other side of the weekend.:)

Giving Thanks


I’m off to Santa Barbara for a long overdue reunion with dear friends. But I wanted to leave this for you to read. It was a bit of a surprise to me as I had no idea that the origins of Thanksgiving did not center around the pilgrims.

Enjoy yourselves, eat hearty and good. Look around and feel gratitude for all the many things large and small that give your life meaning. Hold those you love close and tell them you love them. And say a prayer for those you can not hug.

Happy Thanksgiving. I will see you in a few days.