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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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Thanksgiving

Let’s Celebrate

The holidays are upon us….and I have read that “the holidays” start at Thanksgiving and carry through the Super Bowl because that is the time of year people overindulge in food, fun, booze, and gatherings. I don’t think there can ever be enough fun gatherings of family and friends, but you get the picture. It’s the time of year food takes a front seat no matter how hard we try to say or plan that it won’t. Maybe I am speaking for myself. Continue reading “Let’s Celebrate”

Happy Thanksgiving

To all my blog followers, may you have a happy, food filled Thanksgiving, if you live in the United States. Some of my closest writing community friends live elsewhere, so I wish you a happy holiday season. I know not all family gatherings are enjoyable, so I urge you to spend time with the people who do make you feel positive, re-energized and ready to tackle another calendar year. Life has its ups and downs so I wish you more ups than downs. Continue reading “Happy Thanksgiving”

Tie One On

Any one that likes to imbibe,  enjoy a happy hour with co-workers or friends or celebrate the start of the long holiday season knows the day before Thanksgiving is the “best drinking day of the year.” Why? Because very few people get up to an alarm on Thanksgiving. Well, if you are driving to Grandma’s you might, but it’s generally only the person putting the turkey in the oven early in the morning (and fixing the rest of the meal, and cleaning the house, and bearing the weight of the day) that has any real responsibility. If you are lucky enough to not be the one in charge of cooking, then why not tie one on, just because you can. Let loose of the stress even before it happens!

Oh wait! Look at the picture! This day is actually about tying on an apron because you are the cook. Darn, I was ready to call my husband and tell him I would meet him out for a cocktail or two.

On any regular week-day, my husband says he can tell when something serious is going on in our kitchen because I have an apron on when he gets home. If I am making a big meal, or fancy desert and moving quickly, I like to wear an apron to preserve my clothing. As was my mother’s habit, I take it off before I sit down at the table, and then of course I dribble something down the front of me. But, a lady never wears an apron to the table.

I have four aprons that I made myself so I can wear the one that matches my outfit….usually blue jeans and a blouse. Like I really need to match….I guess I’m hoping one day my daughter or daughter-in-law will ask if they can wear one. That probably won’t happen either because I have taught them they don’t have to help. I usually do most of the cooking ahead if the family is going to be here, just so I can visit while they are here. My husband helps me clean up the mess when everyone goes home. Our system works well for us.

Whatever role you play in your holiday meals, enjoy yourself and Tie One On.

Cranberry Relish

Thanksgiving means turkey to most people, and in my house, you must have cranberry relish with turkey. I insist! My grandson will only eat the jelly type, no lumps for him, in the relish, the potatoes or the gravy. I like the kind with chunks of berries in it. Even better, I like home-made with fresh cranberries, oranges, apples, nuts and sugar.

During the Watergate scandal I was working at a restaurant in a small town. I guess you could say it was a big town as there were two restaurants vying for the same customers. As a new employee of one of them, I was given a ten-dollar bill and told to go have lunch at the competitor. I was to report the menu selections, the quality of service, especially how long it took to get my order and if it was correct. Wow! Really! It made me realize if this went on between two restaurants, there was certainly spying going in government or business.  I digress.

My favorite part of working at that restaurant was the days we made cranberry relish. There was a big grinder we poured multiple bags of cranberries in, then oranges, a few apples, some pecans and then sugar. The machine ground and mixed to perfection. That relish was served in little paper cups with toast in the morning, with any turkey sandwich or dinner, and any time someone asked for it. I would eat it as a treat when I could get away with it. It had the perfect balance of sweetness, and tart fruit.

The restaurant is still open. I wonder if they still serve my favorite cranberry relish. Maybe I should stop next time I drive by.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

 

Stuffing, Home-made or Not

Growing up I liked to help my mother make the home-made stuffing for our Thanksgiving turkey. We would save the bread heals for a couple of months letting them dry in a pan in a dark cupboard. (As I think back, I wonder why they didn’t bring us visits from a mouse or two.) The day before Thanksgiving we ground the bread in a hand-crank grinder that we screwed on to the edge of the kitchen table. Cranking it was my job. Mom would cut up celery and onions until they were very fine, then saute them with butter. We also cooked the giblets and the neck meat went into the stuffing. I don’t know what spices she used, but we all had our fill of stuffing for the meal and leftovers too. We never added apples, cranberries, or chestnuts. My father liked his food plain and plentiful.

As an adult I discovered Stove-Top Stuffing. I rarely use a prepared food but I have never come close to the flavor of Stove-Top when trying to make my own. Plus, we can have it any time of year with no fuss or muss. I still don’t add any extra ingredients. This year might be more interesting as I am now following a gluten-free diet. Gluten free bread is readily available in my city, and it always crumbles, so it might be just the thing to make a good stuffing with. I will check with my blogging firends to find a good recipe for a home-made stuffing for our turkey dinner.

May you enjoy Thanksgiving with family and/or friends. Safe travels to you all.

 

 

Mother-in-law Day

It’s National Mother-in-law Day.  Some people have the good fortune to get one they like and some don’t.  It’s a lot of work to make a marriage last, then you add trying to get along with the spouse’s family and anything can happen.  Sometimes a bond can take a while to develop, other times it’s obvious from the start there will never be one.  I say, keep trying if there is some hope.  It can add to the happiness of your marriage.

I consider myself to be a good mother-in-law for one main reason.  My kitchen is usually quiet, clean and not overheated by the stove being in use all day on almost every holiday and family birthday.  How can that be?  Because I don’t care what day we eat turkey, or open presents; it could be two weeks early or a few days late, just as long as it happens.  My adult kids spend all the holidays and sometimes their birthdays with their significant other’s family because there are some mothers-in-law that have rigid rules of attendance.  I’m proud to not be one of them.

I know a family that is having a major discussion because the family reunion date picked for 2017 falls on the birthday of a two-year old.  I say the parents and grandparents come to the reunion so everyone can finally meet the baby, then have a second birthday party with the other side of the family a week later. The baby won’t know what is happening and won’t remember it anyway. But, I am not in charge, so shall keep my opinion to myself, unless you count my talking about it here.  Setting the date for any large group of people is a thankless job.  It always falls on a date that upsets someone.  I mention this tidbit because it’s an example of a stringent date keeper.

We could get carried away and mention shopping on Thanksgiving in the U.S.  Personally I like that the stores are open because every time I hear an advertisement about being home with the family I know I’m not going to be. I would rather have my family home on a different day when I don’t have to share them with two other houses they must appear at so they don’t upset someone or hear about it later.

I’ll toot my own horn about this particular aspect of being a good mother-in-law and hope even if you don’t agree with my view point, you’ll understand it works well for me.

 

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