Wednesday, November 30, 2011

An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving, the 112th Carnival of Genealogy

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Jasia really challenged us, errr, me this month over at Creative Gene, with her challenge to write about "An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving".  Thanks to footnoteMaven for the beautiful poster.

I started, as I always do, by reviewing photos that I may have available to share.  Well, I don't have a one from my family, and only found one (and it is a maybe photo) from Man's family.   There are a number from "our" family Thanksgivings.

When I quizzed Man about Thanksgiving meals menus when he was a wee one, his reply was "traditional".  I pressed a bit further and he said, turkey, traditional, stuffing, traditional, potatoes, traditional, home made bread, traditional, pies, traditional, homemade wine (drunk in the basement because his grandmother did not approve of drinking), traditional.   I know from family stories that Man's youthful Thanksgivings were spent with lots of family around, including the "kids" table.

Below:  the kids table (date is approximately 1969).  And, yes, this is probably a Christmas kid's table, not a Thanksgiving one.  When you are desperate for photos you will take what you can get!  (Hear Carol snicker?? Ya, I know you do.)

Below, now, THIS looks like it could be a Thanksgiving photo, of Man's grandparents, his father (in the suit and bow tie and his first cousins).   See that very dark chair to the right of the photo, we have one of the set now, Man's mother treasured it and now we do as well, it belonged to the set owned by her parents.  In fact, we have a photo of Man's mother sitting in one of those chairs when she was a wee one herself.

When I was a wee one we usually spent Thanksgiving with friends of my parents, as both sets of my grandparents and all other relatives lived well over 600 miles away.  I remember very large turkeys that took a good many hours to cook, and our "traditional" was dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls to die for, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pies and delish whipping cream.  One year we would go to the friends house, the next year they would come to our home.  And, there was always the Thanksgiving Day Parade on the telie, first the parade from New York, then, the parade from Detroit.

(No photos from my family at Thanksgiving.)

Since Man and I married we have what we consider to be a traditional Thanksgiving.  It consists of a menu that reads something like this: turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, some vegie, mashed potatoes, gravy (which Man's mother made for years, cause, mmmm, I never mastered gravy), pumpkin pies with whipping cream (our favorite, well my favorite, is heavy cream whipped with a touch of sugar and even better is whipped with a touch of German vanilla sugar).

(Side note/memory:  We also had (ewww) canned cranberry sauce because Man's mother loved it, and because it was "traditional" in her mind.  She was the only one that ate it.  I cannot tell you how many partial cans of cranberry sauce were later dumped in the garbage.)

We have been know to have deviled eggs, cucumber sandwiches, homemade soup, and other delicacies.  Up until the last few years Thanksgiving days were were spent cooking, with wonderful family times.  Sons, with their gals, the grandtwins, Man's mother, even extended family and friends, all were invited, all shared a fabulous meal.  After the meal, more visiting, story telling, teasing, and now and then a game:

Above, our 3 sons and the grandtwins, seriously playing, seriously!

The last few years Man and I have departed SE Michigan before Thanksgiving.  This year we decided to enjoy a traditional meal before said departure.  We celebrated on November 13th.  It was still an old fashioned Thanksgiving with all the traditional foods, except the pumpkin pie morfed into a pumpkin cheesecake that was outta this world yummy.

So, our Old Fashioned Thanksgiving is more like a "traditional" Thanksgiving, good food, prayers and thanks for all that we are thankful for, sometimes friends, always family, usually turkey, but, sometimes something new as well.  So, we are traditional with a twist, or as shown above, sometimes, with a "pop", and that pumpkin cheese cake, mmmmm, YUM!!

*  Two years ago I wrote about my connection to Cap't. Myles Standish, in a post titled "Thanksgiving, A New Appreciation Gained by Family Research".    And, last year I spent a very special Thanksgiving near the burial place of my g g grandfather Zachariah Z. Trumbo.   Both special posts remembering my ancestors, that's old fashioned right?? I thought so.




Kathy Reed said...

I love this post. I can so identify with the comments about the canned cranberry sauce. I, too, love it. But I've gtown up. Last year for the first time I made real cooked cranberries. They were great (and now I know the canned stuff doesn't measure up). I think all of us can identify with the "traditional" dinner.

Karen said...

The deviled eggs and cucumber sandwiches sounds good! We always have a traditional menu, but perhaps each year we should replace one traditional item with something "new." Love the photos, and the handsome looking gentleman (Man's father, right?) in the suit and bow tie! Very cool!

Barbara Poole said...

Glad you got your post in on time! German vanilla sugar sounds good...I'll have to try that ;-) Enjoyed your post and photos.

Cynthia Shenette said...

LOL. I bet it was pretty lively down in that basement! If you get a hankerin' for some pumpkin cheesecake while you are on the road, Barnes & Noble has Cheesecake Factory pumpkin cheesecake this time of year. It's really good, so I've been told... ;)

Kristin said...

One of my daughters made sweet potato cheese cake this year and it,too, was delicious. I had a teacher in elementary school who said her favorite holiday was Thanksgiving because just about everybody celebrated it the same way.

Carol said...

Kathy, Karen, Barb, Cynthia and Kristin, thanks for dropping by and visiting. I don't say it enough, but, I am thankful for all my readers and followers as well as the many other blessing in my life.

IrishEyesJG said...

I too loved this post. It made me laugh and tingled my taste buds. We had canned cranberries one year (only one). Unfortunately, I was the one elected to "chop" it up for a look of more authenticity???? Thanks for reminding me of some wonderful Thanksgivings with my own family. :):) Love the photographs as well and the fact that the chairs have been with your family for so long.

Cheers to you Carol!

Lisa Wallen Logsdon said...

Enjoyed this post Carol..even though I'm a bit late reading it. Every year my mother made a cranberry compote from fresh cranberries and oranges. She made a lot of it and gave it away in jars as gifts. Everyone loved it. And we had pumpkin cheesecake this year too. My daughter in law's mother made it. It had a wonderful praline icing encrusted with candied pecans. Sigh! My son brewed a pumpkin beer to die for, something he's done 3 years in a row now. Luckily we don't have to drink it in the basement. Come to think of it...we don't have basements in Florida!

Enjoyed your Myles Standish post from the previous year too! Very exciting goodie to find and I would be doing the happy dance also! :-D

Jasia said...

Another wonderful article, Carol! You always do such a great job of bringing the photos and stories together. Thank you so much for sharing all your memories in the COG!

The comments were really good too. I'll have to remember Cynthia's info about the Cheesecake Factory cheesecake at B&N... and I'm intrigued by Kristin's mention of sweet potato cheesecake... I'd love to try that!

Carol said...

Thank you IrishEyes Jennifer, MMM, chopping up cranberry sauce, well, it sounds gross! LOL

Lisa, cranberry compote sounds really good!

Jasia, thank you.

Joan said...

Carol, you just showed that "traditional Thanksgiving" is where ever and whenever the folks gather to give thanks and partake of the delightful fare of the day. Loved the pictures --- as usual.

Susan Clark said...

Wonderful reading. You've made me realize I have no idea how my parents - or even my husband celebrated Thanksgiving. Project!