FOOD FOR THE SOUL
Yep, you guessed it…a month from now will be Turkey Day! There are a few days of the year that will give me the “warm fuzzies” and Thanksgiving is one of them. I have such wonderful memories of Thanksgiving with our extended family as a child, and then with our immediate family as we grew and added new members. I remember that mom would get up at 2:30 in the morning to put the turkey in the oven so we could eat at noon. This was after it spent the previous day thawing out in the kitchen sink. If I close my eyes and let my mind wander I can still smell that wonderful odor that would greet us on Thanksgiving morning. There were also 2 large baking sheets loaded with bread, drying out for the stuffing, which mom would then make and stuff that turkey from stem to stern. I am not a fan of stuffing, but love the smell of it in the oven.
After my parents passed away, the sisters and I divided up the 3 big holidays so we could continue the tradition of getting together to share a meal. Tammy has Thanksgiving and my kids were pleased to discover that my brother-in-law Mark makes just about the best stuffing ever! I love walking into her house with my covered dishes and indulge in the memory evoking smells of turkey and dressing. Almost makes me tear up just writing about it. ANYWAY…….one year my mom decided that it was very sad to think of anyone being alone on Thanksgiving, and decided that we would host a free turkey dinner on Thanksgiving in the church basement. Everyone was welcome to come and eat with us, and we would take deliveries out to those who were homebound. We cooked for 2 days, I swear….and I don’t know when I have ever peeled that many potatoes in my life. We had turkey, dressing, potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans, rolls and homemade pumpkin pie with whipped topping. We set up the tables in the basement complete with tablecloths, china and silverware…not paper plates and plastic utensils. One person manned the phone, taking down orders and addresses for delivery, the men delivered the meals, one person welcomed the guests, and the rest of us divided our time between serving the food, cleaning up the mess, washing dishes and doing whatever else was needed. When we felt we had served everyone that was coming, we filled our plates and sat down with our guests as a family, resting our weary hands and feet. It was such a wonderful feeling to know that on that holiday no one had to eat alone if they chose to come to the church.
A few years ago, I decided to roast a turkey for the first time. It was always my moms job, then my sisters job, and then my ex-husbands job (he liked to deep fry the turkeys) so I have never had to make the turkey. I read up on how to safely thaw a turkey on the Butterball website and my adventure began. I purchased a roasting bag because that is the was I saw Mark do it, and then I laid everything out on the counter in preparation for the mission. I remembered that mom always had a retrieved a bag with the gizzard, liver and the gross looking neck bone, so my first job was to find these loose turkey pieces before I baked the bird. My daughter Katelyn and I had the darndest time getting ahold of the neck bone…..I knew it had to be somewhere, so I yanked and yanked on the spine of that bird, but I could not get ahold of anything that resembled a neck bone. I was so frustrated…I knew there was a neck bone, but it wouldn’t come off. I began chopping on the spine, and was still unable to dislodge a neck bone. I sat that dumb thing up in the sink and was spent even more time trying to figure out how to get that neck bone. I was finally so upset and angry with myself that I picked the turkey up and shook it in anger…and guess what happened? That small baggie containing the liver, gizzard and blasted neck fell out of the bottom of that blasted bird. No where on the Butterball website did I remember that they were going to be perfectly packaged for soup making. Who would have guessed that they just shoved it there? We just stood there laughing hysterically at my mistake, and laughed even more when I looked at the poor butchered spine of the bird…..Not my finest moment for sure , but the turkey was still delicious ♥
FOOD FOR THE BODY
(I may have already done this, and if so I apologize. It’s just a great dish to pass at a feast)
5 pounds of red potatoes, peeled and cooked
8 oz cream cheese
8oz sour cream
1 stick of butter or oleo
Chives, diced * add any amount, depends on your taste
In a large mixing bowl, whip cooked potatoes, cream cheese, sour cream and chives.
Spread in a 13×9 baking dish and dot top with butter sliced into small pieces
(I usually just pinch some off with my fingers and place all over the top of the casserole)
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until warmed through.