Turkey, Pumpkin Pie, Sweet Tea, and a Few Extra Pounds
By Carl White
I remember with great fondness my sweet Grandmother, and how during Thanksgiving she would make pumpkin and sweet potato pies. She always made enough for everyone in the family, because that’s just the way she did things. My mom, on the other hand, always prepared the perfect turkey; low and slow was her method. I remember it as if it were yesterday, waking up on Thanksgiving Day to the smell of turkey and stuffing. It’s making my mouth water, just writing about it. Everything she cooked was great, and she just knew how to do it.
Mom also made beautiful cakes. Her spiced apples cakes were such a treat, made by baking the round layers and then splitting them and layering them with a spiced dried apple mixture of some sort. I don’t know what all she used in them, but I can tell you this for sure: If you ever tasted her cake, just once, you could never forget it, and you would always long for the day when that amazing blend of flavors and textures might meet your lips again. I know, you may think that I am overstating things, but I am not.
Sweet tea was made by the gallons and that was what most people drank. You could have sweet tea or sweeter sweet tea. It was only when I was older that I found out that anyone liked unsweet tea. Nowadays I don’t add sugar to anything, but that was not how I grew up.
I remember one Thanksgiving, I walked into the kitchen and my Grandmother was at the stove with the turkey out of the oven. And when she saw me she said, “Come over here and I will show you where the best part of the turkey is, just don’t tell anyone.” She proceeded to show me where the most tender and moist parts are. She said, “That’ll be our secret.” She was correct, and to this day that’s the part I still like the most.
A lot of people came for Thanksgiving and most would bring a little something they made themselves; however, a few would bring something store-bought. It was all good and the most important thing was the fact that everyone came together for the fellowship and enjoyment of it all.
The food was abundant and the idea of gaining a few extra pounds during Thanksgiving was not upsetting for most people. We knew it could come off later, or at least we hoped so, but we really didn’t worry much about it. You see, we ate our lunch together and many people would still be around to eat again before going home.
As I write these words so I will not forget, the memories of all those hugs and smiles give me a feeling of warmth inside, but I am afraid if I linger too long more tears will come. The years have passed and many are now in heaven. I miss them all, but I am grateful for the sweet memories of times together.