Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving - 1986

I wonder why Thanksgiving was assigned as a Thursday holiday. It was always a hard holiday to prepare for while I was working. Grocery shopping had to be done on the weekend before or maybe on Monday after work but by Tuesday night after work it was time to start prepping food like making the biscuits and cornbread for the dressing because Wednesday was another work day. And you had to prepare the house for relatives who would arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday from out of town. It was difficult to get it all done.

Back in 1986 I had some time between assignments at work and I was able to take a bit of time off the week of Thanksgiving. I decided that I wanted to try a few new recipes so I started digging through the cooking magazines and planning the menu. You can't go too far to the right or left with the Thanksgiving feast or you'll have rebellion at the table. I still have the menu that I planned for Thanksgiving in 1986.

Nibblies for before dinner
Pickled carrot sticks and pickled cauliflower - These were new recipes.
Celery sticks and olives

Roast Turkey and Gravy - Lots of turkey and LOTS of gravy. The Mercer clan loves gravy on everything and I mean everything.
Cornbread Dressing - More or less Ned's mother's recipe for dressing.
Cranberry and Orange Relish - A new recipe
Jellied Cranberry Sauce - Ned doesn't consider it Thanksgiving unless you have the canned stuff.
Sweet Potato and Turnip Puree - A new recipe
Broccoli with Rye Croutons - A new recipe that is now an old favorite
Golden Creamed Onions - Another new recipe that is now a staple.
Homemade rolls - I wasn't a bread baker but did this new recipe anyway. I think it turned out okay.

Apple Pie with crumb topping and vanilla ice cream
Pecan Pie - My mother's recipe but now I know that it is a standard pecan pie recipe
Pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

Raymond - California Selection, Chardonnay '85
Caymus Vineyards - Napa Valley, Zinfandel '81
Piper Sonoma, Champagne Brut - To go with desserts.
I know the wine selections will not make the hall of fame but with all the food, they were just fine.

I'm not sure how many people we had for dinner in 1986. I know my sister and her husband were there and Ned's Dad and his sister and her family but then I'm not sure about aunts and uncles and friends but I'm sure it was at least 16....maybe more. I always sat up extra tables with china, silver and flowers. Thanksgiving was special, no buffet or paper plates for this family although it sure would have made clean up easier.

I'm so thankful for all the times we could gather around the table and share Thanksgiving. We will not be with family this year but we will be with dear friends and we will be looking forward to being with family at Christmas.


1st Mate said...

Billie - sweet potatoes with TURNIPS? Was this a way to get people to eat their turnips? I concur on the gravy, got to have gallons.

Billie said...

1st Mate, Well the turnips cut the sweet of the sweet potato. It was okay but it hasn't shown up on the Thanksgiving Table since 1986.

Steve Cotton said...

Billie -- Thanks for sharing the memory. I wish I had kept track of past dinners. It would be nice to know where my current holiday dinner combination came from. I just may post mine for tomorrow.

glorv1 said...

Just wanted to wish you a very

Thursday was the day that Abraham Lincoln established for Thanksgiving. It was specified that the fourth Thursday of each November should be set aside as a day to give thanks for the founding of our nation. (all this according to Wikpedia.)

Billie said...

Good Steve, I'd like to see your menu.

Gloria, I still don't know why he chose Thursday. Of course, it has worked out well over time because now we have made it into a long weekend which makes it easier to go see family. What is your menu for T'day?

Anonymous said...

Hi, nice blog!
I love Thanksgiving day very much. I found a site with a lot of things about Thanksgiving. Maybe this will interest you: All about Thanskgiving Day!!! :)

Islagringo said...

That horrible cranberry jello-like stuff in a can? I would have thought that sacreligious in your household! Ah. What we do for love.

I have no idea what we will be eating, but it won't be turkey.

Billie said...

Isla gringo....
No shredded turkey and black mole for Thanksgiving? Surely you could find that in Quintana Roo or Yucatan.

Deb Hall ~ Zocalo Folk Art said...

Lincoln or no, the celebration of Thanksgiving on a Thursday was definitely decided by a MAN! And pass the gravy...

jennifer rose said...

Up until Congress passed legislation establishing the date as the 4th Thursday in November, in 1941, the holiday was simply a year-by-year presidential proclamation.

Heather said...

Happy Thanksgiving. Sorry I didn't see this sooner, I'd give my little twists to pecan pie, which did win an award at work once for best dessert at a potluck lunch we had. It's the standard Karo syrup recipe, except when I put in the 1 cup of sugar, half is white and half is dark brown. Also always add a tablespoon of lemon juice to cut into the sugar a bit. It's still very sweet. I also put in a full two cups of chopped pecans in each pie and this year I sprayed some Pam on the bottom of the pie pan before putting the pie crust in. It kept it from sticking to the bottom when it was served.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!!!!