October 3, 2010

Sharing Memories (Week 44): Thanksgiving Memories

This is Week 44 of our 52 weeks of Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey Journal. Your memories are your legacy to your children and grandchildren. Don't let them be lost over time. Join us and write your memories down, either privately or as a comment on this blog or on your own blog.

Our Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up soon - the October 9th weekend. I was thinking about my childhood Thanksgiving weekends and what I remember most.

There were four siblings in our family and we did not have much money. The Thanksgiving Turkey was such a treat! I looked forward to it so much - the mashed potatoes with gravy instead of the usual pototaes mashed with a fork, no milk, no butter, just dry lumpy potatoes. I used to drown mine in ketchup just so I could swallow them!

My dad always made the stuffing for the bird and while I don't recall specific flavours or what he put in it, I know I enjoyed it. Mother usually made a pumpkin pie, such a treat from her standard baked apple for dessert! I don't recall whip cream for that pie but it was yummy anyway.

The biggest thing for my siblings and I was the wishbone. Remember that? We all wanted that wishbone and whoever got it set it in the windowsill to dry, then waited anxiously for the right moment to pull it with a brother or sister and pray you got the wish!

One year I mentioned the wishbone to my grandchildren and they looked at me like I was nuts. It seems that's a tradition that may have died out.

One other thing my siblings and I argued over was who was getting the turkey leg. Of course with only 2 legs and 4 kids, two people had to go without. It seems to me we were supposed to take turns with two getting the legs at Thanksgiving and the other two at Christmas. But we always argued - "he had it last Christmas so it's my turn this Thanksgiving!" I can't remember how it was resolved. Probably whoever argued loudest and longest lost out!

All in all, I have only good memories of Thanksgiving and am looking forward to my own Thanksgiving Dinner preparations next weekend!


Holly said...

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays as a child. Many of the same things as you recall, only in November! We now go to my sister-in-laws so there have been only a few wishbones here and there for my kids, but they SHOULD remember them to pass on...I hope! I do wish we took more photos, I can't recall a single one as a child for Thanksgiving.

Jane said...

I think there is a lot of family history in food - and preserving stories as well as recipes helps connect us to our heritage.

My husband's Dad came from the Ukraine, along with a pile of recipes for dishes like pelmeni, sorrel soup, cabbage rolls, and kapusta (sauerkraut soup). He is now dead but we are still eating his food. And so are our kids.

We don't make all the dishes that he did. For example, he used to buy pig's heads split in two (so you could see the teeth real well). He would sear off the hair in an open fire, then boil the two halves until it all fell apart. Then he would remove the bones and decant the meat/fat/skin slop into a bowl which would go into the fridge to set to make Holodetz. A good batch would hold together with all the briny gelatin from the bones.

No, we don't make all his dishes. But those that my husband does make, like his famous Borsch, are much improved versions of the old. Of course.

Thanks for your blog!