Sunday, November 18, 2018

RAMBLINGS & RECIPES - The Ghosts of Thanksgivings Past

Thanksgiving is a time for families to gather together and to be thankful for our many blessings.  It is also a time for crowded airports, family quarrels, undercooked or overcooked turkeys and football game interuptions.  And who can remember being forced to sit at the "children's table" until you were well into your 20's?

Growing up, my family faced any problem with a grain of salt, followed by a shot of tequilla and a lick of lime. No worries. If the turkey burned, someone would inevitably just shrug their shoulders and say "At least salmonella won't be a concern" or "The less turkey Grandpa eats, the less likely he will be to walk around with his pants unbuttoned".  

There was always plenty of food.  We could have fed the entire neighborhood by the amount of food my mom would prepare.  The only taboo in our Thanksgiving routine was the timing. The food must be served before or after football. Do not try to squeeze it in during halftime. 

As much as my father and two brothers loved food, they loved football more.

When I was about six or seven years old, my dad brought home a live turkey a few weeks before Thanksgiving. Apparently, his plan was that we were going to feed it to fatten it up. 

We kept it in the backyard with a long string attached to the clothes line so that it could run freely and not get away. 

Being a young child, I didn't understand what was going to happen to this illustrious bird. 

I thought it was a pet. 

I named it Harvey. 

I loved Harvey. 

When I finally realized the fate of my turkey, well... let's just say that I did not eat dinner that year. 


*  1 large turkey, thawed
*  2 loaves stale bread
*  4 stalks celery, chopped
*  1 medium onion, chopped
*  1 stick of butter
*  4 cans of oysters
*  Bell's Seasoning
*  Parsley, chopped
*  Salt & Pepper

Gently remove the crust from each slice of bread. In a large bowl, tear the bread into small pieces being careful not to crush the bread.  Add approximately 2 tablespoons Bell's Seasoning, salt & pepper to taste.

In a skillet, saute' celery and onion in butter until soft and slightly transparent (not browned).  Drain oysters but save the juice.  Slightly saute' the oysters and add all of this (except oyster juice) to the bread.  Toss gently and add enough juice until stuffing is the right consistency.  Stuff into turkey which has been washed and patted dry.  Baste with additional butter and roast according to directions.


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