I really enjoyed this presentation because at its heart it is about the meal with family, not the bird. Don’t worry about how the bird comes out. That is what gravy, cranberries, stuffing and wine are there for.
Turkey is not meant to stand on its own at any dinner. It is meant to support and enhance the taste of everything else.
My memories about my mother and the bird do not stem from the manner she cooked them in. It was usually about the timing so that everything came out at the right time – after the Dallas game. How she cooked the bird seldom impinged on my consciuousness.
My Mom always had a great Thanksgiving dinner but I really never remember the bird itself. It was her Waldorf salad – sometimes with oranges added, I think – giblet gravy, the smell of sweet potato pie (that I never ate but was a favorite of my father), mashed potatoes, crescent rolls, cranberry sauce – first just the jellied kind but advancing to the whole berry as I matured – and the dressing – which changed greatly over the years as she experimented but which never failed to be my favorite. And sometimes we might have kernels of corn or green beans but to my mind they simply added color
I would simply pile my plate high with turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, with gravy on each of them. A huge amount of cranberry sauce and a couple of rolls on the side. Each bite would have a bit of turkey, potato and gravy. Or turkey, dressing and cranberry.
After finishing one plate where I politely ate a bit of everything laid out – except the sweet potato pie which I simply have never been ale to swallow. The small bit I might put on the plate always sat alone when I went back for seconds – I return to get more of my favorites.
Turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy and dressing. The magic four that I live for.
Hot turkey sandwiches were my reward for the next few days.
I am lucky that my own family does appreciate much of the same – although I am the only one who eats dark meat. We have some different opinions on what type of bird to get and how big but we all agree that turkey, cranberries, gravy and dressing make the meal.
Thanks Mom for providing so many great Thanksgiving memories.