Gramma's Pen

Sunday, November 25, 2007

...not turkey again!

Yep! We had a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner with most of the trimmings at #5 daughter's house. (we did forget a few things in the fridge). Saturday we had a cooperative at the Mtg Rm with visitors from LA, San Diego, and Shadow Hills. This time #4 daughter brined a big one for 24 hours in a boiled mixture of oranges, lemons, fresh thyme, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, salt and water for 24 hours in a big waste basket in the fridge. Grandson JW helped our friend KF do the carving. It was a real exercise to get the bird from our fridge to the sink to pour out the brine because #4 daughter had her right arm in a sling for her ailing elbow and I'm still using my ski walker to get around. With her left arm and my right we managed to get the bird into two grocery bags and onto the seat of my walker. We rolled out the kitchen door to the car and "deftly" slid the turkey onto double towel layer over plastic on the back seat. At 6:30 in the morning there is not much traffic on Saturday mornings so #4 was able to maneuver the car with her left arm, mostly. The loading and unloading process was repeated when we got to the mtg rm kitchen. At lunch time we enjoyed TURKEY again. Today. Well. We had hot turkey sandwiches. The carcass is simmering away along with the skin. This time I'll only make stock and freeze it in muffin tins. That way I'll be able to gather it all together in one big plastic bag and get out only what I need. Muffin tins rather than Ice cube trays because the grease is easier to clean out of metal than plastic.

So-o-o-o-o-o no more turkey for another year.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Over the river...

and through the woods, to grandmother's house...we did not go. This year we got together at #5 daughter's house. We had the usual (expected) faux pas...forgot that we needed stuffing, went to the neighborhood store to get some. Sat down and relished a wonderful turkey dinner. We all partook of turkey, gravy, sweet potato/apple casserole, cream cheesed mashed potatoes, roasted garlic, peas, scrumptious green salad, fresh whole wheat rolls, Martinelli's sparkling cider, and spinach gratin. We had seconds, some of us had thirds. As we pushed back from the table, while leftovers were being put away, we discovered (second faux pas) the untouched cranberry relish that #4 daughter had lovingly made with cranberries, walnuts and orange marmalade. There in the fridge was the green jello too! We all were sad, but recognized we could use it for sandwiches and the rest for meeting on Saturday.

BUT the worst Thanksgiving ever, back in 1949, was the unforgivable trick my teen aged brother pulled off. When grandma asked for help in carrying the twenty-three pound turkey to the table (we carved the bird at the table then), he carried in his brand new niece on the platter. I was in tears and grandma was incensed. Then came the stifling comment: "She's not big enough anyway!" In fact our golden brown roasted turkey was five times her size.

The next year that little girl was in the kitchen "helping" grandma with everything. In her grown up apron hitched up with a knot around her neck, she was her grandma's pride and joy. She was given the privilege of grabbing a handful of stuffing and putting it in that yawning bird cavity facing her. She continued with another, and another, and another handful. When grandma suggested she'd done enough, she agreed and gently patted the bird on his tummy, jumped down from her perch on the chair and went about playing with her baby doll.

Ever since that time (1950), the youngest grandchild has carried on the tradition.