Monday, November 19, 2012
Our expectations may be a bit different at this time of year. We are “expecting” a big part of our family to arrive today for Thanksgiving. Woohoo! We will all be together for the first time since 1989, I think. We saw them all last year when Gene had his surgery, but not all on the same day.
Gene’s brother, Roger, will arrive tomorrow and we expect 13 folks for dinner on Thursday. Our Thanksgiving always has a meal of turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole with a bite (hot peppers), fruit salad, hot rolls, cranberry sauce, pickles and olives. I’m not sure why we have pickles and olives, but it has always been that way. Since we will be so many, I am adding in our Christmas Day additions of ham and New Mexico red chile.
On the dessert side there will be pumpkin pie, pumpkin pie with pecan topping, pecan pie and the fruit salad with whipped cream for the non pie eaters. I make the pies and the rolls. Brandon is cooking the turkey. Jennie makes the casserole and everyone else will pitch in on the rest.
My mom and dad always cooked and had many people over. We were sure to be imbibing with some Salty Dogs (grapefruit juice, gin and salt over ice). They would invite anyone they found that didn’t have a place to go for dinner. After the traditional blessing, my dad’s
was always, “Bless the meat, damn the skin, push back your ears, and dig in! Then my mom would chime in with a toast, “Here’s to you as good as you are, and here’s to me as bad as I am. But as good as you are, and as bad as I am, I’m still as good as you are, as bad as I am!”
My Dad's first payed job was as a cook on a cattle drive. I wondered what they would have done on Thanksgiving. It would be a problem to fit a turkey in a Dutch oven. Maybe it went a little like my painting.
We are so thankful for all we have. It is hard to believe that two “kids” from our small town of Magdalena have accomplished so much. We have four children that make us proud. We have traveled, met presidents, attended foreign diplomatic events, entertained the Marines and supported them at our Embassies. Hopefully we did our country proud, too! We have met so many good people and continue contact with them all over the world.
We are thankful for our troops and soldiers that support us and keep us free so we can enjoy our day. Thanks to the police and fire fighters and other first responders. Hopefully our friends around the world will be safe and have a blessed new year.
Thanksgivings are so special, especially when you are not in these United States. One year in Bolivia, we could not get a turkey. I’m not sure why, maybe we weren’t there when the commissary ordered the birds or they had a small shipment but at any rate, we decided to raise ours. Gene bought two small turkeys and brought them from Cochabamba to La Paz. We put them in the back yard and they did well. It was a Tom and a Hen. Larry was a toddler and he loved to sit on his haunches and watch those big birds. They were good watchdogs as well, which we didn’t need as we had a half Mastiff/Boxer for a pet. That is another story, though. When it came time for Thanksgiving, Felipa, our maid, and I had to butcher the turkeys. The gardener and Gene were not in the picture for some reason. But, we got it done and ready for the big day.
There was a training team in town so Gene invited them for dinner. I think it was about ten guys and made for a good time. We were eating and Gene was telling the story about the turkeys and how much fun Larry had watching them. One of the men stood up and excused himself. He said he could not sit there and eat our pets! We were raised where we always butchered beef, sheep, pigs and chickens, so it is a normal thing to eat meat. My mom always named the cattle, but we never thought of them as “pets”. Ah, well.
If you put “Thanksgiving” in the top search box on the blog, you can find more family stories!
Happy Thanksgiving and God bless America!
- Jo Castillo
- Bastrop, Texas, United States
- I Grew up in a small town , Magdalena, New Mexico. I enjoy art and the pleasure other people get from my work. I always donate some of my sales and art to charities, especially for children. That started in Bolivia with Para los Niños. (Link on sidebar) "I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns." -- Winston Churchill
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