Time to give thanks already here
by Rick Watson
Nov 20, 2011 | 1380 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rick Watson
Rick Watson
It just occurred to me that I’m running out of year. I woke this morning to the sound of a thunderstorm stomping its way through Empire.

All the dogs became antsy and wanted on the bed with us, but together our dogs outweigh our refrigerator so they had to make do on the floor next to the bed.

With my head on the pillow and watching the morning come alive through the openings between the tiny slats on our window, I realized there are only six weeks left in 2011. I know it has turned into a tired cliché, but I have to know – where has this year gone? THANKSGIVING IS THIS THURSDAY!

I got up and put on a pot of coffee and as I listened to it gurgle, I flipped open my laptop and located my goals for 2011. I thought to myself – “How could this be? My second book was supposed to be coming out before year’s end, and the singer/songwriter CD that Jilda and I have been working on should be playing on my stereo. Regretfully, these goals will have to be moved over to 2012.

When I was a kid, it seemed like a year between Labor Day and Thanksgiving and another year from Thanksgiving to Christmas, but these days I’m afraid to blink.

After the storm passed and the dogs settled down, I drifted off to sleep and I dreamed I could smell the aroma of turkey and dressing wafting from the kitchen.

Nothing says Thanksgiving like the aroma of turkey and dressing baking in the oven. The memory of past holidays is so vivid it feels like I could stick a fork into it.

My mother was a master turkey and dressing cooker, but so was Jilda’s mom Ruby. I started eating Thanksgiving at their house when we first started dating (Jilda, not Ruby).

Thanksgiving dinner (lunch) at our house was sedate compared to Ruby’s house. That place started buzzing before the chickens got off the roost, and by lunch time, the police had to direct traffic in and out of their yard.

Ruby also made a sweet potato casserole. She made it in a pan as big as a checkerboard and she toasted buttered pecans and sprinkled them on top.

It was all I could do to keep from getting naked and wallowing in that pan of sweet potatoes before eating my way out of it. Perhaps that was a little too much information for some readers, but I think it gives one a feel for just how good that dish was.

Ruby passed away in 2005, but thankfully she passed those old recipes down to Jilda and her sister Pat, instead of taking them with her to the grave. There are a lot of families that feel they are too busy to learn to cook the old traditional dishes. A lot of families order up Thanksgiving dinner from a supermarket.

I made the mistake last year of having store bought turkey and dressing. It tasted like toasted grits mixed with chert rock, and some kind of mystery meat. It was fowl, but I don’t think it was turkey (pun intended).

This Thanksgiving we plan to help serve food to the needy at the Community Center in Sipsey, but we’ll find time to get together and feast with our families on the good stuff.

I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving, but take my advice and steer clear of chert rock dressing.