After leaving Dorchester (The better part of Boston) Massachusetts to join the Navy in October 1964 my first month in the service we celebrated Thanksgiving Day on base in Boot Camp in San Diego CA. I’ll admit it was good, but not near my grandmother’s cooking but good just the same. For the rest of my life I had industrial Thanksgiving meals prepared by The Navy, Restaurants or on board Merchant Marine ships. After moving to the Philippines I found that my family held no close bond to the Thanksgiving Holiday, because I was usually at sea when it rolled along.
The fact was the family did enjoy the turkey and fixings as much as me so after I retired we would go to Tom Dryden’s Hotel Restaurant in the Barrio every year for our Thanksgiving Meal. Tom has since retired and sold out but Texas Joe’s and Sit-N-Bull’s have taken over the tradition. Both providing a wonderful meal, The big decision this year is which one do we attend as reservations are required at both places?
Out of the clear blue of the western sky Mrs. Thompson decides we should cook a turkey at home this year and have our family sit around our dining room table for the first time on this the most American of American holidays. Damn that TV!!!
I had no idea that Mayang knew how to cook a turkey, and boy was I surprised when I found out I was the one to be the one to cook the turkey. Why on our mountain would she assume that I’ve ever cooked a turkey, didn’t she read the beginning to this article explaining how Thanksgiving’s went in my life? I guess not, but the interwebby thingy has vast information on the subject and the Butterball Turkey label states that it is easy, yes easy for Martha Stewart or Betty Crocker but my name is Paul. I did like the U-Tube about the guy trying to deep fry his turkey and sending flames 25 feet into the air.
Off to the store where I found Stove Top turkey Stuffing, not a word, don’t even comment on this section. But I will add my home made sausage to it to make it my own. Mashed potatoes, hey I’m Irish, this I can do and the little red russets are in stock, Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce in the can fresh shipped from New Jersey. Which I never knew that New Jersey grew them as I spent my summers on Cape Cod which was teeming with Cranberry bogs and as a kid I’d help harvest them in the fall. Add in some Turkey gravy, Green beans and frozen Byrd’s Eye corn on the cob, and a frozen apple pie. I never liked pumpkin or minced. That is my menu and I’m sticking with it. The rice cooker will be sitting there with the perpetual little red light on for those who want it. But it was very nice to have the Family gathered for a meal, and not one electronic device was at the table, I’m old school that way.
I am still wondering why we are not going to one of the two places that is already cooking the complete meal, and will do the clean-up afterwards. I’m still scratching my head with great vigor. No answer has been provided; Mayang’s (My wife) mind is made up, and I’m stuck with the cooking. My heartfelt thanks goes out to Al Gore for inventing this Internet thing,
I will make it through this ordeal as those British Pilgrims also did in 1621.Here is a little known fact; The pilgrims on the Mayflower were originally on their way to settle in Virginia, but ran out of beer and dropped the hook (Anchor) in Plymouth Massachusetts. Skeptics, feel free to Google that.
But to those readers, who do celebrate this holiday, remember to invite your neighbors, feed them well, and don’t forget to steal their land when you are done.
Here’s wishing you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving Day last week, and I’m also hoping you didn’t have to cook the meal.