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Letter: Thanksgiving memories from bygone era

Published: Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Today’s Thanksgiving holiday differs from when I was a little girl.  Of course there was no TV reminding us of the approaching event, and the only thing that heralded the wonderful day was our mothers busy in the kitchen doing all the prep work necessary to prepare the gigantic feast to come.

At our house, during the Great Depression, this was not the case. Instead of a turkey, our meal depended on my father’s prowess hunting for pheasants. Open season for hunting was over, but that did not deter him in his quest to put food on the table for his family of six. He was usually successful, too.

There were times when one of my mother’s sisters who lived on a farm brought us a duck (my mother’s favorite) for Thanksgiving.

My most memorable Thanksgiving was one time when we were all invited to said aunt’s farm home for dinner. Snow had started and piled up to make the roads impassable to travel the six miles into the country. 

My uncle hitched up a sleigh to one of his horses and picked us up and we were on our way, bundled up under a blanket as we glided over the pristine snow in the countryside.

Arriving at the farmhouse, we were greeted with all the delicious aromas of the feast to come. After a brief warm-up, my brothers and I were sent outside to play with our cousins until called in for the meal.

The menu: A turkey they had raised, homemade dressing, several side dishes made with homegrown vegetables, pumpkin pie made from homegrown pumpkins, topped with real whipped cream that had been skimmed from the milk donated by their dairy herd. 

No electricity, so the whipping was done by each of us cranking the beater until the whipped cream was so stiff it clung to the bottom of the inverted bowl!  Cholesterol heaven … but we had not heard of that danger back then.  

Today we are able to buy a complete dinner at the local grocery store and just heat it in our oven.   

My heart goes out to the young people of today. What they will remember are the football games and the open stores mobbed with early Christmas shoppers. What kind of memory is that?

Who says you can’t go home again? I just did.  

Mil Misic

DeKalb

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