Last week my family spent Thanksgiving in a cabin at Tishomingo State Park. It’d been a dream of mine for quite a while, and this year we finally made the commitment.
Just after lunch on Wednesday, Charlie and the kids and I headed up in two cars. Before we even settled into the cabin, Charlie and I went on a short hike by the Swinging Bridge, and Mary and Patrick ran the trails for about 40 minutes.
Once in the cabin, the kids and I went about making the place festive. We lined the mantle with Mason jars filled with unpopped popcorn and tea lights (thank you, Pinterest), festooned a garland of fall leaves, put out pumpkins we brought from home and hung white twinkle lights.
Charlie built a nice fire in the fireplace and then we grilled burgers and listened to some smooth jazz on our portable CD player. We were in bed with the lights out before 9 o’clock.
Most of our Thanksgiving prep work had been done before we left home, so all we had to do Thursday morning was cook the turkey and put the finishing touches on the sides. My mother-in-law joined us about 1 and before long we sat down at the table to give thanks and stuff our bellies.
Afterward, we listened to the Egg Bowl on the radio (there are no televisions in the cabins and Internet service is sporadic at best). I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We had to use our imaginations with every punt, pass and kick, which made the game even more exciting. I can’t remember last year’s Egg Bowl or the one before it, but I don’t think any of us will ever forget this one and the memory of listening to it together on Thanksgiving in front of a roaring fire in a cabin in the woods.
Once back in Tupelo, signs of Christmas were all around us. Houses were decked with colored lights, holiday music played in every store and I bet I passed a dozen cars with fresh trees strapped on top.
So we have put one season behind us and look forward to the next. To that end, I’m sharing an Ambrosia recipe I got from Sheri Boettcher, who was featured as a Cook of the Week on Nov. 13. This is very similar to the one my mother used to make at Christmas, although I believe Mama used powdered sugar instead of granulated.
2 dozen oranges
1 large can crushed pineapple
1 package frozen, grated coconut
1⁄2 cup sugar
Maraschino cherries, drained
Peel oranges and remove sections, being careful not to leave any seeds or skins. Mix all ingredients together except for the cherries. Seal and refrigerate overnight. Mix in the drained cherries prior to serving.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.