By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
If it were 1968, our part-Siamese male cat, Earl, would be reaching a yowling crescendo as Tom Turkey’s oven refinement neared its completion.
My father, Bob, would have had enough of the feline shrieks to send poor Earl outside with few good wishes for the season.
The rest of us would be waiting as my mother, Betty, timed everything perfectly to produce a bountiful, delicious Thanksgiving Day spread, which she’d been working on for weeks.
More than 40 years later, we make our own traditions and memories as we express our thanks to those who came before and those today who make this holiday so special.
This year, I’ve tried to control my own anticipation by delaying even the menu decisions until 11 days ago.
My one action – to advise my sister how big a bird to acquire so the grocery store would not sell out if we waited too long. Mission accomplished at 26.44 pounds.
Next was to collect all the necessary recipes and consider if anything new will be offered.
As our family and friends group grows, I consider dietary issues. We have more near-vegetarians and at least one lactose-intolerant among us.
I’ll offer roasted green-bean bundles. I’ll make a brown-sugar and pecan topped sweet potato casserole, but I’ll also serve up a platter of them oven-roasted with butternut squash, mushrooms, onions and asparagus.
I’ll parcel Mama’s dressing into medium-sized baking dishes so we’ll have plenty, with gravy, throughout the delicious left-overs meals.
Ingredient changes, such as non-dairy margarine and soy-milk, won’t even be noticed by the hungry hordes.
We’ll also have brown rice, corn, green salad, cranberry salad, cranberry sauce and rolls.
For dessert, I’ve made key-lime pies in homage to my mother’s enjoyment of Jimmy Buffett’s music and attitudes.
Depending on my energy level at that point, we also may have Daddy’s pound cake with fresh fruit and whipped cream.
And, of course, the turkey will be fabulous now that I’ve learned how to brine it with salt, fresh herbs, molasses and brown sugar.
Thanksgiving Eve was not to be forgotten either. Friends and family were plenty hungry as they drove into town.
In years past, I’ve always made lasagne, but this year, I think we’ll stick with the Gulf Coast theme for shrimp, West Indies crab salad and a big veggie salad.
Good grief, no wonder I ward off palpitations by the time Turkey Day arrives.
Grandpup Bonnie and my sister’s Boston bulldog Winnie may be the ones we have to send to the backyard at some point. I think Bonnie prays for table droppings.
By now, we’re fully into days and days of family fun and fellowship. How thankful I am for all this holiday brings.
May your joy abound, too. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.
Patsy R. Brumfield writes a Thursday column. Contact her at (662) 678-1596 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her Thanksgiving preparations on Twitter @realnewsqueen.