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Thu Nov 24, 2022, 08:34 AM

Those who cook will understand.

Our turkey went into the oven at 6:00 a.m. and will mostly take care of itself for several hours. Now, a large skillet heaped with diced onion and celery is simmering slowly on the stove in preparation for making a HUGE pan of dressing. And, the aroma of onion and celery sauteing in butter swelled my heart and moistened my eyes.

That unmistakable smell is what I woke up to on Thanksgiving morning in every year of my childhood. I think Mom got up at 4:30 or so to get things started for our Thanksgiving meal. She'd have worked the day before and begun her commute at 5:30 that morning. She had every right to ""sleep in" like the rest of us, but there she was---seeing the first rays of sun touch the window above the sink as she began pulling together the meal we would again pronounce the "best ever".

She loved us.

Mom died in '98, but this morning as I stirred, teary-eyed, I swear she was beside me.

Thanks, Mom---love you!

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Arrow 60 replies Author Time Post
Reply Those who cook will understand. (Original post)
Atticus Nov 24 OP
Hugh_Lebowski Nov 24 #1
Happyhippychick Nov 24 #2
Siwsan Nov 24 #3
Lochloosa Nov 24 #4
PoindexterOglethorpe Nov 24 #26
Siwsan Nov 24 #30
Elessar Zappa Nov 24 #38
Siwsan Nov 24 #39
MetalMama Nov 24 #43
The Blue Flower Nov 26 #59
Croney Nov 24 #5
Karadeniz Nov 24 #6
Auggie Nov 24 #7
Karadeniz Nov 24 #21
stopdiggin Nov 24 #23
chowmama Nov 24 #52
paleotn Nov 24 #15
Siwsan Nov 24 #40
Karadeniz Nov 24 #42
werdna Nov 24 #8
plimsoll Nov 24 #9
Karadeniz Nov 24 #22
tishaLA Nov 24 #24
paleotn Nov 24 #10
PatrickforB Nov 24 #11
JT45242 Nov 24 #12
cayugafalls Nov 24 #13
randr Nov 24 #14
Wednesdays Nov 24 #19
calimary Nov 24 #16
The Blue Flower Nov 24 #17
Scrivener7 Nov 24 #32
The Blue Flower Nov 26 #58
Scrivener7 Nov 26 #60
ancianita Nov 24 #18
yellowdogintexas Nov 24 #20
MOMFUDSKI Nov 24 #25
COL Mustard Nov 24 #27
CaptainTruth Nov 24 #28
peppertree Nov 24 #29
Scrivener7 Nov 24 #31
Lars39 Nov 24 #33
AnotherMother4Peace Nov 24 #34
Bayard Nov 24 #35
highplainsdem Nov 24 #36
SallyHemmings Nov 24 #37
Ursus Rex Nov 24 #41
R Merm Nov 24 #44
Collimator Nov 24 #45
Evolve Dammit Nov 24 #46
AmBlue Nov 24 #47
MiHale Nov 24 #48
LNM Nov 24 #49
malaise Nov 24 #50
littlewolf Nov 24 #51
Laffy Kat Nov 24 #53
pansypoo53219 Nov 24 #54
evolves Nov 24 #55
Cailinrain Nov 25 #57
2naSalit Nov 25 #56

Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 08:45 AM

1. I understand that feeling well my friend

Happy Thanksgiving to all my DU friends

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 08:51 AM

2. I had a very different mother but I am your mother

And I hope that my children will look back on me this way. I love your story. I love my family.

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 08:54 AM

3. That sounds like my Christmas Eve

I'm the only one in the family who can make the traditional soup my grandmother always made for Christmas Eve. The whole family, and it was a BIG one, would get together at grandma and grandpa's house for a feast. Parents in the dining room. Kids at a table in the basement. The highlight of the evening was when my grandfather would have us sing a carol, and then throw silver dollars into the air, one for each child, and we would scramble to claim one. I still have many of those coins.

But back to the soup. It is just onions, mushrooms, peas and potatoes cooked with a flour/butter rue. The trick is getting the rue to the right color. Not a shade lighter or a shade darker. It took me a couple of tries to get it right, but now everyone agrees it is as close to Grandma's as one can get. She's the one I always feel next to me when I'm stirring, guiding me in the smelling and gauging the rue until it's perfect.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 08:58 AM

4. A good Rue is hard to conquer. Congrats.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 10:54 AM

26. At the risk of being picky, it's roux. Not rue.

Rue means road in French. Roux is their word for the flour/butter mix. The two are pronounced the same.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #26)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 10:59 AM

30. Thanks - I thought that looked weird!!

I kept typing it with an i in it and kept getting that red line. I blame my sleep deprived brain.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 12:42 PM

38. Sounds lovely.

I gotta make your grandma’s soup, it sounds delicious!

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Response to Elessar Zappa (Reply #38)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 12:54 PM

39. I've learned to cook the roux until it is the color of Vernors Ginger Ale. No lighter.

The recipe is one of those 'put ABOUT this much of ......' so no specific measurements. And nothing is drained. The potato water and liquid from the cans of peas and mushrooms (must be canned) supplies the soup liquid and a lot of the flavor. I do a lot of tasting and adding.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #39)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 03:26 PM

43. Aah, Vernors

My mom introduced me to Vernors when we visited family in Detroit. We didn't have it out west. It's the best ginger ale!

Happy memories!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Response to MetalMama (Reply #43)

Sat Nov 26, 2022, 01:41 PM

59. Vernor's and milk

Any other old Detroiters remember that?

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 09:04 AM

5. I had that same skillet of onions and celery on the stove, but

it was last night, making the stuffing that would go in the turkey this morning.

My mother cooked turkeys. She had a secret dressing recipe. No one was allowed in the kitchen while she made the dressing. It was actually stuffing, since it went in the bird.

As she got older, she wasn't as vigilant about keeping people out, and one day I learned her secret ingredient. I never touched a bite of her dressing for the last 20 years of her life; she died last year at 98.

It was spittle. After adding an ingredient, she would taste. Never washed the spoon. Added and tasted, added and tasted.

This might not bother many of you, but to me, it was like when Jerry Seinfeld noticed in the bathroom that the cook left without washing his hands.

I never told her though! 🙂

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 09:04 AM

6. I know this will sound sacreligious, but I like to put a tube of Jimmy dean's sausage meat...

cooked... into my dressing. And American black olives. And roasted chestnuts, if you have the patience to cook them up...very earthy taste.

Happy holiday!!!

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 09:16 AM

7. Love sausage dressing ...

It’s a meal by itself.

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Response to Auggie (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 10:30 AM

21. Actually, I'd rather eat my dressing than the turkey!!!

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #21)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 10:39 AM

23. +1. hadn't actually had that thought before

but I think you're definitely right! Way more flavor in there!

(and, in my opinion, the only way white meat becomes edible at all - is through a heavy introduction of gravy or sauce .. )

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Response to Auggie (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 08:30 PM

52. Sausage stuffing is the best!

It was my mom's stuffing and I still make it. She used Jimmy Dean's, too. I think if I served anything else, DH would pack up and eat out.

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 09:54 AM

15. Not in the least. Sounds wonderful.

Dressing is moldable. It's not like barbecue. Now THAT'S religious.

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 12:57 PM

40. I did that last year. It was great

My grandfather LOVED oyster stuffing. (He was from Maryland.) He died before I was born so I've never tried it but it might be worth the effort to put together a SMALL batch to see how it tastes.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #40)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 01:52 PM

42. I was thinking about oyster stuffing earlier... but I can't even be in the same room with a raw

oyster. By thinking of them as Neptune's Snot, I've ruined them for me! I'll probably never try oyster stuffing!!!.

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 09:31 AM

8. She was. N/T

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 09:35 AM

9. Bike ride first thing (have to get the exercise in) then put the pieces together.

Turkey
Sourdough and Mushroom stuffing
White cheddar Potato Gratin
Apple and Butternut squash.
Cranberry sauce.
Let other people bring deserts.

On edit I was told that I can ride, but I can't hide.

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Response to plimsoll (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 10:31 AM

22. That stuffing sounds FABULOUS!! Well, it all does!!!

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Response to plimsoll (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 10:42 AM

24. I cubed up a couple sourdough loaves I didn't love

They didn't have a great year or the crumb wasn't open enough, so I could reject them on aesthetic grounds.

Still great tasty bread, 30% whole grain, lightly sour. I dried them in the oven the other day so they could absorb the stock/egg/aromatics goodness. Mixed them this morning with the aromatics, apple, and plant based sausage (surprisingly good) and they're in the oven now.

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 09:35 AM

10. I understand completely. Same here.

With an army of sibs, grandkids, in-laws and out-laws due around lunchtime, my Mom was also up before the sun on Thanksgiving morning. That was usually my dad's time. He was up before the sun every day of my life. He called it the best time of day and would cook breakfast for us on weekends. On Thanksgiving and Christmas, that was mom's time too. I only wish I picked up at least a fraction of their care and self sacrifice for the ones they loved.

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 09:39 AM

11. I remember the smells of my Grandma's house during

Thanksgiving very fondly. And love? Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, Dad? Yes. I remember as if yesterday.

Happy Thanksgiving, Atticus!

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 09:48 AM

12. Miss doing that with my mom who died about five years ago

I always feel that when I make that meal.

Cherish these moments, you never which will be the last time you get to do them with your parents.

Have a blessed thanksgiving all.

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 09:53 AM

13. I hear you. I am continuing the tradition and every year I wake and start cooking.

I made the pies last night after work.

Dang it man, I thought I cut those onions hours ago...

I too, miss my mom.

I look at my wife and know that someday, someone will miss her...and the tears start again.

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 09:53 AM

14. Onions, celery, sage sauteing in butter--smell is a powerful tool to wake up memories

I'll be enjoying that experience in just a short time, thanks.

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Response to randr (Reply #14)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 10:11 AM

19. Mmm, sage

I always used the Scarborough Fair lyrics for turkey seasoning: parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.

Also, we stuffed the turkey with chopped onion and celery only, or just didn't stuff the turkey at all. Avoid bread crumb stuffing because that soaks up the moisture from the turkey, rendering it dry after roasting.

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 09:56 AM

16. Sounds like what my mom did.

Cooking was the priority the day before AND the day off. We’d have to make the dough for hot rolls the day before and let the dough rise, covered, in the fridge, til the next morning when it’d be ready to work with. That then became one of my jobs as “sous chef.”

Food rituals. Sounds like we all have some! Fun (and fattening!) to think back on.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 09:56 AM

17. Same here

My dear, sweet Mom passed away suddenly just before Thanksgiving 47 years ago. The holiday was a sad one for me for a long time. But my DIL gave birth last week to a baby girl, named for my Mom. I'll be meeting her for the first time today when they come over for dinner. I've come to believe my Mom died of the stress of living for 30 years with an unloving, cruel, alcoholic husband--my dad. My heart is so full at the thought that we now have a new little Pearl to love. That somehow her death has been redeemed. No one could have loved her family more, she gave us all she had to give. I'll be tearing up off and on all day.

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Response to The Blue Flower (Reply #17)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 11:18 AM

32. Ohhhhhh. Congratulations on little Pearl!!

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Response to Scrivener7 (Reply #32)

Sat Nov 26, 2022, 01:40 PM

58. Thank you!

She's a tiny beauty. Can't wait to find out who she is.

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Response to The Blue Flower (Reply #58)

Sat Nov 26, 2022, 01:45 PM

60. Isn't that the best??

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 10:10 AM

18. Such love from ancestors lives with us all our lives. May we be worthy of them, and be

good ancestors to those who come after. My heart thanks you for your heartfelt story. May your days be filled with such joyful awakenings.

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 10:21 AM

20. onions and celery oh yes. I loved my mom's dressing!

The first time I had Thanksgiving with my husband's family, his mom's dressing was real close to my mom's. Mom put chicken broth, onions, celery, and an egg into a combination of crumbled cornbread and stale biscuits. No sage because she hated it. She scooped it up with a big cooking spoon into individual patties and baked it in an iron skillet. Those patties were really fairly good sized mounds- maybe 3/4 cup each. I loved the crispy edges and bottom. I have never seen anyone else (except my sisters) make it like that.

We never stuffed the turkey.

When we had a large family event with my dad's bunch, we always had: turkey, country ham, potatoes, mac/cheese, creamed peas and pearl onions, giblet gravy, homemade dinner rolls, scalloped oysters, asparagus casserole, pecan pie, my mom's frozen fruit salad (held together with whipped cream) German chocolate cake, my grandmother's brazil nut cake and coconut cake. We also had boiled custard with a bit of "flavoring" Kentucky straight bourbon) in the punch cup, and ambrosia made with fresh fruit. (tangerines, grapefruit, bananas, pineapple ) & coconut. I don't bother with ambrosia, but when I make coconut cake I mix crushed drained pineapple and extra coconut into the frosting that I use between the layers.

With 17 family members and when we cousins got older and brought our boyfriends & girlfriends we pretty much did away with a lot of it!

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 10:52 AM

25. So touching.

Those of us with those wonderful childhood memories provided by great parents must be thankful today. Smell of turkey, pies cooling on the windowsills, my dad grinding the giblets with a clamp-on-the-table-edge thingamajig to put into the stuffing. Lots of laughter. Feeling so protected and safe. Much family around and knowing we loved each other. AHHH . . .

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 10:55 AM

27. WILL YOU STOP CUTTING THOSE ONIONS?!?!?!?

Sorry for the old man shout but something is making my keyboard all blurry!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 10:56 AM

28. You made me teary-eyed too. Thanks for sharing.

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 10:57 AM

29. As Garrison Keillor used to say: I smell the onions; I look around for you.

Thanks for sharing that touching story. Just the thing for a cold (and in my case, rather sad) day.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and All the Best!

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 11:16 AM

31. She sounds like a great mom. Be as happy this Thanksgiving

as she wanted you to be! And every day after today!

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 11:25 AM

33. My Aunt Marie's stuffing...

Made in a big metal tub I’ve never seen for sale in a store. Her recipe made multiple cake pans of stuffing. It wasn’t enough just to feed 35-40 people a time or two, you had to send leftovers home with them also. And don’t get me started on the pies…Heavenly sights and smells, and you ate when it was all ready, whatever time that happened to be.

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 11:31 AM

34. OMG Atticus, you just answered my stuffing question. I will saute the onions/celery before I put

them into the stuffing - sauté in butter - yummm.

I was about to google raw onions/celery vs sautéed, & I sat down to DU & voila - my answer (from your Mom). Thank you and a Very Happy Thanksgiving.

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 11:33 AM

35. Started our turkey while ago

Just a small one for me and Mr. Bayard.

I miss the big family gatherings of my younger days so much, it hurts still. Two brothers, two sisters, and the folks. Double that, and add kids later on. A noisy, happy time. Still looking for my old VCR player in the garage, so I can watch the old videos, smile and weep.

Just my little brother and me left now. Even though he only lives 80 miles away, only see him at xmas.

Happy Thanksgiving to my DU family!

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 12:22 PM

36. Beautiful message, Atticus, reminding me of my mom and a lot of family

Thanksgivings! Thank you! And Happy Thanksgiving!

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 12:23 PM

37. My Mum

My Mum, God rest her soul, was not noted for her culinary skills. HOWEVER, she could always put together amazing Holiday meals.

If the Eagles played, her only rule was we had to eat at the table. She never asked for much, this request was honored.


I took over the cooking with the birth of my daughter. Mum passed in 2019 after a long dementia goodbye. Oh how I miss her.

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 01:43 PM

41. Nice memory!

It’s amazing how smells can trigger emotions, especially from such a long time ago.

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 03:50 PM

44. I start our turkey upside down roast for 3 hours at different temperatures and

Then turn it right side up increasing the temperature for the last hour or so. Just turned it stuffing has 10 def to go and turkey 20 deg.

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 04:35 PM

45. Food really does stir up powerful memories.

Whenever I have a cold with a stuffy nose I miss my dad desperately. He made capellini with garlic and olive oil and a few other spices. It cleared the sinuses, opened every pore in your body and revved up the immune system (or so I believe). It also kept everybody else away from you so they wouldn't catch your cold.

Thanksgiving was lasagna. My mom made multiple pans of it. Ours was meatless, but there were meatballs and Italian sausage in their own pot of sauce. If you think turkey makes you sleepy, try lasagna with with four kinds of cheese!

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 04:55 PM

46. Great memory and tribute Atticus! I have dishes and recipes that bring it back. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 05:20 PM

47. I feel you.....

Last edited Thu Nov 24, 2022, 08:04 PM - Edit history (1)

Last night, as I baked our pies, I could not stop thinking about my Mom, and feeling the pain of fresh loss.

My Mom passed away just 4 months ago after living with me for 5 years after Dad died. I was her caregiver. We lost her to the ravages of dementia. So horrible.

So, while Mom made many "best ever" Thanksgiving dinners for so many years of my childhood, most recently she loved to sit in my kitchen and watch me cook. Always telling me what a good cook I am and, because of her dementia, marvelling that I knew how to do "everything." She'd look at me in disbelief when I told her, "Mom, I learned by warching YOU."

When I push back into my memories of Mom, before the dementia, it was me always marvelling at how she knew how to do "everything." She was a wonderful Mom and I was extraordinarily blessed.

Holidays will never be the same with both Mom and Dad gone. But the precious memories live on, and always will. We are so fortunate to have them, and to carry on these lovely traditions that bring them flooding back into our minds and hearts.

Happy Thanksgiving my friend.

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 05:52 PM

48. Grandma, Mom...

Passed the lessons on…then my wife and I, we passed it on. Good feeling!

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 05:54 PM

49. That was my childhood too. Celery, onions, sage and giblets.

It was a wonderful smell to wake up to. Thanks for the memory.

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 06:03 PM

50. This is a truly beautiful post


Rec

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 08:08 PM

51. she was beside you...

my mom was helping my wife put together the breakfast
casserole we always had

yesterday we made the sides .. only green bean casserole
and sweet potato casserole

made the dressing when the turkey came out of the oven
and out of the cooking bag.. (something new ... clean up
is alot easier)

I lost my mom 30 years ago ... but she is still there
I loved her more then I can say
alot of dust here all of a sudden

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 08:50 PM

53. I had similar TG experience growing up.

Now that I've raised my kids and spent years doing the same thing as my mom, I would give anything just to tell her how much I appreciated her hard work. We took it for granted. She died in '86 at sixty-three of a nerve-sheath sarcoma. It was a horrible death that she didn't deserve. She spent her young adult years as a nurse in rural Arkansas and retired when she found out she was expecting my big sis. It was a different time. I know she missed nursing. She remains the kindest, purest soul I've ever known.

Sorry to get so gloomy, but your memories triggered mine.

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 10:14 PM

54. I KNOW HOW TO PREVENT WATERY EYES WHEN CUTTING ONIONS!!!!!!!

tho i hate stuffing. you have to have a burning candle(bees wax best) between you + onions. shorter candles help.

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Thu Nov 24, 2022, 11:12 PM

55. My mom died on Sunday.

Waking up this morning knowing she's no longer here was devastating. It was Thanksgiving, but didn't really feel that way.

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Response to evolves (Reply #55)

Fri Nov 25, 2022, 02:36 AM

57. Hear you

My mom died a week ago in my arms at the hospital and I am still in shock. Getting text messages from family wishing me “happy thanksgiving” was awful as I can only sit and stare at the wall trying to piece through the grief. I can’t even imagine Christmas right now. My mom lived with me for the past 13 yrs and I am lost and untethered now. It is truly the most heartbreaking experience I have ever felt.

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Response to Atticus (Original post)

Fri Nov 25, 2022, 12:32 AM

56. I was asked to help make a small feast...

And did I know how to do turkey? I have a special recipe for a small turnkey that is a rather elaborate prep situation but it's the whole shebang from stuffing to basting recipe and gravy. It's unique and nobody has rejected it in the 35 years I have had the recipe. A recipe I got from my older sister when I was in my teens, she's gone now but I felt her there while I had to write out the recipe from memory because I cannot find it anywhere. And as I made it today. But I also made a cranberry relish I learned from my mentor and dearest friend ever and another dish that my mom used to make... come to think of it, everything I made today was a recipe I got from a friend or relative who has passed on in the past eight years, wow.

Everything turned out nicely and friend I made it all for was skeptical until they tasted everything and then they were very pleased.

Just got home and put all my stuff away.

When I set about producing a meal, I will light some sage and spend a moment quieting down, then I rip it up in the kitchen and come up with interesting things. When I don't set the vibes first, things can go wrong.

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