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The Thanksgiving Conflict

by  Junie Girl

Posted: Thursday, September 25, 2003
Word Count: 815
Summary: What happens in my U.S. home around the first of November and how I have learned to disregard it ans stick to tradition.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. What you may ask has this to do with conflict? The answer is more than you can imagine. For although it is the warmest of holidays, when our hearts are filled with thanksgiving for the many blessings bestowed upon us, when our families are gathered together to share our love and enjoyment and when thoughts of the delicious repast ahead delight us with its memories of savory aromas that set our taste buds flowing, the conflict is already upon us. Man against man, Woman against woman etc. and so forth and a fight to the finish.

In the near future there will be slight hints, one or more mysterious recipes appearing on the counter top and even a blatant request for a favorite “stuffing” for that king of birds. A vegetarian daughter in law hints that a cranberry nut stuffing would be so healthy. An English son in law suggests chestnut stuffing and smiles wistfully. Someone who has never ventured over the Mason-Dixon line has had the temerity to mention cornbread stuffing. Yet another recommendation for a sausage stuffing has been offered. Yes, and almost impossible for one to comprehend, even a suggestion for mashed potato stuffing has been offered by a French friend who declares it, “ deelicious”. The lines are being drawn, hopes are high, and we’re down to a complete menu, -a-la Mom. The turkey is waiting in the refrigerator, all spices and other ingredients ready to be combined, mixed and blended into holiday delights.

Roast turkey and gravy
Stuffing {Mom’s decision}
Mashed white potatoes
Candied sweet potatoes
Green peas and creamed onions
Cabbage salad with pineapple
Hot rolls
Pumpkin pie and Cheesecake
Wine, tea and coffee

Ultimately, I will make the decision as chief cook. And, again, as in years past, the recipe for stuffing that my Mother handed down to me will be the winner. It is delicious; everyone has second helpings and later will add it to their turkey sandwiches.

So, another year will pass. Next year there may be more hints and wistful looks. Perhaps in the future someone will start their own tradition. But as for me and my house, as long as I reign, so shall Mom’s stuffing recipe.

Sometime during the night, I will patter softly out to the kitchen, pour a small glass of eggnog and toast Mom for Thanksgiving’s past and for her recipe and for the ties that binds families together.

We always have, at the very least, 10 people for Thanksgiving dinner and there has to be stuffing left over for sandwiches later. So this recipe can be made in smaller or larger quantities by adjusting the ingredients.

Mom’s Stuffing Recipe
We use two extra large loaves of bread broken up into pieces in the largest mixing bowl we have. Then dice 4-5 large onions and dice 8 to 9 ribs of celery. Sauté the onions and celery in ¼ lb. of butter {one stick} When they are opaque in color as opposed to brown, let them cool slightly and add to bread mixture. Now add salt to taste and poultry seasoning to taste. For this large of a recipe, I start out with 11/2 teaspoons salt and 2 tsp. of poultry seasoning. Add some water to moisten.. Mix thoroughly. Here is my Mom’s secret ingredient  3 cans of minced clams, including the juice. Again mix thoroughly, taste and adjust seasonings and liquid {water} if the stuffing is too dry. The mixture should be quite moist, as it will dry out when baking
This dressing can be made a day ahead and refrigerated until it is time to stuff the bird or as we have for several years, put it in the oven a couple of hours after the turkey has been roasting and baste with the turkey.juices. A pan of this stuffing bakes in about 2 hours. When it is removed from the oven it brings family and friends, who have managed to overcome their manners, rushing to the kitchen for a preliminary taste.

It almost caused a divorce between my own Godmother and her husband; when after tasting it he inquired,”Why can’t you cook like this”? Another friend who swears he hates seafood of any kind begs for a doggie bag. Try it! You may start a new tradition.
I could go on and on but tasting is the test. As I write this it is heading towards August but in the not to distant future leaves will change, cool air will invigorate us and it will be turkey time once more. I will again ignore any hints about stuffing recipes. The huge pan of succulent stuffing will enhance the royal bird. All the nay sayers will have to walk around the lake so they can.
return to the waiting turkey sandwiches and that extra piece of pumpkin pie.
818 words