Thanksgiving your past and your present - you, your mom, your grandmother.
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  1. #1
    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    Question Thanksgiving your past and your present - you, your mom, your grandmother.

    How do you do thanksgiving? How did/does your mother? How about your grandmother?

    I was reading an article about a can free Thanksgiving and I thought about how I do Thanksgiving, and how my mother grandmother and great grandmother did Thanksgiving. (you no how it was, cooked what was served, what plates were eaten off of, who came to dinner etc)

    I will post my answers after I come back from dropping the kids off at school.

    I look forward to all of your answers.

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    Super Moderator josantoro's Avatar
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    I am sad to say I can not remember how my mum did TG. She died when I was nine. I am sure it was like most other big dinners, in the dining room with the good china, glassware, and silver. She did have style that way.

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    Moderator nuisance26's Avatar
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    ~My mom always invited others, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins, friends of my brothers. It was usually 15 or more people. We ate off of regular dinnerware but my mom always had a nice set with plenty of extras. Mom served tooooons of food, too much to list, and almost everything was prepared homemade that day. She must have gotten up at 3am.
    I'm pretty sure that's how both my grandmothers did it too, although my mom's mom probably didn't invite guests. She died when I was very little. I know my dad's mother was well known for her cooking hospitality and she was a good cook too. I don't remember ever having Thanksgiving at her house but I do remember Christmas there with tons of my relatives, immediate and distant, visiting.
    The first few years DH and I were dating we had Thanksgiving twice, one at each parents' house. His mom did things low key:no guests, turkey breast only with a gravy kit, instant potatoes, canned corn, refrigerated rolls, canned cranberry jelly but thankfully, homemade stuffing and candied yams. I was literally in shock the first year because of the small amount of food. We literally ate all the food and I walked away from the table hungry. That first year I thought, maybe she just misjudged how much to make for 5 adults, but the next year she made the exact same things and amounts for 7 adults when her other son and girlfriend joined us. She did pull out her special occasion only china for dinner though.
    This year is tough. It will be only the second year in my life I haven't had Thanksgiving at my mother's. The other was in college. And we don't know anyone out here really to invite. Kinda lonely. ~

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  5. #4
    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    Growing up
    Thanksgiving at my house was very fancy. Linen/lace table cloth on dinning room table, good china with the correct plates set on the table, good silver, Tea goblet for tea, water goblet for water, wine glass for wine etc. Yes, there was a pre-dinner quiz to make sure I knew what fork was which and which plate was for what and how to properly hold a certain goblet. There were no candles ( father's rule - no candles)

    The Turkey was cooked in the smoker by my Dad. It was served cold on the plate although craved at the table. My mom made the rest ( dad and I were banned from the kitchen) box stuffing, canned green beans, the wack a can crescents, and homemade pecan pie. (Pecan pie was severed a few hours after dinner with coffee/ hot tea in and on the appropriate good china).

    It was generally just Mom, Dad, and me. Sometimes dad would bring home a out of country client, or another business associate that had no were else to go. I knew this was a business dinner and I was to remain silent and only speak when spoken to.

    We always dressed up to eat Thanksgiving dinner

    Now at my house
    Everyone helps make the Thanksgiving dinner. Hubby, mom, me the kids. It is a fun time lots of laughter. There are some canned helpers ( a can gravy, can of french fried onions, can of mushroom soup, a bakery pie) the rest is fresh or frozen ingredients. So there is much chopping, sauteing, mixing, etc. going on.

    We set the table without the table cloth just a Thanksgiving runner and place mats. Use the everyday matching set dishes. We light candles at the table.

    It is generally just Hubby, my mom,the kids, and me.

    My mom has stated that she loves how we all pitch in and have fun. How relaxed it is. I asked her how she did Thanksgiving growing up.

    My Grandmother

    My grandmother never cooked Thanksgiving. They always went to my Great Grandmother's house. So that is how my mom had Thanksgiving. After my Great Grandmother died, my Grandmother ate at her sister's house until she ate Thanksgiving in the nursing home. So my grandmother never cooked any part of Thanksgiving dinner her whole life.

    So I asked my mother how my Great Grandmother did Thanksgiving. My mom looked puzzled and replied." The servants made it and served it". Then added "Surely, you remember the servants".

    Hubby's extended family all lived near by so dinners were big made for scratch ( mostly). So a huge gathering with tons of people all around, some in the kitchen, some sitting around chatting, some paying games outside or running around the house. LOL I call that a happy chaos.
    Last edited by imagine; 11-14-2012 at 11:56 AM.

  6. #5
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Hmmn. I don't remember many dinners at the grandparents (father's side) mostly because we lived too far away. One, I think had the entire (small) family, mine and one aunt & uncle crammed around the dining table set up in the livingroom in their *tiny* house. Us kids were at the card table in the kitchen. I was a young teen and hated it.

    Grandma must have been up at the crack of dawn to slow roast the turkey all day. They used the good linen and china on the adult table. I don't remember much about the food, except there must have been a turkey, potatoes, stuffing, some gravy and canned cranberry sauce. Pies of some sort, grandma made good pies, probably apple, maybe a pecan or blueberry too. Coffee after dinner, there was always coffee at that house.

    The football games would be on all day and generally us kids were expected to be quiet and out of the way, or if weather permitted, be outside.

    I don't think we ever ate Thanksgiving on my mom's side, due to distance.

    Mom's T-day was much the same, except it was usually just the 5 of us so we all sat at the dining table. She would get up early and start the turkey and do it slow all day. We'd eat in the middle of the afternoon. No lunch. There was an appetizer tray of cut vegetables, pickles and olives to nibble on. We'd be starving by the time we sat down.

    We'd watch the parade in the morning and then it would be football all day on the tv. And again we were expected to be out of the way, or outside, unless called to help in the kitchen.

    We were supposed to dress nice, though in later years that kind of went by the wayside. Mom set the table with good china and glasses. Parents would have wine and we kids would get sparkling cider. We had the traditional meal: turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, canned cranberry, cran-jello salad, boiled vegetables (corn, beans, carrots, whatever). Mom would usually make a pecan pie and an apple pie and there'd be coffee. Then we could pick at the leftovers until it got dark and they'd be put away.

    My thanksgiving meals have always been a mix of old and new. I do turkey, potatoes, stuffing and gravy. But now our bird is brined and quick roasted at high temps. I make my own cranberry sauce from scratch, and I improved mom's cranberry jello salad. I make dinner rolls from scratch, some years I make focaccia with herbs from my garden. I like to mix up the side items. I made green bean casserole from scratch once or twice, pumpkin soup, a salad or two, roasted vegs, and other things that struck my fancy at the time. I like to mix up dessert, too. I've made vanilla pudding with cran/blueberry sauce, pumpkin pecan torte, and an assortment of pies (though apple and blueberry top the list. This year I am trying a cranberry tart recipe.

    We don't watch football and we don't drink coffee, so it is a very quiet day at our house. Typically we spend the day (when not cooking) doing a hobby together.
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    when I was little Thanksgiving were so much fun nothing was from a can everything scratch..paper plates oh there was easily 40 plus.... coffee was always a brewing my aunts and my granny always made so much..turkey,ham, shucky beans,( These are dried white half runner beans, soaked and cooked with salt pork or pork jowl), picked beets, potatoes of every kind and vegetables, salads of every kind, potato,, macaroni, slaws,.... chicken and dumplings, pinto beans....gingerbread, apple stack cake, and pies with mariagne so high..

    football being thrown around, extra table being set up in the barn, at least 10 of them nesco roasters, and dresses on the ladies.... Sunday best except for for Papaw who wore his overalls with a jacket over top...he would say the blessing..it was wonderful...

    mommy u did not dress up.. paper plates still no more than 8 people...she was a terrible cook...the cornbread dressing would cause u to get stomach ache.....Paige and I was talking we give anything to set down and eat one of her awful meals..we would smile and eat every bite...

    mine well when Paige turned about 10 Mommy decided to quit cooking Thanksgiving dinner and that it was my turn...
    everything was from scratch and we played board games and watched Christmas shows...
    Now that Paige is grown and my health is failing we are cutting back on what we usually do. still Turkey, homemade dressing, yams (from can) cranberry salad (can and fresh fruit), rolls (store bought) slaw make it my self, corn on the cob and dessert pumpkin pie ( can and store bought crusts)

    first time in a long I am not cooking a 15 course feast and I am glad I will be glad when I can turn it over to Paige...

    but we would give anything to eat one of mommy's horrible greasy meals...we would smile through every bite..

    (oh by the way she was a great corn bread baker, candy maker, slaw, macaroni salad and potato salad maker, and soup bean cook ) lol

    we watch the Christmas Story all day I love it they hate it..just to make me happy

  8. #7
    Registered User forHISglory's Avatar
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    Such wonderful nostalgia.....

    My grandmas were excellent cooks, and every thing was not only homemade, but much of it was home grown. We rarely had turkey at either grandmas' house because they didn't raise turkey. But we had ham! The sweet potatoes were dug out of the garden and roasted with brown sugar and marshmallows. The fluffy mashed potatoes came from the garden. Grandma N always made a hole in the top of the mound of potatoes and filled it with butter and sprinkled pepper over that. Both grandmas would have a "relish tray" which is what we would today call a veggie tray. There were numerous kinds of homegrown/homemade pickles and relishes. And always..... cranberry relish, made with fresh cranberries, an apple, an orange and walnuts, all ground together and chilled. My favorite.... There would be green bean casserole with mushroom soup and onion rings. I think the soup and onions were the only canned foods used. There would also be other cooked veggies such as corn, carrots. Desserts were pumpkin pie and sometimes pecan pie, both with homemade whipped cream. Everyone had water to drink and the adults would have coffee with the pie.

    My mother tended to carry on all these traditions. As she became older, she went to using canned pumpkin. Then after she quit canning her own vegetables, she used store bought canned veggies. And she began to use instant mashed potatoes.

    Me? I have never been one to make the big fancy meals. I enjoyed them all growing up, enjoyed the fine china and heirloom linens, and the centerpieces, and all of our dress up clothes. But we tend to eat much simply and much more casually. I'll have a boneless turkey breast roast or ham. Sweet potatoes but not mashed potatoes. And I like my sweet potatoes roasted, and eaten with a little pepper.... not all the gooey stuff on them. I'll steam my veggies, but I still have a veggie tray, and still make the cranberry relish. We still have a pumpkin dessert, but not necessarily pie. We still drink water and have coffee with dessert.... albeit decaf!!

    After the meal in all generations, we sat and talked, did dishes together, played games, young ones played outside. Now with TV, the guys tend to gather in one room to watch and shout. Sometimes we napped. And then we would pull out the left overs for supper. Nothing like a turkey sandwich with cranberry relish on it!
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    Growing up-
    We didn't do the traditional turkey and stuffing type Thanksgivings. My Dad's side of the family is Italian, my Nonno (Grandpa) and his entire family all came to America and settled in the same neighborhood in New York. My Dad was raised not only by his Mom and Dad but by many Aunties and Uncles. The men in the family did most of the actual cooking and that tradition never really changed as far as I remember. As we got older Mom did more cooking but Dad did the majority of it. As far as food went we did traditional Italian dishes for Thanksgiving, Antipasto, pasta, my Dad usually would make a lasagna or baked type pasta for the first course, second course was always Braciola and veggies. As far as veggies went he seemed to like making icky things nobody wanted, especially little kids! I spent more time worrying about how I was going to get away with not eating the veggies than anything else! The meal always ended with Spumoni ice cream and biscotti. There was plenty of wine too and even the little kids would get a tiny bit of wine to drink with the meal, we thought we were so cool getting to drink wine! It tasted nasty but hey, we got to have a sip or two!
    The Wizard Of Oz always played on Thanksgiving so after eating and cleaning up after the meal my sisters and Mom and Dad would watch the movie!

    Now-
    I'm married to a very traditional turkey and stuffing Thanksgiving kind of guy! My MIL could cook and would go all out for Thanksgiving. He loved her cooking and isn't so much into my Italian heritage as far as a Thanksgiving meal goes. We've tried it my way a few times, the kids loved it, him, not so much! I do make a lasagna for the night before so I get a little of my childhood in there! We do a turkey, stuffing (dh argues that it is called stuffing if I put it in the turkey and dressing if I make it in a dish so I guess I should actually call it dressing!), mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade cranberry sauce, green beans, homemade rolls, apple pie and brownies. Sparkling cider for those who don't want to drink and wine or beer for those who do. Thanksgiving is a small affair for us these days, just dh and I and our 2 kids. My parents and my inlaws are all gone now so we try really hard to celebrate the day in a way that really means a lot for our family. We remember and honor the important people who aren't or can't be with us.
    This is also the day we decorate our home for Christmas!! Once the kitchen is cleaned up we start decorating!

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    Registered User bookwormpeg's Avatar
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    Growing up we all chipped in and helped cook as my Mom had severe RA and in later years she was in a wheel chair and then bed ridding....no grandparents ever so it was just Mom and Dad and the 9 kids and in later years our spouses and kids....the one food I remember is creamed onions....always had creamed pear onions...always turkey...never ham....probably couldn't afford it..never watched football (never had tv until I was in jr. high)...we would sit around and talk...Now, I live far from my home town with no relatives around & I have severe RA....my oldest brother visits for 4 months and is here for T'giving and Christmas....it's a long 4 months .....my daughter and her family come for dinner....son and wife always has other plans....I use to go all out but now I'm older and smarter....this year I am having it catered....prime rib...hubby will pick it up on Wed. evening and all I have to do is heat it up..I will add a ham, stuffing, green bean casserole and a pumpkin pie (Mrs. Smith's?) and stuffed mushrooms......In the past few years Betty Crocker, Uncle Ben, Mrs. Smith and the Pillsbury dough boy all have been guests at my table...life is too short to spend it all in the kitchen is my motto.

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    We went to my aunts. They had a nice finished basement. She cooked the turkey and everyone else was assigned something. We used paper plates w/ patterns which was a treat back then. There was a long table and in sat at least 30 w/ a card table(s) for the kids.
    We all dressed up and said grace.
    My aunt passed away when I was about 10.

    Dmom had Thanksgiving and we moved the table into the tiny living rm. It was like a 3 stooges routine. Mom always overcooked the bird and dad cut it wrong. Mom would fuss over my Dhubs and get him coffee. It was nice in our family way.

    We have a dinner in whatever clothes we have on. I cook a turkey. Make boxed stuffing,buy pies and whip creme. And make mash potatoes. We drink sparkling cider. The dishes get done when they get done. We watch sappy shows,
    This year Ds will help cook. Dh may be out of town? DD is going to her BF's.

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