Thanksgiving vagabonds head home…dragging their food with them…

This Thanksgiving I am doing something I haven’t done in years and years….I’m going home…to Alabama. I know many of you will find that odd, if not unbelieveable, that we’ve never gone back for Thanksgiving. But when the kids were younger, we always wanted to be home for Christmas, and it was just too hard, and too expensive to try and do both. But this year, we’re on the road down south.

My sister called and asked did we have any favorite dishes, so she and my other sister wouldn’t leave anything out. So sweet to ask, but as I told her…we have been Thanksgiving vagabonds for so long…we haven’t been able to latch onto anything really…something we can’t live without. The various Thanksgivings we have had(not in any particular order of preference): cooking at home, driving to Pennsylvania for dinner in a restaurant and staying at an awful cabin in the woods(we also got lost on the way to dinner-big argument best forgotten), driving to Philly(parade and dinner in restaurant), driving to NYC(dinner in restaurant and Macy’s parade), dinner at friend’s house, dinner at a restaurant here in Baltimore…..and so on, and so on. We’ve done just about every variation you can think of,  except Thanksgiving on a cruise ship(an idea for next year?).

So this year we will meet my sisters and some various members of their familiesnot everyone can make it, of course…my nephew has new baby twins in Florida, my son and the lovely Jennifer will be in Pittsburgh…but my daughter is going(hurray!!) and other nieces and nephews and kids will be there…and I can’t wait. Seriously. Can. Not. Wait.

Love Smith Island Cake with Reece's Cups!

In the spirit of carting food across the country with me… because as my husband says, “There won’t be any food where we’re going, of course“….funny…I am picking up a Sugarbaker’s Smith Island Cake. It’s one of my faves, made with Reece’s Cups in the icing( so incredibly decadent and delish)…and it will also be my younger sister’s birthday cake, which we will celebrate that day.

Jan was born the day before Thanksgiving..about 6 weeks early…how inconvenient is that?! And as dinner for all the cousins was to be at our house(for reasons unknown to me my pregnant Mother was hosting everyone), the turkey was in the freezer and forgotten in the rush to get to the hospital. We were shuttled off to my aunt and uncle’s house where we were served ham sandwiches…with ketchup on them. I’ve never forgotten the culinary horror of not wanting to eat them, as we did NOT put ketchup on our ham sandwiches. My uncle said, “I guess you’re just too excited to eat, right?” We nodded yes…polite(starving) southern girls to the end.

Ah, memories of Thanksgiving rarely looked like this!

And in the spirit of nostalgia, I’m fixing something my late Mother always called “Cowboy Dinner“….perfect for the cook in a hurry.  She would brown some hamburger meat, saute green pepper and onion, then add some pork and beans(maybe a little ketchup and mustard for seasoning?)….and voila…Cowboy Dinner. As kids, we loved it. As adults, it will be interesting to see what we think today of this childhood memory. Or maybe I’ll fancy it up a bit(who knows?).

Here’s wishing  all of you have a lovely holiday…that you have either family or friends with whom to share a meal…and if it’s just you…cook yourself something extra nice. Be nice to Uncle Joe, even when he says something truly jack-ass, laugh at Aunt Mary’s story you’ve heard a thousand times…Oh, and come home safe, ’cause we miss you!


3 Responses

  1. You can never go wrong with a Smith Island cake. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  2. OK, Donna, guess I had better get the green cloth out of the bag designated for the thrift store. I had cleaned out the hall closet & “found” a green tablecloth; cannot remember where it came from, do not remember buying it. But the picture looks so pretty & I have a set of candlesticks made from fenceposts (that I had considered putting in the bag as well) but alas, they are being rescued. Hope you had a good time with the family. Say hello to Rob, several classmates have asked about him. Donna in Mobile,Al

  3. Good girl Donna….I hope the table turned out well!! What is your maiden name??(for Rob)

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