Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving in the 60's/70's and Now!

Thanksgiving is a holiday I joyfully embraced coming to live in the USA. In the 60’s/ 70’s we alternated spending Thanksgiving with two families celebrating in each others homes. We would pack up the kids and drive to Long Island our friends would come to Iowa or Connecticut respectively.

1974 Thanksgiving is sort of a blur. We had moved to Bethany and besides cooking our Thanksgiving meal I also cooked some side dishes for clients. We still were not quite settled.

1975 was a very sad Thanksgiving. We all struggled with Marc’s illness (cancer) and though we all were hopeful it would stay in remission, it was not to be. Marc’s Birthday is November 20th and I decided to do a very special romantic dinner just for the two of us. It was the last such dinner we had.

This Thanksgiving I call Sonoma County home. Actually for the last 13 years I have entertained my family and a neighbor who has no family close by for a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner. Not all my children and family can be here every Thanksgiving but the consistent ones are Heidi, Rodmond and Neal when he lives in town such as now. Walter and family live in Boise Idaho. No visit this year. Steven and family reside in England. He and his family visit about every 3 to 4 years. Paul’s family lives in Phoenix and Connecticut and Paul himself lives in LA.

I am grateful to have family that cares and loves their Mom. I am also fortunate to have a home in beautiful Sonoma County. Semi retiring here almost 14 years ago with the help of my son Rod was a smart move on my part.

I have made good friends and a very special friend named Josie. I also worked during my first few years here. Now I take on a spotter project or write a training manual for a Hotel Restaurant’s when needed.

This Thanksgiving let us all be grateful for our families and friends and neighbors. Pray for peace in the world and prosperity for all.

It wouldn’t do without a recipe for Thanksgiving from my portfolio. This is my maternal Grandmothers red cabbage recipe:

Red Cabbage

4 quarts water
1 large red cabbage or 2 small ones
1 apple
1 onion
2 strips of bacon (fat from a goose, duck or chicken is even better)
Red wine Vinegar to taste
Sat and Pepper to taste
Sugar to taste

Remove outer leaves from cabbage and remove the core. Chop cabbage into medium to small pieces. Rinse; in a large pot put the water the cabbage, apple and onion with salt and pepper and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer about 30 minutes. Drain, set aside. In the same pot fry the bacon or melt down the duck/chicken fat on medium high heat. Remove the bacon strips. Set aside; now add the cabbage to the fat and stir for about 5 minutes of and on. Add some vinegar and sugar, (start with ¼ cup vinegar and 4 tablespoons of sugar). Stir and taste after a few minutes off cooking. Increase the vinegar and sugar to your taste; simmer cabbage for about 10 more minutes.

Makes 10 to 12 servings

Here is our Thanksgiving Menu, it has not changed except for few updates this year, this is one holiday when I do follow everyone’s tradition. The family expect it, ha, ha.

 Thanksgiving Menu 2011
Crudities with smoked salmon and onion dip
Cold boiled Shrimp with a horseradish dip

At the Table:
Clear Mushroom Soup

From the Buffet:

Turkey basted with Herb Butter and lemons/oranges stuffed cavity
w/ Mushroom Turkey Gravy

Turkey Sausage Stuffing

Grandmother Schweders Red Cabbage
Brussels Sprouts with Capers and roasted Almonds
Green bean casserole
Mashed Yams with blue cheese and Pecans

Mashed Potatoes

Dinner rolls

Cranberry Relish

Dessert:     Pumpkin Pie and Apple Grape Pie