Thanksgiving Now & Then

Thanksgiving is fast approaching here in the United States, magazines filled with recipes and many newspapers articles and the internet bemoaning the opening of stores on Thanksgiving day at 6PM, rather than waiting until “Black Friday” to open their doors.

Growing up we always had “traditional” family gatherings, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents. We alternated years between our home and my Aunt and Uncle’s. As we grew older and both my parents and my aunt and uncle divorced it became a smaller event, but we still made the effort to get together. Then some of us moved too far to travel, and once again the crowd changed and the traditions slipped away. For many years now my husband and I spend the day at home together, and that has become the new “tradition.” This year a neighbor of ours is getting a group of people together for a “Vegan Pot Luck Thanksgiving Brunch” from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, leaving time for people to go wherever they may be going for Thanksgiving “dinner.” It should prove to be an interesting time and certainly something different! My contribution will be a Gluten Free Cranberry Apple Crisp.

Looking through the recipes in a newspaper today I came upon one for mashed potatoes and was immediately transported back in time to my childhood kitchen where my father was always in charge of the mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving. His secret ingredient that made them so light and fluffy and amazing? Mayonnaise. He would add in a few tablespoons and whip the potatoes like crazy by hand. I hadn’t thought of that in years and smiled at the memory. Happy to remember, though feeling a twinge of melancholy knowing the Thanksgivings of my adult years no longer held those same traditions but for the occasional gathering here and there. Life moves on.

24 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Now & Then

  1. I really enjoy when you post those old pictures and it’s even more fun when you show them next to current new which the passage of time. Bittersweet to be sure. I’ll have to try that mayo trick one day…:)

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    • I am glad to hear you enjoy seeing the old pics- I always enjoy seeing other people’s too! I think we can all relate having grown up during the same time period-and yes bittersweet to see the passage of time and those no longer here in the newer photos.

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  2. Such good family memories during Thanksgiving. I can’t think of a time when we didn’t spend it with family either in the Sierra foothills, Portland, Spokane or San Diego. Loved your photos! By the way, I love how you colorized your theme…I have the same one 🙂

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  3. We still pretty much eat the same meal we’ve always eaten. Turkey, bread stuffing, my cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, and whatever green veggie seems to work for the company. Not a big gathering any more. many people are gone or live too far away … and have their own families. But our own little group hangs on in there.

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  4. Thanksgiving has always been a special holiday. It is not tied to any religions, yet it brings us all together to as family. I have many great memories of family gatherings with Turkey as the guest of honor. AS I watch television and read the news, I notice that once Halloween comes, we move, mostly into Christmas advertising leaving Thanksgiving as almost the redheaded step child of Holidays (no offense to Red Headed Step Children everywhere). This is a true shame but boy do I look forward to turkey, stuffing with gravy and all the other fixings.
    Abudanssa as the in-laws say.

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  5. I have had many Thanksgivings since the traditional ones at home with Mom and Dad! And I will tell you… they all are wonderful and am glad we have each other(s) to celebrate with.
    A memory I have is not an old one but a precious one! I was helping my son make Thanksgiving Dinner… but I was on the PHONE telling him what to do or answering any question he might have. Pictures through out the process were sent via smart phone. Thanks for letting me realize how precious that Thanksgiving Day was!

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  6. it’s a little bittersweet to remember… I sometimes cry when I remember this days and see the photos with members of my family who are no longer with me… and it was a little different to wait till my mother and my granny brought the food instead to stay in the kitchen for hours now :o) btw: thanks for the trick with the mayonnaise, think we will try it :o)

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