I come from a large family. A really large family. A really large family of incredible cooks. That means that the Thanksgiving meals at my Grandmother’s house were typically large enough to cover 2 good-sized tables, the stove and the counters in the kitchen. We looked forward to that meal all year long.
Now, before you begin to think such abundance was excessive, let me also tell you the following: My mother is one of 10 children. It was an extremely rare holiday when at least 7 of them weren’t in attendance…along with all their children. Each family averaged about 3 kids. My parents were the exception because they usually had about 4 foster kids in addition to their regular three. Several people would bring along additional friends or extended family members. All of that means that lunch for at least 50 was a given for any holiday meal. That amount of food was just plain necessary.
Every family has traditions. In addition to the gathering in and the fabulous food and playing with all of the cousins and the just ‘being together’ of our Thanksgiving Day, we always looked forward to my grandmother’s recitation of her poem that she had learned as a child. To this day, a Thanksgiving holiday is not complete without this poem. Grandmother has been gone for many years, but one of my dear cousins had the foresight to ask Grandmother to write the poem down for her. Thanks to that same sweet cousin, I have a copy of the poem written in my grandmother’s own handwriting and when I read it, I hear her voice. It is, for me, a most precious thing.
I share it with all of you today as a way of sharing those memories…and as a warning. (smile)
I don’t believe in eating much
of turkey, pumpkin pie and such.
It make me dream bad dreams at night
and then, besides, it’s not polite.
So I’m not going to stuff and stuff
and act like I can’t get enough.
For me a turkey leg will do
with just a slice of breast or two,
then some liver, gizzard, and a wing,
Lots of dressing, that’s the thing!
Mashed potatoes to make me grow
Squash and cabbages, they’re fine, you know,
And I must have some cranberries, too,
And layer cake–two pieces will do.
Then of pumpkin pie so yellow–
One piece, because I’m a little fellow.
With nuts and apples I shall quit
and not ask for another bit.
For it isn’t good the doctors say
To eat too much on Thanksgiving Day!