Thanksgiving Dinner with Pretty – 2022


“Do these need to be cooked, like really cooked?” Pretty asked as she took the three large catering size aluminum pans from our fridge Thanksgiving afternoon. She placed the pans on top of our stove – they were so big they covered the top. I had come into the kitchen to help because I was really hungry. Old people like to eat their noon meal at noon, and it was already 1:30 by the time the pans, which were to be our meal, were rescued from the fridge. We both stared at the contents: dressing, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese.

“I think they might need to be cooked,” I answered. “I can’t believe there were no instructions for people like us.” People like us meaning those who never cooked anything except breakfast with a menu of grits and toast. White bread toast.

“Oh, wait!” Pretty exclaimed. “I think they gave me a sheet of paper when they handed the pans to me, but I left it in the car.” She promptly turned and hurried to the car, returning with an 8 x 11 sheet of typewritten Thanksgiving Dinner Cooking Instructions. The word microwave wasn’t mentioned anywhere which meant we were in trouble.

Macaroni & CheesePreheat oven to 350. Loosen foil cover. Bake 15-20 minutes covered, then remove foil and allow to finish cooking another 20-30 minutes, until bubbly. If macaroni looks dry during cooking, add a little milk and stir.

Uh, oh, I thought as I mentally calculated the nearly an hour amount of time required to cook the mac and cheese. Hm. Dressing cooking instructions were actually a few minutes longer than mac & cheese which left us with mashed potatoes as our only hope for something quick. (Why just three choices? Because we are going to a Friendsgiving the day after Thanksgiving and we were assigned to bring the “sides.”) To Pretty who is a pescaterian the word “side” is a synonym for carbs, although I was asked if these three sounded good. I was quick to say yes; I liked everything.

I made a spur of the moment decision to work on the mashed potatoes because they offered an option to be removed from the aluminum pan and heated thoroughly on the stove top in a different pan. So we took three spoonfuls of mashed potatoes from the huge aluminum pan and put them in a pot on a large burner on top of our stove. I tried to speed up the cooking process (remember I was the one who was already starving) by adding a splash of half n half. Pretty came up with the idea to add butter, but she added so much butter I thought I should add more half n half to counteract it. Which I did. Unfortunately, by the time we finished adding things, we ended up with potato soup.

Pretty grated cheddar cheese for me to add to the smashed potatoes because she knew I loved all things cheddar cheese. She heated the gravy the Cafe had supplied and added to hers. Delicious. Not exactly what we had expected, but an important lesson for our Friendsgiving contribution. We will definitely need to get started much earlier on the sides than we originally thought…plus beware tampering with the cooking instructions.

*************

Our granddaughters were with us the day before Thanksgiving when we drove up to Pretty’s antique empire in Little Mountain to meet Ella’s favorite Aunts Darlene and Dawne. We had a wonderful family time together with lunch in the Cafe and shopping in Pretty’s booths before we loaded up our aluminum pans in the grannymobile for the short trip home. Dawne always captures the fun with her camera, and I would have added her fab pictures if only I knew how to send photos from my new iPhone. Will add later!

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in family life, Humor, Life, Personal, Random, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is, The Way Life Should Be and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Thanksgiving Dinner with Pretty – 2022

  1. Wayside Artist says:

    It sounds like a darn good Thanksgiving lunch and pre- turkey day visit to me. I’m making mine now on Black Friday evening. I left the family festivities early yesterday, right before supper, as I had an hour drive south over country roads and will turn into pumpkin soup if I’m not home before dark. Night comes early up North in November.

    Poppy and Ludo are enjoy the fragrance of roasted turkey and chestnut stuffing, the sum total of our feast. I’m too tired to tackle sides. It’s an Old Biddy Thanksgiving!!

    Have a happy weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I so totally get not wanting to get home after dark thirty! Night comes early here, too.
      I know Poppy and Ludo are loving the odors from the kitchen – I have never tasted chestnut stuffing – is it okay to roast chestnuts before Christmas? Just kidding.
      I would love to taste anything you make!
      If only we could ship you some of our leftover “sides.”
      I hadn’t heard Old Biddy in a long time, but I can tell you I am definitely in the category…you always bring a smile to me.
      Wishing you good memories tonight.
      Love and hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wayside Artist says:

        Ha! Maybe next year I can ship you turkey and stuffing and you the baked mac and mash to me. What a good use of our rickety mail system. The chestnuts come pre-roasted in a bag. Ya gotta love modern conveniences.
        Stay safe. Sounds like heavy rain is rolling in sometime this weekend. We should get it later Sunday. At least it’s not snow – yet.
        Love you both very much.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like the purrfect dinner…we love butter😹Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Sheila! Double Pawkisses for a Happy Week ahead🐾😽💞

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, hem… A hungry person leaving prep until 1.30? Glad your new creation was lovely, even if not what intended 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Luanne says:

    Haha, I’m glad you made a funny Thanksgiving memory!!! I read one online the other day that was good. People walked back into the kitchen after Thanksgiving dinner. The dinner was on the counter, and they saw a black tail sticking out of the turkey. Their cat had CRAWLED INSIDE the turkey hahaha. So glad you could spend the time with your loved ones this past week.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I got a good chuckle from all of this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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