It’s a far cry from the Thanksgivings of my youth when both sides of my family would descend on my parents’ home, grandparents, aunts, uncles, complete strangers, priests, nuns, and we’d somehow fit around the dining room table. I had the hated task of getting all the chairs. Sometimes we had to sit on the radiator it was so crowded. My mother would be up at 5 in the morning making the dinner. Her back to us at the stove as we came down for breakfast, making stock, peeling potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, chopping the gizzard. I don’t recall that anyone every brought anything. Maybe pies. I don’t know how she did it. It was hard enough for 3.
All of my sisters were otherwise engaged this year so it was just me and mom. I invited my friend Judy, recently relocated from Portland. Making just enough for 3 is a lot harder than you’d think. Everything was pretty much right off my mom’s playbook. Green beans and mushroom casserole, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy and pecan/pumpkin pie. The latter was not anything my mother ever made. In fact, until I had the idea to make it and googled it, I didn’t realize it existed. The weak link was the turkey. I don’t know how you ruin turkey but I did. It was just plain nothing. The green bean casserole made up for it.