Thursday, December 3, 2015

Remembrance of Thanksgiving's Past...

By: James H.Williams

I remember turkey with cornbread stuffing, ham with pineapple slices cooked on top, collard greens, green beans, macaroni and cheese, candied yams, homemade rolls, cranberry sauce, and gravy.  Dessert was homemade sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie with roasted marsh mellows, lemon meringue pie with graham cracker crust, dark chocolate cake, and last, but certainly not least, to wash-it-all down good ole homemade kool-aid. It was all so yummy, ready for seconds!

Now the key questions are, have we or are we losing the traditions of cooking these delicacies, handed down from the past?  If you are a baby boomer, and your grandparents or parents didn’t learn these truths about this kind of down-home Southern cooking that was taught by the elders, perhaps these cooking traditions did not transfer to you. If you are the part of Generation X or a Millennial, I don’t know if you desire to know or care.  These savory delicacies were not in the best interest of your waistline or health, but no one ever seemed to care!  And is was NOT made with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but good ole Crisco Oil, or lard. With kool aid on the list, the sugar consumption today would be a definite “no-no”.

While having this sacred meal, the children were at a small table and the adults the adult table, where they told many stories about relatives, their children and all of the current events. There was no shortage of laughter…. For it was in abundance! A certain respect accorded the elders who would have blessed the table before hand. The men would either sneak outside to have a drink of the “hard stuff” wrap in a small brown paper bag.  No hard liquor was allowed in the house, and this rule was not flexible, or you might get broken.

After the meal, some folks would then get ready to play games or watch sports. The games of those times were bid-whist, board games like Monopoly, dominoes, and, of course, watching football, would now pass the time away.  When music played, R&B of course, and after a few drinks, many danced without a care in the world. The women gossiped, the children tried to listen in, and the Thanksgiving tradition as it was known, continued.

After great fellowship, lots of laughter, so much fun, great eating, your favorite team winning or losing the football game; it’s now time to call it another grand, traditional Thanksgiving party.  The folks are now in the kitchen preparing the food to go. I can hear them now: "Don’t you forget to take some of that sweet potato pie home and get some of that ham too.”