A typical Thanksgiving Day when I was growing up back in the ‘40’s in Philadelphia was always busy, lovingly so. My whole family would take part in the celebration. It was much like Sunday dinners on steroids. Our family was not rich by anybody’s standard, but mom always managed to put food on the table and I don’t remember us ever going hungry.
Our family was huge. At the time I am going to tell you about there were six sisters, one brother and mom and dad living in that two bedroom, two story, row house at 1315 Napa Street in South Philadelphia. And we all got along beautifully.
We younger children would make the Kool Aid, set the table and run the errands for anything forgotten at the last moment. My two older sisters helped Mom with the cooking. Evelyn, the eldest, made the best sweet potato pies in this whole world. Rickie, the second eldest (I was next) made the tastiest collard greens that would melt in your mouth and rolls (from scratch) that did the same. Of course, there were all the other succulent dishes to fill out the meal, but Mom was in charge of the turkey. And believe me, she did just that. I can still smell that bird baking overnight (remember, this was the 1940’s and that is how some of us cooked back then).
I still don’t know how Mom made it taste and look so good, I have tried to duplicate her masterpiece, but I have never even come close. She would rub her special herbs, spices and butter, yes, butter in and on the turkey before she placed it in the oven full of her special bread stuffing which was a meal in itself.
Aside from the meal and the busyness, was the conversation, the family comradery and the love throughout the house and finally around the table as Dad said Grace and we all took turns thanking God for all our blessings.
I get such a warm feeling when I remember those days and I am so grateful that we all took advantage of them to the fullest.
On this Thanksgiving Day, I wish memories like that for everyone who reads this. God Bless us all. I am ever so grateful and thankful for all that God has allowed me to experience through the people He has brought into my life.
Always with love,