The Ghost of Thanksgiving Past:
Oh the Memories, the Mishaps…
Our fearless Nevins Library staffers have kindly contributed stories of past Thanksgiving mishaps, so if your Thanksgiving isn’t up to Norman Rockwell standards, have no fear — you are not alone!
Many years ago, when I was a child, we had the Thanksgiving to remember or more specifically the day after…but not necessarily in a good way.
Mom had prepared the penultimate Thanksgiving dinner for the family. Everyone was there, inlaws, outlaws, cousins and grandparents. She and my dad had spent the better part of the early morning hours making the special stuffing and preparing the bird for its fate in the oven. As was her custom, my mom had prepared all the vegetables the night before so they just had to be cooked at the proper time. All the best china had be set on the table and everything was ready for serving. The family gathered at the table and enjoyed a wonderful meal, kids in the kitchen and adults in the dining room. We were happy to be there and before long filled with the flavors of the season.
After dinner, it was time for football., As always the Lions were playing and the men were enjoying some tv time and nap time as I recall. The women were in the kitchen, taking care of all the chores of cleaning up and saving leftovers. Mom was anticipating a soup the next day and of course we were all salivating over the prospect of the best part of Thanksgiving, the sandwich the next day. Since the fridge was already full, mom decided that the bird and some of the stuffing would just be ok on the screen porch for the night. The day drew to a close and we looked forward to a Friday holiday with yummy leftovers.
During the night the entire family was awakened by the clamor of screen ripping and doors slamming and dogs growling and barking. The leftovers were gone, everything…bird, stuffing, even some leftover gravy still in the pot. It was obvious by the footprints on the floor that our sandwiches were not going to happen, and neither was the soup. A bunch of neighborhood dogs had made it clear that the screen porch was not the place for storing leftovers and they made a clean or not so clean get away with all our leftover Thanksgiving meal. Thus started the tradition of Chinese food on the day after the holiday. But I never forgot the look on my mom’s face or the words that came out of her mouth as the pack of hounds tore off down the street with gravy dripping from their paws and a turkey carcass in their mouths’.
Remember this caution….secure your leftovers….you never know who might need a sandwich in the middle of the night!
∼ Kirsten, Department Head of Reference Services