It is hard to believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Where, oh where, has this year gone? It seems like only yesterday it was Thanksgiving 2015. We never went over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house on Thanksgiving although had we gone to my Grandma’s house it would have been across the river as she lived in Dyer across the Arkansas river.
I didn’t know you were suppose to have “TURKEY” for Thanksgiving. In fact I had never tasted turkey until I married into the Hughart family. As Frank was growing up the Hugharts always had a goose for Thanksgiving. (Mama said my Bolin Grandparents also had goose.) Mrs. Hugharts parents came from Germany although she was born in America. She and her Mother went back to Germany when she was a small child. They came back to America when Mrs. Hughart was thirteen. While in Germany her job was to herd the geese. Early each morning she would take the geese to feed on what I presume was like pasture land on a hillside. I don’t know when the Hugharts started having turkey instead of goose for Thanksgiving. I am sure it wasn’t an easy task finding a big fat goose in Greenwood.
When I started doing Thanksgiving Dinner we got our turkey alive from the late Jack Efurd. You couldn’t go to the store and buy one ready to cook. We always took the late Johnnie Bell to get our turkey and one for her. She is the one who killed the turkeys. We would hang them live on the clothesline, in a flour sack with their heads sticking through a hole in the bottom. Johnnie would take a knife and cut their heads off. I did the rest of the work but I can tell you I never cut the heads off. No way! Even if it was freezing cold out I would scald the turkey in hot water, lay it on an over turned #3 tub to pick off the feathers. It was a full day’s job, going after the turkey, then cleaning it. How wonderful it is to go to a store, pick out the size you need with no picking off of feathers. I will say the store bought ones don’t taste as good as a good fresh one you do yourself. I will say, also for the
difference in the taste I’ll take the store bought ones.
As I was growing up I can’t remember it being such a big day. It was more like Sunday dinner. We had baked hen or most of the time baked guinea. We had never heard of Cranberry Sauce but we had wild plum jelly with our dressing which tasted mighty good.
When we had Thanksgiving and Christmas at the Hugharts, the men were fed first, then the kids, with the women eating last. It was always that way. After dinner the men would take off quail hunting. At that time there were no TV’s so there was no football games except the big game between Greenwood and Mansfield. The biggest and most important game of the year for both Greenwood and Mansfield.
This year Bob and Connie are doing the meal. All I have to do is show up. What a blessing. As I think about my life I know I have so much to be thankful for.