Herald and Journal
Herald & Journal, November 23, 1998

Oh, how we stuffed ourselves


I remember the great Thanksgiving feasts of my youth.

So much food on the table that it groaned under the weight. It was in danger of collapsing.

Holiday meals were with relatives, rotating host chores between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. The fact that the depression was on and there were hard times made no difference . . . there was plenty of food, much of it home grown.

Let me give you an idea of the menu.

You probably start with a lettuce salad or bowl of soup. Then would start the great "pass-a-round." A big slice or two of turkey (white meat, please), then dressing, then a couple scoops of potatoes. Here comes the candied sweet potatoes, or maybe squash, or both. The gravy boat is next, those hot dinner rolls and the butter to spread on them.

Vegetables would be corn, carrots or peas, or maybe all three. Now the cranberries, either whole or jellied. Some fruit salad, if you have room on the plate. They should have larger plates for holiday meals. You'd clean up your plate and then would be the "pass-a-around" for seconds. After you loosen your belt, you'd stack on the refills. The food would go down a little slower, but you'd force yourself. After all, it's Thanksgiving!

But you're not done yet . . . for here comes the dessert. Your choice of pumpkin pie, apple, mincemeat, lemon or cherry. And that's not all. There's cake, brownies, and pumpkin bars. If you didn't have Jell-O in a salad, you can have it for dessert. There's always room for Jell-O.

What a feast. There'd be enough leftovers to last a week. Everybody would be sleepy after such a feast. Most would take a nap, missing the football game on radio, or as in later years ­ on TV.

Those are great memories of great Thanksgiving feasts of the past. Trouble is, as we grow older our eating habits change. I could never eat like that today. Seconds are mainly a thing of the past.

Might as well go to a family restaurant. But don't go to a buffet. Too many choices ­ turkey, ham, roast beef and a great choice of all the other goodies. But no leftovers, unless you make use of a doggie bag.

Pass the antacid, please.

Don't worry about biting off more than you can chew; your mouth is probably a whole lot bigger than you think.

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