Thanks A Plenty At Our Herb’n Renewal Home!

November 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm Leave a comment

It’s that time of the year. Time for me to bust out the ledger that my mom kept for many years. The reason that I always do it this time of the year is because of childhood memories…fond ones for sure. My mom was an excellent cook. She could take anything and make it taste great. But, she was known for a few things…her souffle like cheesecake, her clam chowder and my favorite…her yams! Now don’t get me wrong, her “bird” came out of the oven crispy, golden brown and full of her wonderful stuffing. Yes, she crammed it into the bird’s butt! But, I couldn’t wait for those wonderful yams to be put on the platter and bowl covered Thanksgiving table.

So, here is the recipe that my mom so lovingly wrote in her ledger before she left us. These are her words and every time I read it, I smile and remember those wonderful Thanksgiving family dinners…liquor and all! lol I hope you enjoy. 🙂

“Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and Aunt Ike asked me to bring the centerpiece. I guess I’ll pull some weeds from the yard and make them look good in a basket. HaHa! We’re going to Jackie and Mel’s, that’s means Italian food and lots of liquor. They are predicting snow. I hope not. Your brother is driving me out there and I know he will drink. Jackie asked me to bring my yams, everyone seems to like them. Here is the recipe if you want it.

 

5 large fresh yams cooked (boil) until tender. Cool and peel the things. Put in bowl and beat with electric mixer. Add ¼ lb. butter melted, ¾ c. brown sugar, 4 eggs, 1 cup evaporated milk. Add 1 tsp of these ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and very little cloves. Beat until smooth. Bake in 11 by 14 aluminum throw away pan (you won’t have to worry about taking the dirty dish home) in a 350 degree oven. When a knife comes out clean yams are done. Top with marshmallows and brown under broiler. Happy Gobble Gobble!”

Trust me mom…everyone liked your yams! 🙂

Before I share this with the internet world, I wanted to tell you about one of my Thanksgiving experiences. Actually it was my very first time cooking for my new husband and two of his Army buddies. The phone lines between Ft. Knox and Long Island were clogged for days with me asking mom how to make everything! She’s a “pinch here and there” type of cook so I had a bunch of notes and I hoped that I knew what a “pinch” meant! I planned a traditional Thanksgiving menu…turkey, stuffing (in the bird), mashed potatoes, mom’s yams, steamed and then quickly sauteed green beans (no casserole for us), creamed pearl onions, store bought you heat’em up dinner rolls and last but certainly not least…the cranberry sauce that slid out of the can with the perfect ridges so that it could be sliced evenly! My perfect first Thanksgiving dinner was about to unfold or so I thought!

I woke up extra early on that fateful Thursday in November…just like my mom did, before dawn. I chopped and sauteed the onions and celery in all of that wonderful butter so that I could add it to the bag of Pepperridge Farm Stuffing Mix. Sorry mom, I had not quite learned the art of bread baking. I know you are all thinking that I am about to tell you that I forgot to remove the giblet bag from inside said bird. Nope, not me…I’m not that stupid! I finished mixing all the goodies for the stuffing and I proceeded to cram it into the butt and Pope’s nose area of the bird. Seen as how this was my first real turkey, I wanted it perfect so I even bought one of those turkey shaped hanging things with little skewers and thread on it…you see them in every grocery store during the holidays but for some reason they disappear afterwards. Hmmmm, wonder why?

I think I know…they do not come with “real” directions! The package just shows you how to “lace up” the bird! Someone should have instructed the cook to stuff the butt area of the turkey with caution! Never mind, I got distracted from the tasks at hand. 🙂 Okay, everything is in place or at least where it should be…I think. We have both buffed and puffed so we are ready for our two Army guests. The trailer (oops, mobile home) smells wonderful. The kitchen/pool table is covered with my grandmothers beautiful crocheted cloth. The pink champagne is cooling in the olive green colored fridge. And, I have a platter of stuffed with Bleu cheese celery, rose cut radishes, carrot sticks and black olives to greet our guests. This is going to be sooooo great! 🙂

The door bell rings and we greet our Thanksgiving Day guests with warm welcomes to our home (trailer/mobile thingie) and show them inside to start savoring the whole experience. Little did they know that it would be a Thanksgiving to remember or maybe one they wanted to forget! Lol

We each had an Army Warrant Officer helicopter pilot Vietnam vet cocktail…a can of beer…while the feast continued to cook. I hope you understand how special this meal had to be. I was cooking for three extraordinary men and they deserved the best! All of a sudden there was a huge pop noise…we all jumped and I swear three of us started to take cover. EEK!

The bomb like noise had come from my oven! 😦 I opened it only to find my beautiful bird plastered all over the top and sides of the oven! OMG, I wanted to cry…I think I did. But what happened next was so remarkable, I remember laughing until I about wet my pants! Lol

Three Army veterans refused to let this new bride have her first Thanksgiving ruined by a blown up turkey. They proceeded to grab their chairs along with their forks and cloth napkins and moved them into a tactical position around the “bird” splattered oven!

God love them for making my Thanksgiving one that I will never forget. BTW, the yams were great! 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving to each and everyone one of you…may you always make memories of this special time of the year, be it be a memorable meal or a funny day that you will cherish for years to come. My special Thanksgiving Day was in 1971 and I will never forget it.

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Entry filed under: cookbook, daily living, Food, heirloom, herbs and spices, musing, recipe, shopping, thinking out loud, Uncategorized.

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