Mother and Daddy lived in the Texas Panhandle the first few years of their marriage–a time that brought them 3 children in a row. Dad was the foreman on a ranch near Canyon, and Mother, of course, was at home with the babies. One year at Thanksgiving, she asked Daddy what he wanted for dinner that day–knowing of course, that he would be working, as ranchers and farmers did not get a day off. He responded,
I don’t guess Thanksgiving is any different from any other day.
She made hot dogs. When dad came home for lunch, he looked at them and said,
Well, I don’t guess we ought to eat any better on Thanksgiving, but I figure we ought to at least eat as good.
That story was told over a lot of Thanksgivings over the years, and it was one of our favorite stories. I never knew if there were other words said that day between them, as neither ever said, and no one ever asked. I do know that from the time I can recall as a child, after every single meal, Dad would say, “I enjoyed my supper. Thank you.” Even if he did not, and even if we all knew he did not. He said it politely, with no hint of irritation or sarcasm. He said it until the day he was no longer able to get to the table and became bedfast. By then, Mom was not doing the cooking anyway.
At some point after we moved to Mississippi I quit making special dinners for holidays. Most of the time, one or both of us was in Texas, and the other was here, or if we were here, we just did not feel the need to make a lot of food for the 3 of us. Rather like Dad, I began to think that food-wise, there was no particular reason to gorge on a lot of food that was not necessary, and especially with no family or friends here. On the one occasion a friend was here for Thanksgiving, I did indeed make a traditional turkey dinner…on the barbeque grill when the electricity went out a nano second after I put the turkey in the oven.
Yesterday, I made green beans, mashed potatoes, an apple skillet cake, and a Kentucky ham, with a honey glaze using the honey from Morgan Freeman’s bees over in Charleston, Mississippi. It was a gift to me a couple of years ago from my colleague who is his good friend. J, who does not really care for ham other than on a sandwich, asked what was for dinner and when I told him, he said,
It’s not honey baked is it?
I said no, but I had glazed it lightly with honey from Morgan Freeman’s bee farm….which of course led to the question,
And why do you have honey from Morgan Freeman and why does he have a bee farm?
And now, I am moving far afield from the story of Thanksgiving past and the hot dogs. However, I did ask Randy on Monday what he wanted for dinner, turkey or hot dogs. Knowing the story, he said,
Turkey hot dogs!
I opted for neither.