Thanksgivings Past; New Jersey
The first the first time I met my little mother-in-law was thanksgiving in my 20’s. We arrived late from Kentucky after a 13 hour drive. She open the door and looked at me and said to her son…”She’s beautiful and look she’s wearing shoes!!!” LOL, I didn’t think we would ever get along, but she ended up being one of my dearest friends her whole life. She was a phi beta kappa and very progressive for a woman who was in her mid seventies when I met her.
However, the dear woman couldn’t cook. My first Thanksgiving at her home consisted of what I called Beef Jerky Turkey, Birdseye baby onions from a bag, pees and carrots from a bag, and stove top stuffing that only had water added. I was in tears. No memories about the dinner only the good company.
The next year I begged her to let me give her a treat, and let me fix Thanksgiving Southern style. I took her shopping and bought the ingredients. The cart was full, she said it looked like I had bought enough to feed a battalion. She almost had a stroke when I told her I cooked the turkey tented all night to keep it moist.
I made home made dressing, green bean casserole, homemade garlic mash potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce, pecan pies and pound cake with caramel sauce. My father-in-law was in heaven. At the end of the meal he said to her he felt it was only fair that I be allowed to cook a Southern Thanksgiving Dinner whenever I visited on the holiday so I could be at home. He looked at me and winked with a big smile on his face. And so that tradition began….A Southern Thanksgiving in New Jersey.