Applesauce cake was always on the menu. There were walnut and pecan trees on our farm, so nuts for the holiday meals were plentiful. The walnuts were cracked and then on cool evenings Momma would sit by the stove in her rocking chair and pick out the walnuts. She would go through them several times to be sure there were just walnuts and no shell. Into a jar they would go and about a week before Thanksgiving she would make the applesauce cake. After it had baked and cooled the cake was wrapped in brown paper and placed in a tin. Not to be opened until Thanksgiving Day.
The next thing that would be done was the rooster would be killed and dressed. Momma actually brined the rooster but she had no idea what she was doing would become something we would do. She would salt brine for a day or two. On Wednesday the rolls would be made and put in the refrigerator to be put down on Thursday morning. Pies were made on Wednesday afternoon, Lemon Meringue, Cherry and coconut.
Thanksgiving morning, Daddy always went hunting and came home with nothing, I think he enjoyed being in the woods and seeing others who were hunting. Momma was up early and the house was smelling so good. The big blue roaster was on the wood stove, the rooster was cooking and Momma was waiting for the broth to finish her dressing (stuffing). What did I want for breakfast? Can I have some dressing when it is ready? Yes. Momma made some of the best dressing I have ever put in my mouth. My sister is peeling potatoes, Momma sends my to basement to get 2 dozen eggs to make deviled eggs. There are jars of canned butter beans on the counter, Momma is opening the canned snaps and chopping up some onions to add to them.
The dining room had been rearranged on Wednesday so there would be extra room at the table. Family is starting to arrive and Momma is in the kitchen , singing and smiling, how she loved having everyone for the holidays. She sent some to set the table, we needed more wood for the stove, I happily went to gather more wood. Our home was busy, happy and excited about the day. Daddy has returned from his hunting trip, empty handed which pleased Momma as there was nothing to be dressed.
I came into the kitchen and Momma was making the gravy, I could see hot rolls being put on a platter. It was time to eat. Momma said to me, "Bootsie, gather everyone up and tell them to come to the dining room so we can have the blessing." Off I went for lunch was not far from being ready. Daddy came into the dining room and looked over the table, he broken into the biggest smile. He just stood, looked, looked, and then he looked so proud. As everyone came in to sit around the table he was gathering his thoughts. Momma would always come and sit for the blessing and then she would be going to the kitchen to replenish the empty bowls. My sister and I would help with this, also.
With the last dish coming from the kitchen Momma sat down, Daddy was almost speechless for some reason. He looked at Momma and said, "Everything on our table except for the baking ingredients, spices and coffee has come from our farm." Now I understood his moment of pride, we were able to raise and store our food. He said to Momma, "You work hard all year long and I must remember to Thank You more than once a year." I will never forget that day, it meant so much to me to have my Daddy realize just what Momma did everyday to take care of our family.
After the blessing, my plate was filled with rooster meat, dressing, a little bit of gravy, butter beans, snaps, creamed potatoes, a deviled egg and lots of pickles. I sure do hope there will be some coconut pie left for me. I know we did not grow the coconut but it sure makes a good pie.
Later in the afternoon when my sister and I were washing all of the dishes, she said to me, "Daddy was pleased with everything today." I was thinking he should be as I think he had two helpings of everything on the table. Followed with a cup of hot black coffee and a slice of applesauce cake and one of cherry pie.
I am proud to say this year we are having some vegetables I grew in the garden here on Triple Creek Farm. We shall have deviled eggs from our girls. I do not think I will ever be able to put the food on the table my momma did from their farm but I am just as proud of what I grow here. This Thanksgiving day I will have to stand back, smile and be proud of my accomplishments here on our little farm.
May each of you have a blessed Thanksgiving and I am so
Thankful I can share my memories with you.