Thursday, 08 November 2018 17:09

Food And Family

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My mother was not a good cook. That is why I am very skilled at going out to eat. My family loved going to the diner, especially on Friday nights when my mother and grandmother got their hair done. Since they didn’t get done at the beauty parlor until after 8pm, we loved going to a place that had a lot of food to feed several hungry O’Connells with very good looking hair on two of them! I didn’t know my mother wasn’t a good cook until I had dinner at my friend Nancy’s house and discovered how food is supposed to taste.

My family had some food traditions around Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving morning always smelled like onions and bacon sizzling together while Grangree put together her stuffing. Before dinner, my mother served frozen shrimp cocktails that came in packages of three, sold in glass jars. That was how we got our supply of juice glasses for the year. Mom didn’t always defrost the shrimp cocktails before she served them, so it was like eating a shrimp popsicle.

My mother’s most controversial Thanksgiving tradition was creamed onions. Her cooking them was controversial because every year we complained and didn’t eat them, and every year she made them anyway. She explained “my grandmother made them and my mother made them, so I make them.” Long after Grangree and my mother had passed away, I continued to make creamed onions at Thanksgiving, until my friend Dennis asked one year “why do you make them if nobody ever eats them?” That was the last Thanksgiving I made creamed onions.

Thanksgiving is at my house again this year, as most holidays are with the mix of friends I call my “framily.” We’ll have our traditions of turkey and cranberry orange relish. I have made sure someone is bringing corn pudding: a food tradition I never heard of until two Thanksgivings ago, but now I must have. We will have pumpkin and pecan pies from MANNA. This year we’ll have a vegan fruit pie as well, since some of the framily follow plant-based diets. Most of all, we will share food and laughter and gratitude for being together on this very special day.

(And later we’ll watch The National Dog Show on TV!)

Read 36 times Last modified on Thursday, 08 November 2018 17:13
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