Grandma, Memories, and her Dressing at Thanksgiving


Apple pie

With the holidays coming up, this  brings stress to me this year as it won’t be easy to get out to buy gifts or groceries, but the house will be pretty near darn perfect in cleanliness, since I have been home so much, I am an almost perfect maid!

Along with this, I thought I would mention a little bit about the wonderful holidays I have memories of. Let’s go back in time to when I was a young kid. We would all go to grandma’s house, and at that time, it meant all the families on that side of the family. Cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, brother’s and sisters. There were no excuses as to why someone could not come, it was just a known fact to be there.

Stores were not open, not even gas stations, the world became quiet for one day. The lady of each house would take along at least two side items and so this added to the already wonderful smells when you walked into grandma’s front door. Mmmm, I can still smell the aromas.

All of us kids would go outside and play tag, and run and play. There were no video games or television on. We used our imaginations to have fun. We rode our own bikes our parents brought, or there were always spares to ride.

When mom would open the front door, and yell for us all to come in, we would wash our hands and find our assigned seats at the kids table, and the adults would sit at the grown up table, then some adult would stand up and say a prayer of thanks for our great meal.

Grandma would always make her famous chicken and dressing. She also made fried chicken, and home-made yeast rolls with apricot preserves and lots of melted butter. Along with this she always had peach, and apple ,mincemeat and pumpkin pies, and if we were really good kids, we could have that advance to pie with ice cream on top. There was always a big ham that our uncle would bring and he would slice it and give us each a nice, thick piece, and of course all of us kids fought over the drum sticks and wish bones of the biggest turkey we had ever seen.

There was corn and green bean casserole, and the famous seven layer salad, pickled eggs, lots of sliced cheeses and crackers. A humongous bowl of mashed potatoes with a few lumps in them, and lots of slithering gravy to pour on top, and a big pan of sweet potatoes with lots of brown sugar and marshmallows on it. There were also sliced carrots and bread and butter pickles, red beets, green and black olives, which I always managed to keep going back and snatching another green one.

These were the days, the best of times. Now, today, I have to email my own kids, tell them the date and time of the Thanksgiving meal. Ask them to bring one side dish, and wonder who will and not will show up. Every business in the world seems to be open, so work schedules get in the way, plans with friends by grandchildren are sometimes made, causing some to come, eat and run. I wish I could keep the tradition alive of what was expected and happened so many years ago, but thank goodness I have my memories.

This was my grandma’s favorite recipe for her chicken and dressing, and I still use it today, and now you can try it!

Cook up a whole chicken, cool and de-bone. Put small pieces of chicken in a big bowl, and to this add four to five eggs, and stir. Then cut up  small bits of celery stalks, and add some bits of onion, according to your taste. Next, add one loaf of bread, whole wheat or white, that has been tore up into bite size pieces then salt, pepper, and celery salt, and stir. Next add one can of cream of celery soup and one can of cream of mushroom soup and stir. After all this is nicely stirred together, start adding the chicken broth until you have a nice bowl of bread that holds it shape. Pop into a 350 degree oven for thirty-five to forty minutes.

This was a recipe for a big family of 20 plus. You can down size the ingredients to make it the size you need for your family. This is a simple recipe that is moist and makes you want to go back for more. Easy to make as you can cook up your chicken the day before and store it in the refrigerator. There are so many varieties of dressings out on everyone’s table at this holiday, but I always return to the super good recipe of grandmas.

Thank-you grandma for giving me some of the best memories of my life. Grandma is still alive and kicking and no longer bakes those huge, soft, home-made sugar cookies, and no more pies and big chocolate cakes, and no more dressings. In January, she will be 97 years old and she is now taken care of by a very nice nursing home. She was a hard worker, in her day, a farmer’s wife, killing and cutting her own chickens, butchering their own beef, and eating out of her own garden. We could always count on getting good food at any time of the day or evenings by just visiting grandma. I love you grandma.

23 thoughts on “Grandma, Memories, and her Dressing at Thanksgiving

  1. What a great post of memories. My Thanksgiving has withered away, with one son living on the other side of the country (comes back for Christmas, but can’t do both) and the other son, living 4 hours away, has to work for the whole Thanksgiving weekend. Sigh. Life has certainly interfered with those big old family gatherings!

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  2. Your blog brings back wonderful memories of holidays long ago when I was a child and my mother hosted the big family dinners. Moms been in heaven for 12 years now and holidays will never be the same. But its always nice to have my memories. Bless you Terry and may you and Al have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.

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    • thank you Vickie. Our mom has been in heaven 12 years also, and dad will be gone five years this Christmas. I am happy that I could bring some good memories back to you. We all need them sometimes……

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  3. Great memories, Terry. We didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving in a big way, nor Christmas, for that matter. I am an only child born to older parents whose parents, naturally, were much older too. By 16 years of age I had no more grandparents. But I do remember as a child on Christmas Eve the whole family would gather at my grandmother’s house, not for a meal but for the evening. We drew names for gifts. She died when I was 12, so there were no more family gatherings after that. My other grandparents came for Christmas dinner and Grandma always brought her homemade rolls.

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