My mom and I had resigned ourselves to Thanksgiving dinner at a local restaurant (we’re both so over cooking holiday dinners), but a lady she sings in the choir with asked us over to eat with them. JH and her husband S moved last year from my mom’s side of town, clear across to the other side of town. My mom had been there once, but not the way we went. Still, she had it plotted out and she came by to pick me up. I took the first batch of snowflakes with me as a hostess gift, and they were a hit.
It was a bit tricky to find their house. Our town is laid out quite logically and typically, on north-south streets, odd house numbers are on the east side of the street, and even house numbers are on the west side of the street. Their street runs north-south and their house number is an even number, so one would expect it to be on the west side of the street. No soap. The houses on the east side predictably had odd house numbers, but there were no houses on the west side of the street. Typically numbered streets have the lowest numbers in the north, and get higher the further south you go. What we didn’t realize was that the crossing street at the end of that block was 1st Street, which is where the system changes. The next cross street going north was 1st Place, followed by 2nd Place, etc., and the numbering system from that point is exactly reversed. When we got into the next block, the houses were still all on the east side of the street, but they had even house numbers in reverse numerical order to the usual “lowest number to the south, highest number to the north” sequence. Fortunately, the house we were looking for was right at that corner, and we’d found it.
It’s a lovely house, somewhat smaller than their previous house, but with nice high ceilings, shutter blinds on the windows, a gorgeous, fully appointed kitchen, and each of the three bedrooms has its own en suite. They’ve accessorized the decor with SH’s antique electronic devices including an old 1920’s pole microphone. (SH is an electrical engineer and has collected all sorts of vintage electronics).
JH is not real into cooking either and has little interest in doing it, especially since her husband S loves to cook and is very good at it. It was he who cooked the luscious spread. He even made the pumpkin pie.
While he cooked, we girls watched “Gone With The Wind” on TV, which was already in progress when we tuned in. My mom saw it on its first run in a theater when she was 12 (it made a huge and lasting impression on her), and she has seen it a gazillion times since. (I’m sorry to say, my mom has completely bought into that whole Cult of the Lost Cause thing which both the book and the film reflect, and can’t understand why they want to take down monuments to Confederate generals, etc. She is scandalized and personally affronted that the name of the high school my dad graduated from was changed because it was named for a member of Jefferson Davis’ cabinet.)(She’s 93. There’s no hope of my enlightening her. I’ve learned to just let sleeping dogmas lie.)
We had a traditional meal — turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, creamed corn , cranberry relish, — except biscuits for bread instead of white rolls. My mom was supposed to bring rolls, but realized at the last minute the frozen rolls she was planning to bring had been in the freezer quite a while and she was no longer confident of their freshness. The frozen biscuits, on the other hand, were recently bought, so that’s what she took. No matter. Bread is bread. It was a very delicious feast.
We had a delightful time with dear friends, and many things to be thankful for.
2 thoughts on “We Were Thankful Clear On The Other Side of Town”
This sounds like a perfectly wonderful Thanksgiving, and the change from rolls to biscuits is one I’d approve. There wasn’t a traditional meal around here, but there was a smoked turkey breast, which turns out to be perfectly satisfactory for sandwiches. It came from a local and award winning smokehouse, too, so that was a plus.
I still remember going to the theater in my Iowa home town to see “Gone With The Wind” with my friends. As I recall, we went six times, which was appropriate, since we were in sixth grade. Of course we all were in love with Clark Gable, and memorized as many lines from the film as the typical “Rocky Horror” fan. Ah, the good old days.
I remember driving from Port Arthur to Houston with my Horizon Club group (Camp Fire Girls for senior high) to see Gone with the Wind in the 1960s after the Vietnam war had started to make the nightly news (1966 – 1968 time frame). When Scarlet was running away from Atlanta and ran through the hospital where all the wounded men were lying on the ground I cried seeing such a graphic vision of what a waste war is. Then Scarlet made it back to Tara and intermission happened. And I despised her by the end of the movie.
My home town had a Robert E. Lee Elementary School. I wonder if it’s still there or has been closed since Port Arthur has 20-30 thousand less people than it did 50 years ago.
Glad your Thanksgiving was a nice one. And having someone else cook it would be heaven. DH and I had thought about going out this year, but my nephew with celiacs flew in from Oregon so we cooked here DH made whole cranberry sauce and hasselback chicken breasts using cornbread dressing that I made and we had enough for a bowl of dressing too. Also had collard greens, sweet potatoes and we cooperated on the pies (I highly recommend Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie crust mix if you ever need to make a gluten free pie.) And we don’t have a tub of turkey meat in the fridge.