Family Dinners · NaBloPoMo · thanksgiving stories

Ghosts of Thanksgiving Past

My grandmother was a wonderful cook. She made these dishes that were phenomenal and got me the, pickiest eater in the house, to chow down. For some reason, this particular Thanksgiving, my Grandmother had turned the reigns over to my mother. Why? I still don’t recall. It could have been because my grandmother was ill, which I doubt. I had witnessed with my very own eyes this woman take care of an entire family even though she had Shingles. More than likely, my mother had gotten a wild hair up her butt, decided to cook and wore my grandmother down until she relented.

My grandmother, being the woman that she was, was not just going to sit by and watch. She stayed in the kitchen and monitored the turkey and other dishes because my mother was not a good cook. In her defense, she didn’t have to be, we lived with my grandmother. My mother was Andrew Zimmern of the family and this Thanksgiving she wanted to make some new dishes that we had never had before. Don’t bother asking what they were because I don’t remember eating them, I knew better. I stuck to the stuff Grandmom had supervised, I valued my health.
Everything seemed to run like clockwork and we all sat down at the table ready to eat. The table was laden with turkey and gravy, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green beans, a preposterous amount of dinner rolls, canned cranberry sauce and a red gelatinous substance that my mother called homemade cranberry sauce. Immediately, the smell hit us. Something was off, something smelled bad and it was coming from the table. My mom and grandmother sniffed around, found what they thought was the culprit and removed it from the table. We still continued to smell it. It couldn’t be the turkey, God we hoped it wasn’t the turkey.  My grandmother tasted it, declared it edible and a sigh went up from the table. We were all skittish and we carefully tasted every dish to make sure it was okay but the smell still lingered. The homemade cranberry sauce had been trashed. I highly doubt that my grandmother was sorry to see it go.
We continued to eat and fight over dinner rolls as was tradition, my cousin never having enough. Then suddenly, Eureka! Halfway through the meal my brother stretched out his feet only to be met with something squishy. Our dog had taken a massive dump under the table. That was smell. Even though it wasn’t her fault, my mother was never allowed to make Thanksgiving dinner again.


20 thoughts on “Ghosts of Thanksgiving Past

  1. Oh my gosh I can't stop chuckling over this! My Thanksgivings weren't nearly so entertaining. Hope you have a good one this year, too, but minus the dog poop.


  2. I transferred the Thanksgiving dinner to my son 5 years ago. I realized I didn't want to do it any more. Actually, I realized I didn't want to cook at all. Ever. Again. I've been doing for a family for 48 years and one day, I was overcooked. My son is not a great cook, but he could be worse. I get the pleasure of being a watcher and doing commentary without the hard labor. I still, however, retain the honor and privilege of paying for the meal. Some things never change.


  3. ha… a few years back while everyone was in the living room with snacks etc, the dogs were in the kitchen… the little one made it up on the counter with the resting turkey and threw pieces down to the big guy who couldn't get up that high! No poop but no turkey either!


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