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Thanksgiving Memory

A story by Elsie Johnson



We always had the typical Thanksgiving dinner at our home in Iowa. However, this particular year Dad announced he was going pheasant hunting in Northern Iowa with friends and that we would have pheasant instead of turkey. Dad was a good marksman and indeed he brought home pheasants not only for us but special friends. This was only the beginning. Dad could shoot a bird but couldn’t stand to de-feather and clean the bird. Needless to say my mother took over this job. She not only had to prepare the bird but pick out all the buckshot that was in the flesh of the bird. I think it was during one of these preparation times I observed is when I became a vegetarian. We had a large dining table but Mom always added the extra leaves. One obstacle was she only had two table clothes to fit the larger table. She would announce If anyone spills on the cloth, they have to cover it with a silver coin. We were careful! Our menu always was dressing, mashed potato, green beans, creamed onions which I still love and parsnips which I hated. Also cranberry sauce, biscuits, pumpkin pie and my Dad’s favorite mincemeat pie. Mom would always invite some of the school teachers if they were alone – of course we hated that. One Thanksgiving we had apple pie so mom sent Dad to the grocery store to buy cheddar cheese to serve with it since the teachers were guests. He came back with baloney – he said he couldn’t remember what she wanted. Believe it or not she served the pie with baloney so we all go a big laugh – except Dad! I tried to keep Thanksgiving dinner with the same menu in my household. However, I never had pheasant or apple pie with baloney.

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  Perry, Iowa
Jun 16 2024


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