Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Past

Thanks to my blogging friend over at Reel Focus, I am able to recall a Thanksgiving from the past that always makes me chuckle and gag a little.  I'm sure everyone has funny stories from holidays past but this one always comes to mind first.
My favorite story is the year we spent Thanksgiving dinner at my then brother-in-law's house some 20+ years ago. He cooked a beautiful bird and the family all brought the trimmings. We ate and ate, watched football and went home. The next day, he kindly invited us over to eat leftovers. 
A little background on my first hubby's family. They love to eat. My
mother-in-law, may she rest in peace, was a fabulous cook and my
f-i-l was a cook in the army. They knew how to feed people and
with 6 kids, that skill came in handy. When I met my
first husband, they were always trying to feed me as I
was underweight scrawny and didn't quite fit in. I literally
learned how to eat and cook better because of them. I
learned how to throw things together, how to store food and how
to feed a crowd. There was never a time when I would go to
their house and not find something sitting on the stove
to eat. With a large family, sitting together for dinner was
impossible but it was comforting to know I could go there and
be fed. Oh, how I miss that lovely red-headed
woman who was my second mom.
Fast forward to the day after t-day at my brother-in-law's place. The weather in Fairbanks was probably right at minus 20 degrees F and he always had the wood stove stoked. He loved keeping his house right at 78 to 80 degrees. The day after t-day was no different. We arrived and settled in to visit and munch on leftovers. He had left the turkey out on the stove (covered, of course) overnight and I remember thinking it looked a little bubbly but I was too young to know what that meant.
Do you see where I'm going here?
We enjoyed all the leftovers, great conversation, played cards and poker and then headed home to nestle into our beds.
The next day, my then-hubby and I woke up sicker than sick. We didn't really put it all together until we started calling other family members.  My poor brother-in-law wasn't going to take the blame but when the dogs displayed the same exact symptoms, there was no denying we had food poisoning. And ohhhhh were we sick!
While it wasn't all that funny then, we often referred to it later on in situations where we were going to be spending holidays at his house. We were always careful to rib him gently about it ... he was a little sensitive.  I am continually amazed by the events in my life that stick in my mind.  I can still see that bird bubbling in the roaster as clear as that day so long ago. We're lucky we didn't all end up in the hospital!
How about you? What stories do you have from holidays past that need telling? 
Don't let your memories go untold.
love, susan


  1. Happy Thanksgiving ! and lovely memories you shared here of your bro-in -law's misadventures ! Yes, memories shouldn't go untold/unshared...
    We do not have thanksgiving but I do remember we have a festival where we stay up late outside our homes...roasting and cooking chicken in a hole that we dig up on the grounds and then put branches and twigs to light fire...this festival occurs in winters...this time around , I won't be able to share with my parents who will be celebrating alone in their hometown.
    take care,

    1. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Oh I do hope the next time you have festival that you will take photos and blog about it. I'll bet it's a wonderful tradition just like our Thanksgiving day.

  2. I keep thinking about your blog post, and I've scanned my holiday memories but cannot recall any tainted with food poisoning. I have experienced food poisoning, though, from fish sticks ordered at a skanky cafe when I was a sophomore in high school. At first I thought I would die. Then I worried I wouldn't.

    1. Haha! That's exacatly how our entire family felt after the leftover fiasco ... "somebody please just kill me". The truly funny part of the story was my brother-in-law's denial that it was his fault until his dogs and our dogs got really sick. The truth is, his family was famous for leaving food out on the stove overnight and I'm sure they all have iron stomachs because until then they never ever got sick from food. After all these years, I'm still shy of eating turkey that I don't know much about.

  3. Well next year Susan try learn the name of the turkey before dinner so you know more about it. chuckle chuckle

  4. Oh Susan! Still not a Thanksgiving goes by I do not think about this! My memory is how MUSHY the turkey texture was! Ugh.
    And you were so kind to say he was a "little sensitive" that isn't anything that has changed! But perhaps it's gotten worse.


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