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Thanksgiving in America

Celebrated on the Last thursday in November

This is a letter from my mom;  Its good for understanding
how Thanksgiving is celebrated in America, Specifically in
The Southern States.  Also, good practice with the future tense...
...Some is just 100% my mom.

Good morning,

'As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.' John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Happy Thanksgiving Huson. I expect living in Japan, that this special US day comes and goes and is remembered fondly by expatriates. Is there a restaurant that cooks a turkey for homesick Americans?

I thought I'd share with you the plans for the next two days so you can vicariously share them. Today, Wednesday, I hope to be released early (that's what the government call it: early relaease...it dates from the military roots of the agency. Today it sounds like we are confined and someone is springing us early.) If and when we do get permission to leave, I will go by and see Mom. She is doing well, cheerful and in some ways more alert than in the past. She knows Elsie is gone but its hard to remember because she has no tangible experience to relate too... no funeral service, etc.

Anyway, after visiting Mom I will return home and begin Thanksgiving preparations. Wes will bring the extra leaf down for the table and we will get the pads on the table and the tablecloth. I will use the White one, and save the green for Christmas.

Then I will polish the silver, prepare the sweet potatoe casserole and check out the Turkey.

The turkey. My Cook's magazine did a study of fresh and frozen turkeys and various ways of preparation. I will follow their instructions carefully. It turns out the very best Turkey is a frozen butterball turkey. This is because it is brined, a process of soaking meat and poultry is a salt and sugar water that through the chemical cell reaction infuses the meat with more moisture without adding salt. (What I like about Cook's is that they tell you why a procedure works at the chemical level. Their articals on protein behavior in different kinds of flour is fascinating. They have a web site if you're interested.)

Then I will fix a 'picnic' dinner of mac & cheese, ham, cole slaw and deviled eggs to take over to Suzanne and Wes as they revel in their new house. This will be accompanied by a bottle of sparking Syraz they brought back from Australia.

Back home, I will set the table with my new China. Then I will make a cranberry compote from a recipe in Gourmet magazine.

Thanksgiving will dawn lovely and so forth. The sausage and chestnut dressing will be prepared by Suzanne and I as we conduct the annual turkey dance. Then potatoes will be peeled etc. She is preparing a sauage, egg and cheese casserole for brunch. It sounds like the dish we used to have at church youth group gatherings.

A few trips to the new house will be made. Peggy, Ralph and Margartet will come by to see the house. Loads of stuff will be transported. The Macy Day Parade will be on the TV. A football game will be watched.

Dinner will be around 6. Peggy and Ralph, Margaret, Robert and Thomas, Wes and Suzanne and your Dad and I will gather to give thanks for an incredible year. What blessings our family has experienced. We will all miss your presence. But you will be there in spirit.

Dessert will be a pumpkin pecan pie and an Apple pie with a walnut oatmeal topping. Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream available. (Your Dad is making the Apple pie.)

I am off on Friday, so the cleanup and so forth will be leisurely.

SO that is how the two days will go. I am a little overwhelmed by everything that has gone on this year. YOu off to Japan for a whole year, graduations, weddings, bar exams, Elsie, Winston, new furniture, wow. Did I tell you we ordered a Bergleman table and chairs for the kitchen? We have toured the factory and dreamed of having a piece of his handmade furniture, so with Suzanne taking the (kitchen)dining room table and chairs, the opportunity was here and we took advantage of it.I am looking forward to a quieter 2004 and then again, there is China.....

I love you and miss you so much. As all these happy gatherings and good family times unfold, I think of you more and more. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Think of us on Thanksgiving.

Love, a special hug and a tender smooch. Mom

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