Thanksgiving Story

By Brenda S. Brown

It is time again for one of my favorite holidays; Thanksgiving is a time of reflection, a chance to remember, to count our blessings, and a wonderful opportunity to extend love through the sharing of some fantastic southern fare.   We spent many happy occasions at Nanny's house in Terrell County near Dawson, and her fabulous country offerings were the heart of all the family gatherings. 

One of my prized family photos captures members of our family gathered around her dining room table just before enjoying a holiday banquet.   Nanny prepared the finest cornbread dressing I have ever tasted; her recipe is still used today by our family; she never stuffed the ingredients inside a bird, hers was baked in a large purple-colored container which continues to be cherished by my family.  

Nanny was not fond of turkey so she prepared a hen to compliment her dressing, a large plump one that had not been frozen; I want it fresh, were her instructions to the butcher.  When you purchase fresh there is no worry about having to thaw the bird, it is ready to roast immediately. 

My mother prepared the tastiest potato salad and it was always present on her Thanksgiving menu, the potatoes were cooked in the jacket, to retain their best flavor, and the finished product was adorned with slices of boiled eggs and garnished with bright red paprika.  There was an unusual square glass container that she used to present this recipe and along-side were the ever present deviled eggs and pickled peaches, assorted vegetables and an additional table laden with desserts. 

In Otto's family several of the ladies to include his mother and grandmother prepared savory tasting dressing but they frequently baked theirs with portions of the cooked poultry in the same container; their presentation was different but it was also tasty.    

My paternal Great-Grandmother, Miss Lottie, concocted the finest sweet-potato casserole ever prepared.  She knew I adored the browned marshmallows so she forever shared her portion with me.  Countless family recipes were her inspiration because as a young, single mother, she supported the family by operating a boarding house near Atlanta, which included three hearty meals a day.      

Although this feature sounds like the celebration is all about the food, please do not be deceived, it is really about those who prepare the banquets, which include the most essential ingredient, love.  Hopefully this journey down memory lane has inspired the readers to recall those people who brought gladness into their lives; Thanksgiving blessings from my family to yours.    

Brenda S Brown


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