Monday, November 24, 2008

Giving Thanks

It's Thanksgiving week, and once again LBeau and I will be travelling to Camden, Arkansas, to celebrate with my family. Most of the men will stay at deer camp so they can get in some hunting while they are there. The women and children will stay nice and toasty at Mother's, and LBeau will take shorts to wear around the house.

Brent shot this 8-point buck Thanksgiving 2003.

Thursday night a large gathering of Mother's extended family will be at the Fellowship Hall of the First Presbyterian Church for our Thanksgiving meal. When I was growing up, we always had our Thanksgiving dinner at Grancy and Poosie's house, but as the family got bigger, we had to relocate.

Aunt Mary will probably call me Thanksgiving morning and ask for my help in decorating that afternoon. So we'll put out the well-worn candles, turkeys, pumpkins and Pilgrims and set the tables with silverware and napkins.

My cousin Robert will smoke the turkeys, and Mother will make the cornbread dressing. Aunt Mary always bakes homemade rolls and fixes asparagus with cheese sauce. Thanksgiving used to be the only time I ever got asparagus because nobody else in my family liked it very much. Everyone else will bring one or two dishes, and there's always plenty of food for seconds.

I'm not sure who will bless the food this year. Hunter, our resident preacher, will not be there this year (nor will my other children), and Uncle Bill has moved to Tulsa to be closer to his son Ricky and his family.

On Friday the girls will shop. We'll visit Four Seasons to see how Frank has decorated his mantel, and Susie and I will probably purchase some new greenery. Catherine's and Bruce's will be on our shopping schedule as well, but we'll be sure to make it back to Mema's in time for the kick off of the Arkansas-LSU game. Who knows, maybe we can pull off an upset again this year.

At some point Susie and I will probably go to the pasture to cut possum haw to use for Christmas decorating. We'll put it into large black plastic trash bags and hope we can get back to Conway and Birmingham without losing too many berries. I also hope there is at least one cold clear night so I can check out the stars from the pasture.

Of course, Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks and eating good food, but for me it's mainly about family.

1 comment:

Malvie said...

One bunch asparagus
One pound prosciutto ham, sliced paper thin
One bottle white wine (your choice)
One stick butter (the real thing; do not ever even suggest "margarine" to me).

Prepare the asparagus in the usual manner (wash, snap off woody part).

In a saute pan over medium heat, melt half stick of butter; add about a half cup to a cup (I never measure...) white wine. Pour glass of white wine for cook.

When the butter/wine mix is bubbling, throw in the asparagus (you want to do a few at a time, and you'll have to replenish your butter/wine mix, hence the half sticks) and cook for about a minute. You still want them to have some "snap".

When you have finished all the asparagus, stack them neatly on a plate, cover with saran wrap, and put in refrigerator. Retain butter/wine mixture. Pour another glass of white wine for the cook and repair to the den.

When asparagus is nice and cold, wrap each piece individually in a slice of chilled prosciutto ham. Heat the butter/wine mix just enough for it to pour (it shouldn't be hot) and pour it over the stack.

After all that work, the cook really should have another glass of white wine, just to settle her/his nerves.