Creativity Cooks

Collage ~ Cooking ~ Creativity … inspired by three generations of women

Thanksgiving 1959

on 11/06/2011

Thanksgiving 1959

Me, at 2 1/2

I came across this photo in my very, very old photo album, one my mother had put together when I was little. I had to use Photoshop Elements to adjust the contrast and shadows of the shot, it was a bit hard to see details after all these years, 51 1/2 to be exact. It is clear by my facial expression that I was very interested in the holiday table. I might be folding napkins in this shot, I can’t really see what I am doing, or I might have helped my Nana with something to go on the table. I might have been thrilled with the size of the turkey, dry as it was – thank goodness for gravy.  Yes, all the turkeys of my childhood were dreadfully dry. Luckily gravy is always wet. Cranberry sauce also helped. You could also take some mashed potatoes on the fork with some turkey, better even was sweet potatoes.

Holiday tables were objects of my desire as a kid, along with all the special food preparation. My Nana was instrumental in teaching me all sorts of domestic agenda in such a way that fascinated me. She was very excited about holiday meals with all their accoutrement – jello molds in red and green and her famous cheese balls made with cream cheese mixed with chopped olives with their red pimento centers, rolled in chopped walnuts. Christmas meant her ‘Roly Polys’ (rolled pie dough filled with cinnamon sugar, a Pennsylvania Dutch version of Rugelach) and Spritz cookies graced special Christmas platters. Ham was served instead of another dry turkey, for Christmas. It was a canned ham, baked in 7-UP to cut the saltiness, covered in pineapple rings stuck to the ham with spiky dried cloves. It smelled wonderful while it baked, this was the only meat we had for two holidays, we had ham at Easter too.

Nana’s attention to details of dining, parties and holidays was something she passed along to me. One year, my Christmas party was old holiday movie themed. I had a different, old movie playing on small televisions in each designated ‘party’ rooms. Cocktails were indicative of the times, Grasshoppers, Strawberry Daquiris and Kir Royale. I decorated with the mint greens and pale red colors from holidays long gone by. I thank my Nana for inspiring me.  She is my ‘go-to’ gal for all things domestically inclined, Martha Stewart follows as a close second.


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