Janice Williams Loves Austin And sometimes I write about it.

December 2, 2013

Thanksgivings Past – 1987

Filed under: Family,Food — Janice @ 5:49 pm

I was wondering what I would write about today for Holidailies and then came across these Thanksgiving pictures. This was the first Thanksgiving I ever cooked for my family. Growing up, we had the first dozen or so Thanksgivings with my Dad’s mother’s family—a Puckett reunion. Then as we all began going our own way, we usually had a Thanksgiving at home with Mother cooking a great meal for us. Once my sister married in 1982, we had some Thanksgivings at her house, too, because she is a great cook.

In 1987, my sister had her first little baby boy, Brandt. We had all looked forward to him and he was the center of our world that year as we anticipated his birth. He finally arrived on November 11. Mother and Dad lived near Amarillo and they rushed down, of course, to help with all that needed to be done. Thanksgiving was a full 2 weeks and a day after little Brandt was born. I don’t remember the whole order of events, but I know Mother and Daddy had decided they could leave before the actual Thanksgiving Day.

Maybe we had dinner on Wednesday, the day before, maybe it was the Sunday before. I don’t really remember, I just know that was the first time I had cooked a turkey or a Thanksgiving meal. But I think I did all right:


I loved those dishes. I let them go a long time ago and they hadn’t held up very well anyway, but they were awfully pretty. Looks like we have a sweet potato dish (and I think it has cranberry sauce on top of it?) and a cranberry salad, rolls, stuffed celery, a relish plate, turkey (with the rolls), and gravy. Anyone would say that that bowl here in front is mashed potatoes, but that has never been an important part of our Thanksgiving, so I’m not so sure. I’m thinking it might be whipped butter? It’s amusing to me to see the sweet potato dish is a Corningware dish that I am still using 26 years later. And I know I had it in the early 80s because I bought it specifically to make nachos in my first microwave. Corningware, can I do a commercial for you please? I still use those same salt and pepper shakers, too. It’s weird when you start seeing signs of being an old lady in your life.

I lived in a very small apartment when we had this Thanksgiving. I pulled the table into the living room so we would have a little more elbow room, but it was still pretty tight for 5 adults. I was proud of that dining set. I stained the table myself and eventually stained the chairs, too, but I obviously had not done it by this time. I think they were pretty new. Fresh from the “unpainted furniture store.” Are there still “unpainted furniture stores”? They were quite the thing back then. When Mark and I still lived in Carrollton we were still using that table and chairs, but once we moved to Austin it didn’t fit well in our square-shaped dining area so I ended up selling it to a young girl that had no furniture.

My grandmother and aunt also dropped by that day to see the new baby. Like I said, he was the CENTER of the world. He still is (or shares that spot with his brother). Here is a picture of four generations with my grandmother, my dad, my sister, and my nephew:


I like the smiles. Dad and Mamma are both dead now. It is really weird to me to think that Daddy was only 5 years older here than I am now. Am I old enough to be a grandparent? Of course I am.

I would have to check my diaries and do some research to see how many Thanksgivings I have prepared since that day. I can remember several. Some for the whole family, at least one for the in-laws, and a couple for just me and Mark. Probably none were as good as it was that day. We were incredibly thankful that day, I know that.

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