December 1-2, 2012: A Trip to Natchitoches
November 14-16, 2012: A Visit to Ruckman Haus in San Antonio
Return to the Index for 2012


November 22, 2012


Well, yet another Thanksgiving has rolled around. Probably my favorite holiday, I am once again continuing my tradition of cooking the largest turkey I can find according to my Mom's recipe.

Me and Number 38

I cooked my first turkey in 1968 when I was stationed at Fort Lee, Virginia, and I remember calling my Mom later that day to tell her how well it came out (giving full credit to her stuffing recipe). I missed the next year when I was in Korea, but the next two were prepared in Lawrence, Indiana, when I was stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison. From 1972 through 1984, I cooked one every year- except for three of them. (I went to North Carolina for two Thanksgivings and was out of the country for a third.) And from 1985 through 2011, I prepared one here on Inwood- again missing only three times (all of which were when Grant and I or Fred and I were in North Carolina).

So this year is my 38th turkey. My sister and I have a contest to see who can cook the largest when we are not together; only by dint of going from store to store and sometimes pestering the Meat Department manager have I managed to win almost all of the yearly competitions. Since the average turkey that I cook is more than 20 pounds, this means that I have, conservatively, cooked over 800 pounds of the Thanksgiving staple.

Fred snapped a picture of me and Number 38, just after I'd taken it out of the oven; that picture is at left.

As I mentioned, I always use my Mom's recipe for stuffing, and I always make a lot of it. I also use her recipe for turkey gravy, which is always superb.

Thanksgiving Guests

Another tradition my parents gave me that I have always tried to continue is that of having guests over to share the meal. When I was growing up, my Dad always invited people from his work or other friends whom he knew were not going to be with family for the holiday; I actually don't recall a Thanksgiving with just my Mom, Dad and sister at the table.

I have always tried to do the same thing, inviting Army officers I knew, friends who lived near me in Chicago, and friends and family here in Dallas. Again, I don't recall a Thanksgiving without guests- the one exception being in 1991, the year Grant was very ill on the holiday.

This year, in addition to Fred and myself, we have invited our friends Justin and Gary (who own the house in Natchitoches, and who we will be visiting a week from now), Steve and Mario (our closest friends and oft-times kitty custodians), and Larry and Denny (I have known Larry for many years and Denny only a bit less long). In the picture at right, going from left to right, are Gary, Justin, Larry, Steve, Denny, Mario and Fred. It was a good group, and each of the couples contributed a dish to the effort.

The rest of the pictures for this page are some of the candid shots that Fred or I took during the afternoon. You can use the clickable thumbnails below to have a look at some of these pictures:

As usual, we all had a good time. An added guest, my good friend Greg, came by to have dessert; he had been committed elsewhere for dinner.

You can use the links below to continue to another photo album page.

December 1-2, 2012: A Trip to Natchitoches
November 14-16, 2012: A Visit to Ruckman Haus in San Antonio
Return to the Index for 2012