By Alkali Springs Correspondent
We always seem to write the same Thanksgiving column this time of year. One would think with the same theme and so many different variations, it ought to be getting quite good.
We were driving into town the other day and thinking about our Thanksgiving pasts and why we never write about Thanksgiving at our house, the home of Bee and Virginia Lucke. That is simple to answer. With two sets of grandparents living in town and each vying for attention during Thanksgiving, we never had a chance to cook a meal at home.
Why, we remember one Thanksgiving when we had to go to Grandma Lucke's house for dinner in the morning, Grandma Stuart's house for dinner in the afternoon and up to Gildford for still another Thanksgiving dinner that night. No wonder we were fat. Our folks just could not say no.
We really think that it wasn't until we grew up and left home that we started having Thanksgivings at our house. And the only reason for that was that the grandparents had passed on by that time. Only death would deter them from having Thanksgiving dinner! And you had better show up if invited!
The day before Thanksgiving it was our job for many years to go over to Grandma Lucke's house and extend her table and put the chairs around it. It was a big table, but then we don't remember ever seeing fewer than 16 or so at her table. She needed a big table.
After that we would have to taste her dressing to "see if it was all right," in her words. She never wanted it to be all right. We always had to say it needs more sage or something if we ever wanted to get home that night. So we did and she would dump tons more sage in and you know that did improve the dressing. To this day we use tons of sage and it is great!
Thanksgiving day, the turkey would be 20 pounds or more and to this day we still use her old roaster. There would be that wonderful dressing. Plenty of mashed potatoes, lots of vegetables, gravy to die for and some of the best dill pickles we have ever tasted. Or bread and butter pickles if that was your preference.
But the best of all were the pies. Always there was pumpkin. But even better than that was the mincemeat. The Presbyterian ladies sold homemade mincemeat at their annual fall bazaars and in pies, there just was nothing like it in the world. Venison was the meat in the mincemeat and we can taste it yet.
And in the tradition of the community Thanksgiving dinners of these days, there would be plenty of people we did not know at her table. She went out of her way to set a table for those who had nowhere else to go. That was what Havre pioneers did. No big thing.
A tradition was that the oldest of Grandma Lucke's sons that was there would carve the turkey and we imagine all her sons were there most of the time.
So we would eat a couple of helpings and hurry off, for as sure as it is going to snow during Thanksgiving week, we would have another dinner to go to before the sun set on that marvelous day.
From us and ours to you and yours, may this be your very best Thanksgiving ever!