Playing Why me Lord?
Page began on November 19, 2009
Thanksgivings of the King Family
.....Thanksgivig became my favorite holliday of the year probably in my early teens. Until then Christmas had been, as with most small children, the favorite. But some things, that I will not discuss here, caused Christmas to be a distant 2nd or maybe third aftr Easter. My favorite day of the year was the last day of school. Now, as an adult, Thanksgiving has no challengers.
.....Thanksgiving has become a day for Family, friends, and food. And, at this King Home, it is the traditional Thanksgiving with turkey, gibblet gravey, mashed potatos, sweet potatoes, home canned greenbeans, hot rolls, and perhaps some corn. But, my favorite of all is Carolyn's dressing. For a break in the dialogue, I have inserted Carolyn's recipie for her dressing.
A great dressing and my favorite part of Thanksgiving Dinner.
1 cup butter or margarine 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
2 cups chopped onion 1 ½ teaspoons of sage
2 cups chopped celery 1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup parsley sprigs ½ teaspoon pepper
2 8 ounce cans mushrooms drained ½ teaspoon marjoram (optional)
12 to 13 cups slightly dry bread cubes 3 ½ to 4 ½ cups chicken broth or
Turkey broth and dried giblets.
(Carolyn dosen't use the giblets)
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning 2 well beaten eggs
Note: if using a seasoned stuffing mix, limit herbs and salt. But, Carolyn says that she uses the extra herbs and salt anyway.
Melt butter in skillet and sauté onion, celery, parsley and mushrooms.
Note: Carolyn just said that she doesn't use the mushrooms.
Pour over bread cubes in very large mixing bowl.
Add all seasonings, and toss together well.
Pour in enough broth to moisten; add beaten eggs, and mix together well.
Pack lightly into crock-pot. Cover and set to high for 45 minutes; then to reduce to low for 4 to 8 hours.
Number Of Servings: a bunch
Preparation Time:see above
.....We had our first turkey when I was in either in the first or second grade. My uncle Walt King was staying with us at the time. He said that he was going to get a turkey, and he did. This was not a frozen turkey from a big supermarket. This was a turkey still running around on two feet. It was no big thing for mom to butcher a checken, but, this was probably her first attack on something as big as a turkey. I was in school so I didn't witness the execution. But, I had seen plenty of chickens flopping around the yard with out the thing that the chicken's comb grew on. But, I know that that old turkey didn't have a chance facing mom and her butcher knife.
.....Now, I don't know how mom baked that turkey But, it wasn't that great. It was nothing like the turkeys that Carolyn bakes. That was before the evolution of the turkey into a walking hunk of breast meat. That turkey was more like the wild turkeys that we have today.
.....Growing up like I did, it is hard to believe that some folks think that a turkey just comes from a supermarket and has always been a frozen thing in a plactic wrap. I have a good fellow minister friend who has a son-in-law from New York City. When the son-in-law found out that potatoes grew in the ground, he refused to eat them. He said, "I am not going to eat anything that been in the dirt." I asked Jimmy if his son-in-law ate eggs.
.....Anyway, we had never heard of a cooking bag nack then, and that turkey was pretty dry. Now, to be fair, as I said, this was mom's first turkey. Of course everything else was great with the gravey, potatoes, greenbeans and especially the big light hot rolls. Those were Mom's sspeciality. I haven't had a real hotroll in years. We also had apple pie, and I haven't had a good applepie with homemade crust since she passed away. We probably had cake as well, but I don't remember. And, I don't remember just who ate dinner with us.
.....The years rolled on until 1959, when Dad lost his job at Fletcher Enamel in Dunbar. That Thanksgiving found us on the side of a Mountain at Camp Ann Bailey at Caldwell. I had graduated and had time on my hands...too much time. That Thanksgiving at Caldwell, was the last I would spend with my family for awhile. December came and I still didn't have a job. Somehow I found enough nerve to drive to Lewisburg to see if I could join the Army. I really didn't want to, but I didn't think that I would pass. "After all, I was much to skinney." At least I could say, "Well, I tried." I was sent to Beckley to the reqruiting center. To by absolute shock, I passed!
.....My next three Thanksgivings were spent at Kapaun Barracks at Kaiserslautern, Germany. I don't care how hard the Army tries, dinner in a big mess hall or in a foxhole is miserable. At least it was for a homebody like me. The two Christmases I spent were bad enough, but those Thanksgivings were bad.
.....It wasn't any better at home for my mother. Before each of these Thanksgivings the rest of the family had to wait while she went in the other room to have her cry. And,she would never let anyone sit in my chair.
.....The Thanksgiving after I came home was marked in my life history by my first visit with, Carolyn, my future wife, for the first time in her home. Things were not well at home. Dad was very ill but none of us know how ill he was. In December, we learned that he had cancer. He went to the old hospital at Roncerverte for surgery and Dad never came home. That meant that the next Thanksgiving would be much different. None of us knew how much different it would be.
.....Thanksgiving 1964 saw a lot of changes around the table. Dad had been gone for nearly a year. The "Thanksgiving Table" itself was in a different location. It sat in a farmhouse outside of Vinton, Ohio. It was a time of new beginnings. My mother had married another good man. He was Willard Woodruff who was a slight bald-headed man who I cannot remember hearing say a harsh word or raising his voice. It was his and my mother's first Thanksgiving together, and, it was also the first Thanksgiving for my wife and me. If I remember correctly, the whole family was gathered around that table.
.....Just over the rise and out of sight was the homestead and dairy farm where Mom's sister Myrtle Stone and her husband Jim Jacobs raised their large family. Aunt Myrtle and Uncle Jim had sold the farm and were living in the town of Vinton. But, that farm looms large in my childhood memories. I believe that that farm and family merits and entire page. Watch for it to come.
.....Over the next nine years, Thanksgivings came and Thanksgivings went. What they had in common was that Mom was always there. This held true through the year 1973. My family had moved to a farm on Big Sixteenmile in Mason County and we were hosting the entire family. It was a beautiful crisp day with a frosty morning. We had a wonderful time together. But, it was the last time I was to see my mother as her happy normal self. Just a few weeks later, she suffered a massive stroke. After a few days in the hospital, she contracted pneumonia and she was gone. "Every time I sing, "Will Circle Be Unbroken," I remember the day we buried her. It was that kind of day. It was grey, windy, and cold...but the chill went far deeper than the skin. Edna Luverna Stone King was gone at too early of an age. She was only sixty-three. Since I just went through my 70th Thanksgiving, that seems very young.
.....We moved to Caldwell, West Virginia in 1975. Thanksgivings have again come and gone. It has been a tradition to have turkey and all the trimmings, It has also been a tradition to have family and friends. Many different ones have eaten that dinner with us. Many are now gone to meet their creator. These were folks like, Lizzy Cox, Sister Williams, Roy "Little John" Spinks, and others. There have also been some young guests. Woody Cox still comes to celebrate with us.
.....This year was to be the same. The turkey was in the fridge, sweet potatos were bought, even the punkin pies and the fresh apple cake were baked. But, it was not to be. Carolyn spent Thanksgiving in the hospital with a staph infection she had picked up at the workplace. To keep ithe turkey from spoiling, I had to bake it. I mashed some potatos, and made some gravy for my grandson, my son, and me. This time, it was just food. But, after nearly a week in the hospital, Carolyn is back home and we pray for a complete recovery. I believe God has told us, "It is not the event that is important, it is the presence and fellowship of God in our lives." If we have our sins under the blood of Jesus Christ and have our names written in the Lamb's Book of Life, then we are the temple of God. And, everywhere we go, God is in His temple. As the song says, "We are walking on holy ground.". But, not our holiness, but His holiness. God bless you.
Carolyn's Fresh Apple Cake
1/2 cup of oil
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 cup nuts
1 tsp salt
2 tsp soda
3 cups chopped apples
1 cup coconut
2 tsp vanella
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Directions for Cake
cream oil and sugar
add eggs and vanilla
add remaining ingredients
Bake in tube pan 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until done.
Sauce for cake
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 tbs butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
heat but do not cook or boil
pour sauce over cake while cake is still in the tube pan
This is one of the best cakes that I have eaten.