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Throwback Thursday: Thanksgiving - The Early Years

This year, Erin won't be coming home for Thanksgiving.  Although she's missed a couple of Christmases with us, this will be her first Thanksgiving on her own.  I think she and her boyfriend will enjoy cooking up a turkey and creating their own Thanksgiving traditions this year.  (And, besides, they both have full-time jobs now -- without much vacation time.  This is something to be very thankful for, indeed.)

Talking to Erin about her plans got me remembering . . .

Let's take a little trip in the way-back machine.  Back to 1979. . .

Tom and I were in college (he a senior; me a junior) . . . although not at the same place.  I travelled up to Boise to spend the holiday with him.  It was our first Thanksgiving together; my first Thanksgiving without my family.

We cooked a small turkey and made some mashed potatoes.  We opened a can of cranberry sauce and baked up some Pillsbury crescent rolls.  We even had a bakery-store pumpkin pie and a bottle of Mateus Rose* to drink!

Tom at TG 1979

(We strategically placed the bottle of wine in front of the pie, so you couldn't see that we'd actually already eaten half of it. . .)

(We also made some Really Bad gravy.  It solidified.  We fed it to the neighborhood cats.)

Kym at TG 1979

Such a fun Thanksgiving -- all on our own and just starting out!  (We never imagined THEN . . . how many Thanksgivings we'd celebrate together.  Or how much bigger our turkeys would become!)

How about you?  What memories do you have of some of your early Thanksgiving celebrations?


* And since we're in the way-back machine anyway, check out this old commercial for Mateus Rose (which, at the time, I thought was the epitome of sophistication):



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You two were destined to be together! You must have felt so grown up.
Our Thanksgiving had to be at one parent or the other and it was always an overly filling day. Oy, the amount of food! The one Thanksgiving I had to prepare on my own was for my b-i-l and s-i-l. A kosher T-day is a little difficult and I'm not sure I succeeded, but everyone was happy and it was tasty.


The best Thanksgiving was when I had both sets of parents at our house. DH's parents usually left for warmer weather but stayed a little longer that year so they could spend the day with us. They both passed away before the next Thanksgiving. It's a precious memory.


My Mom always did Thanksgiving and then the cousins from other families would come up later in the day and we'd go to my Aunt's house for turkey sandwiches in the evening. I am so happy we did the cousin thing a lot. We've got great relationships today, 50 years later!


That sounds like a perfectly wonderful Thanksgiving. I love when you post these old photos of you and Tom and I can't get over how YOUNG you were! Some day I will write a blog post about the first Christmas Dale and I spent together - it was similar to this even though we had 4 kids between us.


In a Berkeley crowd of about 35 "orphans," it turned out that I was the only one who knew how to make gravy...which I did...and it was perfectly delicious. Such a fun memory!

Sharon R.

Oh, lord, Mateus! I loved that stuff back in the day. Recently, I've been thinking about trying a bottle to see how my taste in wine has matured over the years. Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday. How can you not love a holiday that's ALL ABOUT FOOD??!!?? As you know, we had ours last month and it's usually a big affair with, not just our family, but any waifs or strays who find themselves with nowhere else to go.



Toss up between the Top Gun Thanksgiving with all the cousins and the year I had to stare down a huge fresh organic turkey that tried to kill me. Gobble! Gobble!


In the late '80s/early '90s I did the whole turkey/stuffing/umpteen sides/etc thing and wore myself out. Then I hit on a plan one year that was tasty but far less work: turkey as always, Stove Top stuffing, instant mashed potatoes (that part was replaced by real ones eventually), and some other bits I don't remember. It worked so well I wrote it down and put it into my recipe folder. (Thanks for the blog post idea!)


HOLY CRAP. You guys look so young...especially Daddy! I am sad not to be coming home for Thanksgiving but very excited to get a chance to do a big holiday by "myself" (with Keith of course).

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