A Very Happy Thanksgiving

A Very Happy Thanksgiving
Terry Odell

Thanksgiving turkeyTomorrow is Thanksgiving. In our household, most of the traditions have revolved around the food. For us, this year will be different. Not quite as different as the pandemic made it, but our son is going to spend the holiday with his girlfriend’s family. Daughter #1 lives in Northern Ireland and she’ll do her own thing with friends there. She’s been teaching them a lot about our traditions. Daughter #2 opted to go back to school in North Carolina for her doctorate (two masters degrees weren’t enough, apparently), and will be celebrating with her husband’s kids and their kids, who live nearby.

Which leaves me, the Hubster, and our son-in-law. What will we do? What we do any year there aren’t enough people around. We eat out. The food’s great (it’s our backup plan restaurant), there’s no prep or cleanup. No leftovers, either, but we can work around that. We’re leaving the country in ten days, so that’s all right with us. Some “off” years, I’ve picked up a turkey on the ‘day after Thanksgiving sales’ and cooked that just to have it. Not this year, I don’t think.

If you are cooking the traditional bird, here’s a turkey tip from my chef brother that’s served us well for decades. No matter your “recipe” for the bird (unless you deep fry), start the cooking at 450 degrees (or 425 if it’s 16 pounds or more). After 30 minutes, lower the temp to 350 (or 325). Continue to cycle the temp up and down like that every 30 minutes. This moves the juices up and down inside the turkey, and even the leftovers are juicy.

A tradition of ours is listening to “Alice’s Restaurant.”

And here’s an interesting article – Arlo Guthrie’s thoughts on the 50 year anniversary tour of Alice’s Restaurant.

We’re in the midst of some tough times. Let’s hope for peace on this day of giving thanks. We should all take a moment to find something to give thanks for.

Cover image of Deadly Relations by Terry OdellAvailable Now
Deadly Relations.
Nothing Ever Happens in Mapleton … Until it Does
Gordon Hepler, Mapleton, Colorado’s Police Chief, is called away from a quiet Sunday with his wife to an emergency situation at the home he’s planning to sell. A man has chained himself to the front porch, threatening to set off an explosive.

Terry Odell is an award-winning author of Mystery and Romantic Suspense, although she prefers to think of them all as “Mysteries with Relationships.”

31 thoughts on “A Very Happy Thanksgiving

  1. Agreeing with you for peace and much to be thankful for. My annual tradition on Thanksgiving is to eat at Cracker Barrel. They make a great Thanksgiving meal. In the early days I would pre-order an entire family meal so that I had enough to last for several days. But now in recent years that I’ve straightened up and live on mostly fresh fruits and veggies, it’s harder on the stomach to take in the greasier, saltier, higher fat foods of traditional holiday cooked meals.

    My prayer is for all who are traveling by planes, trains and automobiles (or maybe you’re lucky and traveling by horseback!). May there be no traffic snafus or delays and may we all enjoy a peaceful time with family and friends.

    And by the way, if you are in the unique situation of traveling by horseback for a holiday meal (hey, it COULD happen), I’d love to hear about it. 😎

    I’m very thankful for a short work week as the job has really been stressful (not bad stress, just super, super busy). From a writing perspective, right after Thanksgiving I am expecting to get feedback from a few betas so will look forward to reviewing what they had to say and preparing revisions as needed. Baby steps in the writing journey.

    • Years ago when our three kids lived at home, we decided to take a Thanksgiving weekend trip up into the Pocono Mountains to visit a dude ranch. There we all went horseback riding. It was my wife and kids first time on a horse. So they were matched with gentle horses that knew the trail.

      We all enjoyed breathtaking scenery. As evening drew near and we were on the way back to the barn, the tenderfoot riding in front of my wife was doing a woah when he should have been doing a gittyup.

      Guess my wife’s gentle mare knew a bag of oats was waiting for her back at the barn and she was hungry. So she did what any lady would do under the circumstances. She headbutted the rump of the slow horse in front of her.

      The rider looked accusingly at my wife. But her mare could practically taste the oats and proceeded the give the stalled horse another headbutt to get them on their way. Took a third time before the rider and horse got the message.

      It was near dark when we all arrived back at the ranch. A few words were exchanged with the pokey rider. He cooled down when he was informed it was my inexperienced wife’s horse deciding to hurry him along.

      Luckily we didn’t have to demonstrate manliness by wrestling in the fragrant corral. Would have taken more than a quick hand washing before supper.

  2. Last year my brother did a restaurant take out Thanksgiving for seven of us. The stress level was down about 75% even though my sister-in-law loves to cook.

    This year will be my wife, my children, and me. Once I convince my wife there are only four of us and we do not need 300 pounds of potatoes everything should be fine.

    My cousin will be flying home tomorrow. She has not been able to leave the US for more than a month. She lives in Ashdod, Israel, well within rocket range of Gaza. Her grandaughters are doing well and on active duty. Her home and neighborhood are still standing. But she worries about my children who are on college campuses and violent attacks are near them.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Thanks for the great stories and articles.

    • I have a cousin who moved to Israel decades and decades ago. She lives on a kibbutz not too far from Gaza, and we’re thankful that she reports they haven’t seen horrific damage to their homes. I pray for a day when we can be thankful for peace.

  3. I remember hearing an interview with Arlo Guthrie about ten years ago. He was talking about his life in music. He told a story about being in grade school and learning “This Land Is Your Land”. His teacher said to him, “Arlo. You love to sing why aren’t you learning the song?”
    “My father wrote it.”

    • I heard the story a bit differently (not unusual), that when he transferred to the new school, the teachers had everyone singing “This Land is Your Land” and he couldn’t join in because he didn’t know the words!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving, Terry! It’s truly a time to reflect on what we are thankful for, especially now, with everything that is going on in our world. We’re also having a non-traditional celebration, but we are celebrating, and I believe that’s what matters most.

  5. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Family, food, and football (using this as an opportunity to remind everyone my beloved Philadelphia Eagles are 9-1).

    God bless all the TKZers, Happy Thanksgiving, and indeed let’s pray for peace.

  6. Happy Giving Thanks Day to all!
    Grateful for all I’ve learned from you.

    I was thinking the other day how thankful I am for these: I have never, ever gone without a meal, and I have always lived in peace and safety; and I have peeps who love me.

    So many do not.

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