non-fiction

November Newsletter: What Not to serve West Texans on Thanksgiving

What Not to serve West Texans on Thanksgiving By Glenda Bonham

Item #1 and the most important-Do not try to serve ‘Tofurkey’. We don’t want tofu anything, on an average day. Even starving hurricane victims in Texas won’t touch the goods on tofu shelves. That fact has been proven on live TV before.

Don’t put mussels, clams, or oysters in our dressing. We’re land locked desert folks, not beach combers. Thanksgiving is reserved for a variety of dressings made with cornbread. Don’t try to trick us with box dressing, either. If you can’t make homemade dressing, or if you are just too lazy to try, go buy a decent cornbread dressing from a restaurant or a caterer. There is no excuse for serving bad dressing on Thanksgiving. The family might forgive, but we will never forget bad dressing.

Don’t mess around with the mashed potatoes. It’s not a day to get creative and dump garlic, mayo, chives, or horseradish in the mashed potatoes. It’s a day for less-is-best. Just for heaven’s sake, don’t try to trick us with instant mashed potatoes, either. West Texans have an antenna that can smell the difference between real potatoes and the goo from a box from 20 paces.

Never serve less than two varieties of cranberries. Older folks never had the opportunity to eat anything but the jelly flavor from a can. We want it to maintain that can shape when it glops onto a serving dish. You, younger folk enjoy your wholesome fresh-cooked cranberries, and the rest of us will admire it when we pass it to someone else.

Don’t serve dry roasted green beans. We didn’t come to Thanksgiving dinner to eat by any fad diet plan. Keep your dry veggie salad in a separate bowl. We want green beans that backstroke in bacon, butter, onions, and plenty of black pepper. If you didn’t sneeze when you added the black pepper, the beans aren’t fit for the table.

Now, it’s time to talk gravy. Real gravy made of broth, drippings, and milk. Don’t even think about the slime in a package-that’s not gravy; that’s machine oil.

Do not make a reference to the pie as a ‘pee-can’. It makes the mental image of the interior of a smelly Port-a-Potty come to mind. That image will make the pie taste funny. Just set the pie on the table without any comment and back away. It’s not as if the family won’t recognize it.

And on the topic of pie- If you serve pumpkin make sure you have four times the amount of whipping cream you would expect to need. We want to submerge a single slice of pumpkin pie in whipping cream like Captain Nemo diving the Nautilus to the bottom of the sea.

I’m glad we had this little talk. We’ll see you on Thanksgiving Day. Until then- no pressure; no pressure at all.

Sincerely,
Your Thanksgiving dinner guests

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