Thankfully Thankful

In years past, starting on the first day of November, my social media feed would be overflowing with thankfulness posts. Honestly, it got on my last natural nerve. Most of it seemed like so much “humble bragging” — an excuse to tell people just how wonderful your life is (or how wonderful you want it…

Leftovers: The Best Part of Thanksgiving

You’ve planned and shopped for weeks to get ready for Thanksgiving. You’ve cooked for two days, maybe even three. You’ve polished Granny’s Grand Baroque silver, gotten out the good china — the bone with the gold band not the pink flowers because that’s too summery, ironed the napkins into perfect rectangles, and arranged the flowers…

Pecan Pie

We are a house divided. And it doesn’t have anything to do with football. It does have everything to do with a nut. That’s right. A nut. You see my Georgia-born boo says “PEE-can” and I of Alabama birth say “puh-KAHN.” Now admittedly this is not a subject that comes up for disagreement every day….

Sweet Potato Pie

The influence of African-Americans on Southern food cannot be ignored. From greens to okra to ham hocks and more, many of my favorite dishes originated from a culture that is not my own. And Thanksgiving always features something that is extremely prominent in traditional African-American food — the sweet potato. I love sweet potatoes. You…

Dressing vs. Stuffing

It’s time we had a little talk about the semantics of “dressing” versus “stuffing.” Where I come from, south Alabama, we are die-hard dressing people. In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard any of my brethren or sistren from south of the Mason-Dixon line refer to the most beloved of all Thanksgiving sides…

Ada’s Rice Dressing

In the mid 1890s, my great grandfather, Andrew Joseph Rowell, Jr., was a young man in need of gainful employ. He had heard that there were jobs at a logging camp in Chicora, Miss., which was not too far away. Joby, as he was known to his family, traveled up there to sign on and…

Talkin’ Turkey

I can take a hint. That’s why when Daddy mailed me the recipe for his foolproof Thanksgiving turkey, I figured the baton had been passed and I was doing the cooking this year. The last time I cooked a turkey was about twelve years ago. I found myself trying to fish a sack of hot…

I’m so hungry my stomach thinks my throat’s been cut

The big day is here. A time to gather with family and friends, break bread together, and count our many blessings. And maybe learn a few new sayings. Here’s how my Thanksgiving Day will probably go — idiom by idiom. When I cook, like this year, I have to get up before the chickens, which…

Busy as a one-armed paper hanger

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Christmas is hot on its heels. There is only one word to describe this time of year and that word is “busy.” Now you can be just plain old busy, which will barely warrant a sympathetic nod from your friends, or you can be: Busy as a bee! The doctor in Citronelle…

There’s always room for one more

Brother balances the tinfoil-wrapped plates on his lap while I crank up Mama’s big Mercury, even though I’m not quite old enough to drive. The smell of turkey, dressing, and sweet potatoes fills the car. Brother looks a little scared as I mash the pedal to the floor slinging a little driveway gravel as we…