Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Memories with Ruby Johnson

Today Greater Ft Worth Writer member Ruby Johnson shares her favorite memories of Thanksgiving, and special treats, too! Ruby is Treasurer of GFWW and the blog coordinator.  She's also a member of RWA and Sisters in Crime. 

What is your favorite childhood memory about Thanksgiving?
My childhood memories are of my mother. She seemed to cook for days. Her menu consisted of oyster stew, pork roast, prime rib, and turkey with dressing and vegetables. Pies: apple, lemon, coconut, pecan. Cakes: Pound, Japanese fruit cake, and pecan cake. Holidays were the only time we ate sweets so it was a real treat.

After I married, my family spent most Thanksgivings with my in-laws. Everyone brought a dish and my mother-in-law cooked the turkey. My sister-in-law is not much of a cook and she was given the task of making a salad and the dressing to go with turkey. One year she decided to vary her recipe from the one on the back of the package of bread crumbs by making oyster dressing. Oyster dressing requires fresh oysters but she used smoked ones. The result was the worst dressing I have ever tasted. The sound of five grandchildren running and playing, men laughing, drinking beer, and watching football on TV echoed through the house. It was a happy time to gather with family. After dinner (usually by 2pm), we walked on the beach before making the long trek home.
Now, I spend Thanksgiving either in N.C. or Texas. Our menus are a lot different from those of my mother. We don’t prepare the feasts that she did. Turkey, dressing, casseroles, vegetables, wine and dessert make up the menu. But we do have lots of hors’d’oeuvres before we eat Thanksgiving Dinner. Our family is much smaller these days because we’ve lost many members and live in different parts of the country.  However, the immediate family see each other at Thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s a time to share what’s happening in our lives and to be thankful that we can gather with each other one more year. This year I’ll celebrate Thanksgiving in N.C with my two daughters, two grandchildren, and their family.
Autumn brings cooler weather after the hot summers here in Texas. In the N.C. Mountains the fall colors of leaves in red, orange, rust and yellow, mixed with the green of firs are just gorgeous. It makes one aware of the change of the season and God’s hand in providing beauty in our lives. For me Thanksgiving is about sharing.

Most importantly, please share one of your favorite or memorable recipes for Thanksgiving!
I'll share three!

Shrimp Casserole
8 slices slightly dry bread, trimmed buttered, and cubed
2 cups shelled boiled shrimp (remove tails)
1 (3 oz.) can sliced mushrooms boiled and drained
½ lb. sharp process shredded American cheese
3 eggs
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dry mustard
1 dash pepper
1 dash paprika
2 c. milk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place ½ of bread cubes in greased  11 x 7x11 ½ baking dish. Add shrimp, mushrooms, and ½ of cheese. Top with remaining bread and cheese. Beat together eggs and seasonings. Add milk. Pour over top of bread and cheese.  Bake in oven for 45-50 minutes or until just set. May be refrigerated before baking.

Ruby’s Pecan Pie
1 cup light brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
2Tb. melted butter, browned
1 ¼ c. pecans, toasted
1 c. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. white vinegar
1 unbaked 9” pie shell
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and vinegar. Add cooled browned butter, syrup, then mix in pecans. Add to pie shell. Bake 45 minutes in pie shell. Cover edge of pie crust with foil until last 15 minutes. By browning the butter and toasting the pecans you get a really great pie.

Asparagus Ham Roll-up (No Bake)
Fresh Asparagus  (about 15 spears)
Ham Slices (thinly sliced deli or Oscar Mayer)
Cream Cheese softened 2 -3 tsp each (variation: Add a Tbs of honey to cream cheese)
Boil or steam asparagus until tender crisp. Lay two ham slices together. Spread cream cheese on ham slices. Put asparagus spear on the wide end of ham and roll. Secure with tooth pick or tie with chives.

These may also be placed in an unbaked crescent roll. Place on the wide side and roll. Bake in 375 degree oven about 10 minutes. Great with soup.

Thanks for sharing, Ruby!
Ruby got the writing bug in high school when she won an award from the National Teachers of English, and transfered that love through college into her professional life as a certified registered nurse anesthetist practitioner. She has won short story contests, published in the AANA Journal and has contributed to Hospital Topics and  a book on Hospital Management. She currently writes medical suspense.
Friend her on P Johnson


Caroline Clemmons said...

Interesting post, Ruby. Amazing how our family feasts have changed over the years, as have our lives. The photo of you is the best on I've seen. Thanks for sharing.

Ruby Johnson said...

Thank you so much for commenting on my post. You're right. Thanksgiving has changed over the years. It has almost disappeared with the sales for Christmas.

Anne said...

But the feasts are still good!

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