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Random Thoughts


Hudson Cooper
Posted 11/26/21

If you are reading this, you survived another Thanksgiving. For many of us it was a day filled with family, football and the big feast. After consuming too much food, there was a good chance that …

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Random Thoughts



If you are reading this, you survived another Thanksgiving. For many of us it was a day filled with family, football and the big feast. After consuming too much food, there was a good chance that someone at the table leaned back, loosened his belt, and said, “That’s it for me. I’m stuffed.” Then the tryptophan in the turkey hit and he added, “I’m going to take a little nap. Someone wake me up for dessert.”

The traditional Thanksgiving meal is turkey with the fixings. The fixings are side dishes that might include a selection of dressing, cranberries, sweet potatoes and string beans. Many cooks prepare those side dishes from recipes handed down through generations. Take cranberries for example. Some cooks just open a can of jellied cranberry sauce and let it slide out, so it plops in the bowl in one “can-shaped” blob. Sometimes you can still see the indentations from the can including the expiration date. It looks so unappetizing that often its barely touched. My mom found a recipe that makes her cranberry dish a favorite around the table. She simply takes a can of whole cranberries and adds a can of crushed pineapple. It is so simple and delicious that many of her friends have added it to their holiday menu.

You might have noticed that my list of Thanksgiving side dishes mentioned dressing. For the most part dressing and stuffing are the same thing. The difference is that stuffing is, well, stuffed inside the turkey prior to cooking. Dressing is made in a pan and baked in the oven. Stuffing is cooked in the turkey’s cavity coming out soft and hot. But dressing, fresh from the oven, has a delicious top crust that adds crunch to the dish. Dressing got its name because it dresses up the table.

Nobody knows how string beans muscled their way onto the Thanksgiving table. My theory is that some executive at Campbell’s noticed that the country was no longer in love with cream of mushroom soup. So maybe a few well placed ads in Life or Look magazine put America on the path to introducing creamed string beans to the feast. For my younger readers, Life and Look magazines, with their articles and pictures, gave us a look at life in America.

Candied sweet potatoes are a very popular holiday side dish. Peeled and covered with maple syrup and cinnamon, it is a sweet treat that is quickly gobbled up. Most people use sweet potatoes while others use yams. NOTE: I enjoyed being able to sneak in the word “gobbled” when writing about a turkey dinner. Gobble, gobble.    

Although turkey gravy is a must during the actual meal, it also contributes to my favorite part of Thanksgiving weekend…leftovers! Since this column is in the newspaper the day after Thanksgiving, leftovers are probably part of your day. Pile a variety of leftovers on a plate and cover it with hot turkey gravy. It does not get better than that!

Many of you think of this day as Black Friday as you join the throngs elbowing their way to the mall to buy stuff like a flat screen television that comes with built in platforms like Hulu, Netflix, Disney, Amazon, Rhubarb, Apple, Peacock and Sling. One television manufacturer, the one where Sam Sings, is offering one that is 292 inches in diameter. At just over 24 feet in diameter, most of us would have to build an extension to the living room to hang it on the wall. To my readers, rhubarb, mentioned earlier, is not a program platform but a tart-tasting vegetable that sometimes winds up in pies.

As memories of this Thanksgiving fade, you can relax for a few days. But do not get too comfortable. Those Christmas decorations are not going to affix to your house and yard by themselves. Also, before you stuff yourself with Christmas dinner, those stockings you hung by the chimney with care need to be stuffed with treats for those children nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of Call of Duty and Candy Crush Saga dance in their heads.


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