Ben Franklin wanted the wild turkey as national bird

Published 8:22 am Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Mt. Olivet News

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day and I hope it will be safe and enjoyable for everyone. Please don’t forget the real reason of the day and push it back while you eat too much, and also throw away more than you can eat.

This Thanksgiving will be a bittersweet one for me and my family. Thanksgiving Day was always a toss up between football and a light meal. The Sunday afterwards we always gathered at my sister’s house in Sledge to celebrate not only Thanksgiving, but her birthday, which was Dec. 2. She would have turned 95 years old this year.

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The most amazing thing about her life was her rich mind even to the end and her interest in her nieces and nephews and all of her Mt. Olivet friends.

While reminiscing about past Thanksgiving’s, I have a sentimental longing of the Palmertree family’s rich tradition. My mother, Miss Jessie, began making pies and cakes several days before. Because refrigeration was scarce in the late 1940’s and 50’s, Miss Jessie did not kill the chickens until early that morning. 

I can still recall how good the dressing was and I’ve never tasted anything even close since then. Her biscuits were even better the day after because they were made with lard.

Even though money was scarce, there was never a lack of food. There was a small building behind the big house called the smoke house. I can recall huge hams hanging from wire hangers while cracklin’ bread was a specialty. 

The vegetables consisted of huge baked sweet potatoes, English peas, blackeye  peas, butter beans, creamed corn, creamed potatoes, and turnip greens of course.

I have tried to make tea cakes just like my momma’s, but to no avail. I recall we would come home from school to find a big pan full of teacakes that was gone in minutes. 

The celebration of Thanksgiving began in 1621 when the Plymouth colonies and the Wampanoag Indian tribe shared an autumn harvest feast that lasted for three days. Although turkey wasn’t on the menu that first Thanksgiving, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it a national holiday Oct. 3, 1863.

Benjamin Franklin had wished the turkey was the national bird for in a letter to his daughter he wrote “For my own part, I wish the bald eagle was not chosen to represent our nation because the turkey is a much more respected bird.”

Watch for Snoopy in the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. He has made more appearances in the parade than any other.

Thought for the week: A smile is a frown turned upside down.

Call or text me anytime with news or questions at (901) 828-8824.