Friday, November 25, 2016


Dear Lottie Helen and all,

I hope this letter finds you all well.  We are all well as common, and yesterday was A BIG day around here.   We had 14 in all at the table, and it was quite a good dinner, considerin.    We borried a folding table from the church, and six of their chairs, and set it up in the side room for the kids.   I let your sister Letha Grace be in charge of that one, and she spread the whole thing with a roll of brown paper, like Kroger sacks, and laid out the crayons and markers and even glue sticks and little shapes of turkeys and punkins for them to make their own table.   It turned out real cute and sure cut down on rough-housin’ before we could get dinner on the table.

I made a big old pan of dressin and about a gallon and a hafe of gravy out of a big old roastin hen, two dozen devilled eggs, a great big pot of low-cooked snap beans, four pies, and a double-up of Miss Paula’s Pineapple Casserole, and they ate up every last scrape of that---Aint Lissie Tidwell said, “Marthy, you could fry Ritz crumbs in butter and put it on floor sweepins, and it would taste good!”   We all got a laugh out of that.   She brought that big ole blue roaster full of duck and dressin that everybody loves so much.

That was a real good thing, because your Daddy got it into his head to deep-fry a turkey this year.   He got out the shrimp-boil pot and the burner and set it up out on some concrete blocks out in the side yard about ten this morning, and all the menfolks gathered out there with their coffee.   What is it about menfolks anyhow, that you can’t get em in the kitchen unless their’s pie, and if they’re cookin outside, they have to all gether around in lawn chairs and watch it like TV? 

Well, you know how good a nice big sugar-rubbed ham is, comin out of the oven, and how good a turkey is when it’s smoked in honey-butter?  Well, he decided that that would be the way to go to make the turkey real good and moist.  He just figured one is good and a combination would be even better.   So he melted up that butter and honey, and he vaccinated that turkey all over like it was travelin’ to Timbuktu.   He musta been thinking that if you hit every spot once, and still have stuff left in the jar, better use it up

I watten out there, but I heard the commotion from clear in here when that hot oil roiled up out of the  pot like Pompei.  The men were yellin and a-whoopin and a-laughin, and your cousin Bertie Luke run and grabbed the big ole syrup dipper like we skim sorgum with, and started dippin up and dashin out big old ladlefuls onto the yard to cut down on the damage, but it just kept comin, they said.   

By that time, we were all out in the yard, and I wouten take nothin for seein that.  It hatten been in more than ten minutes, and the whole yard smelt like burnt cookies.   They lifted that thing out in about ten more minutes, and it looked like you’d dropped it down in live coals all over.   It had big old black spots ALL OVER itself, and looked worse than one of those blackened chickens that everybody was cookin a few years ago.    The holes went deep in that pore ole bird, and the wingtips was completely gone.

As it started to cool just a tee-ninecy bit, the pure-black drumsticks made little tick-tick sounds and crumbled plumb off onto the platter and shattered.   We were all laughin fit to bust, and on the video that Bertie Luke's grandson made, you could hear Aint Phemy sayin,”This GRYCE won’t never be the same, willit?”

We had a plenty a dinner, and thank goodness for those four mallards your Aint Lessie put in that dressin, cause that turkey was just a plumb purentee washout.   I just wish you’d a been here to see it.   Lookin to see y’all for Christmas,

Remember we love all a y’all,

Your loving Mama Marthy Tidwell

Related image
borrowed from the internet because it was the pitifullest one I could find.  I hope they had a ham.


Cheryl said...

Oh, my! That poor turkey! What an interesting post. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, my friend. God bless you!

Kathy said...

This must have been some day! I had to laugh. Thanks for the post.

bj said...

hahhhaa...I laughed "right along side" of those men and their coffee out there when all hell broke loose. ...felt like I was outside with 'em. You write so good...
We had a smoked turkey that was the best I ever put in my mouth...but our ham wasn't as good as it should have been...I see a pot of red beans with a big ole ham hock in the middle of it coming up....we had a gathering of 13 at our table this year and very thankful for it. missed the ones that couldn't be with us, tho.

Latane Barton said...

That was so funny and boy did I need a laugh today... what with eating four Thanksgiving dinners (not all at once, mind you) I needed to laugh a bit of that fat off my belly. Such fun.

GSL said...

I'd love to be at that borrowed folding table with the kids and crayons....if within earshot of charming hostess. I'd eat like I was going to the electric chair!