Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
Dozer: Spring training is upon us!

Rockin' and rollin'

Rockin' and rollin'
The author of Mark's Work

Coleus flowers

Coleus flowers
Why I grow flowers

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
Air-borne bees

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast
Love is the greatest power.

Beauty abounds!

Beauty abounds!
Heinz tomatoes, used for catsup

If you've seen one butterfly, you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.

If you've seen one butterfly,  you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.
Painted Lady

Fall Jewels

Fall Jewels
Praying mantis, attending services on a zinnia...

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017
Something I have always wanted...

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

bellspringsmark@gmail.com

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Collection of Christmas Reflections # 10: The Pope's Nose or Dinner Is Served

This is the tenth in a series of Christmas reflections.

The Pope’s Nose
or
Dinner Is Served
After an eternity the word went out that dinner was being served.  We’re not talking any dinner; this was Christmas Dinner.  These days, the topic of what will be served for Christmas Dinner, surfaces about the same time as I start counting down the days (double digits).  Back on Fellowship Street, the only relevant points seemed to be, “How big of a turkey shall we get?” and “What flavor pies do we want?”  The answers were, “Between twenty-five and thirty pounds,” and “Apple, cherry and minced meat pies, with Cool Whip on top.  Wait, don’t forget the pumpkin pie.”
About those turkeys.  Sunrize Market was the most likely source, though Mom was known to have scouted out the competition to see what Alpha Beta or Market Basket might have had to offer.  On the other hand, if you spoke to Earl, in the meat department, he was certain to hook a brother up.  We listened to plans being unfolded at the dinner table continuously, that contained information about what magic Earl could perform to enhance our dinner table, especially when it came to the barbecue.
Turkey was the only thing I ever remember being served at Christmas Dinner.  One year we raised turkeys in the back yard, with Brian being in charge of moving the cage around the yard on rollers once a week.  “Bon jour, mon turkeys,” he would exclaim.  “Comment allez-vous?”  Don’t even ask me where we found French-speaking turkeys.
The reason I even bring up the turkeys in the first place, is that one of the six in the rolling cage was a tom that was humungous.  He was so big that Pa had to weld us up a special stainless steel pan that was big enough to accommodate this most honored of guests.  Of course, we couldn’t roast a turkey without knowing how much it weighed, so we bundled up the bird, along with most of the family, while we trooped up to-where else?-Sunrize Market, to use one of the produce scales to weigh old George, the turkey.  Forty-one pounds.  We figured that if 25-30 pounds was good, then 41 ought to be vastly surpassing excellent.
I remember eating in both the front dining room, and in the regular dining area, located between the entrance to the folks’ bedroom, and the doorway into what was Mom’s sewing room for all of the later years on Fellowship Street.  We were likely to activate both rooms for Christmas Dinner, for instance, when we had the Gerlachs over.  I didn’t think of it as an adult table and a kid table; I thought of it as two kid tables, one of which also seated a few adults.
On Christmas we had hors d’oeuvres, consisting of black and green olives, celery and carrot sticks.  Pouring the little mound of salt, in which to dip the celery, was the height of cool.  From breakfast until dinner, there was no official meal, everyone pretty much fending for him or herself to keep up sustenance from a variety of Holiday sources.  In any case, I always approached the dinner hour fully prepared for action-ready for danger.  Bring on the mashed potatoes and gravy.  In addition to turkey, both light and dark, there was stuffing, into which Pa always put the cut-up giblets, which had been removed from the turkey and cooked.  I got to cut up the giblets, because I was a lucky guy.  I’m still looking for the pope’s nose.
There were freshly baked dinner rolls, or at least some top-shelf Pillsbury rolls from Sunrize; there were veggies, cranberry sauce, and a lake of gravy to pour over everything.  For dessert there were the freshly baked pies that I mentioned earlier, smothered in whipped cream, Cool Whip, or smog depending on who was talking.  And if we were spectacularly lucky, and Noel was asleep at the switch, there might still be coffee cake left over from breakfast.
The standard line that was used, when we got to that point when it seemed as though the initial onslaught of starving kids had been staved off was, “Shall we have dessert now, or later?”  And the response was inevitably, “How about if we have dessert now and later?”  With at least three fruit pies and one pumpkin pie, there was bound to enough to go around.  Not even Noel could dispatch with fall four pies and the coffee cake left over from breakfast.

2 comments:

  1. Dessert now and later - I remember that one! I never particularly liked turkey and now I really don't like it. The general consensus with my four family is that we HAVE to have turkey on TG and I can handle it once a year on TG - mostly b/c I make darn sure that there are plenty of other goodies - like sweet potatoes, green beans, a great salad, and pumpkin pie! Christmas dinner here has to be ham - at least from Meg's perspective. That is preferable to me than turkey but I don't' need any of it --
    Do you remember the Christmas when Grandpa and Auntie Anne and Cissie and Roger came for dinner? and we ate in the front alcove?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Of course. The front alcove is what I referred to as the front dining room. Was I stoked that Auntie Anne and Grandpa were at Fellowship Street? It simply meant that they got to deliver my Christmas present in person. I like that you all have input on what should be on the table. I can eat everything except the turkey, so I am a happy diner.

    ReplyDelete