I know that the history books say that the War Between the States was about the states in the South seceding from the Union for a variety of different reasons. I actually think that’s a fallacy. The real truth is that the War was about the side dishes that go with Thanksgiving Dinner. There is the Yankee contingent that eats stuffing and the Southern contingent that eats dressing. And, oddly enough, the dividing line between the two groups seem to fall somewhere near the Mason Dixon line. I think we need to re-write the history books with the truth.
I had Thanksgiving dinner at my brother Sammy’s house in Baton Rouge. He married a woman who is from New England…in other words, she’s a Yankee. So, you know what that means? She’s going to want to have stuffing for Thanksgiving dinner. I married a Yankee the second time around, and I spent several Thanksgiving dinners with his family in Illinois. I couldn’t believe it the first time I went there for Thanksgiving dinner. Where was the sweet potato casserole? The sweet potato and pecan pies? The cornbread dressing? The turkey was the same. But, I sure missed my family’s traditional Thanksgiving dishes. I expected that the other members of the family wouldn’t really like the offering as well. It was obviously a bad year. But, they loved it. They loved the stuffing, the mashed potatoes and the pumpkin pie. Really? I should have know that marriage wouldn’t work out. Good grief, they didn’t even know how to cook Thanksgiving dinner!!
I called my sister-in-law Sharon to ask her what I should bring to dinner this year. Yes, her name is Sharon King, too. It’s horribly confusing. At least for 16 years, I had a different last name, so people didn’t get it confused. But, when I’m single, there are two of us. We have an ongoing joke about who is Sharon #1 and who is Sharon #2. Of course, I maintain that she is #2 because she’s not a real King. She just married into the clan. She makes the counterpoint that I have relinquished the title when I changed my last name, and she has had it the longest. Whatever… Anyway, we talked about what I could bring, and she said she was making stuffing…and she laughed. Then she added…Stove Top. She was joking about the Stove Top but she wasn’t about the stuffing. “Yuk!!” I said, “Never mind. I’ll find somewhere else to eat.” She laughed. “Susan is making dressing for you weird people.”
We had both. And, it was good. But, I didn’t eat the stuffing. We had a lot to be thankful for today. My brother Sammy lives in Baton Rouge but has chickens, rabbits and several dogs. We played with the animals and ate outside. Not many Yankees can do that on Thanksgiving. The rooster was crowing as our background music at the dinner table. Sharon’s sister Sarah and her family were there with us, my parents and sister Susan and her family. My beautiful niece, Hannah, made her first grown-up contribution to the family meal in baking a Pecan Pie Cheesecake. It was awesome! It was basically a pecan pie with cheesecake on top. She found the recipe on Pinterest.
My brother Sammy had some international friends here that work for him at LSU. Jackie is from South Korea. He is Sammy’s former Ph.D. student. Vladimir is from Russia and his beautiful wife Nastia is from the Ukraine. Vladimir studies crocodiles. Interestingly enough, he and Nastia met because he started reading her blog. They met up, he took her on a couple of “tests” where she joined him on some crocodile studies in Jamaica and Indonesia, and she passed. The international contingent had no clue what we were talking about when we asked if they liked dressing or stuffing. It didn’t really seem to matter to them.
We ate to our heart’s content, put the plates down for the dogs to do the dishes and then all went to take a nap. We missed my brother Terry and his family who are camping with his in-laws in Florida. They are Yankees too. I hope they didn’t force him to eat stuffing. Oh, Sharon just came in and asked if there was any stuffing left. I’m sure there is….that stuff is nasty. 🙂