Thanksgiving that is!

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is always a somewhat difficult day at work having to get ready for a day off in the middles of the week and especially if the forecast is predicting snow! Go or stay?

I remember countless years ago when we were hosting the family holiday gatherings and the question nearly every year was: will our guests be able to come or not?

“The weather report doesn’t sound very good,” we’d take turns, all day, saying to one another.

Granted all the food had been bought, but preparation was still ahead. Relatives came from Sioux Falls, SD; Brookings, SD; Yankton SD; and Sheldon. None were far away but if weather was a factor, everyone had jobs to consider and had to get home for work on Friday.

Much of the food could easily be made the day before Thanksgiving but making the decision to forge ahead was always the question. The pies I always made the day before. There were too many last minute other things that had to be done Thanksgiving morning!

However, a friend of mine recently told me she absolutely always makes her pies Thanksgiving morning. That way they are fresh and tasty for dinner. Goodness, I’m so thankful I hadn’t heard that warning years ago. Thursday mornings were too busy with stuffing the turkey, putting together the vegetables, salads and whatever to worry about pies too!

Pies have always been my downfall. I’ve maybe written of this incident before but one busy day-before-Thanksgiving, I had rushed home from work and made two pumpkin and one pecan pie for the next day’s dinner. I had them sitting on my overly crowded kitchen counter and decided I could place them on the empty, back burners of my stove to make more space on the small counter for other things.

You guessed it: the burners were only on low, but it didn’t take long to smell pies burning! I rushed to the kitchen and sure enough, those two pies had black bottom crusts! I remember that story up to that point, but I can’t remember what I did then. Did I throw them away and start over or did I serve the pumpkin pies minus a bottom crust? Don’t remember!

This year I’m not cooking. Our daughter-in-law, Myrna, offered that it was their “turn” to host. There will be her parents, her sister and family, us and of course the four of them, a nice size group and perfect for visiting.

Now I want you to know that Myrna is a fantastic cook, or more accurate fabulous chef! Everything is wonderfully fresh, healthy and beautifully presented. But, nevertheless, I thought I should bring something.

“What can I bring,” I offered.

“Jeff loves the cold, leftover turkey sandwiches later in the day, so why don’t you bring a couple dozen of those good rolls from the Sibley Bakery?” she kindly asked.

“I could bring those and something else if you’d like,” I countered. “Maybe green bean casserole with tons of those canned, crispy onions on top,” I suggested.

After I said it, I could almost hear her cringe! She already had planned a new, fresh green bean recipe and that would be plenty. I knew exactly how she felt. When I used to prepare our Thanksgiving menu I too would have it all planned and thought I had everything on my menu to perfectly compliment the rather bland turkey. I didn’t need anything else!

We mothers-in-law need to know when to leave things alone and appreciate the thoughtful daughters-in-law we have.

The day after . . .

Had a great Thanksgiving Day!

The dinner for the community at our church turned out well. We served 267 people. Everything was done on time and the meal was very good. Peter checked in at 7:00 and me at 8:30. By 11:30 we were leaving and made it to our family’s celebration in Sheldon in plenty of time.

As I predicted dinner at Jeff and Myrna’s was outstanding. Our granddaughter Katie is becoming quite a maker of good things herself and helped her mom put the feast together.

A sleepy table of folks finally drifted from the near empty table and made it to other areas of the home to spend the rest of the day either watching football, visiting or napping!

God is good.

Connie Wagner is the co-founder of The REVIEW and may be reached at