But life went on in spite of the awfulness. I graduated from grade school, my youngest brother turned six, my Dad switched from being a door-to-door Fuller Brush salesman to being an industrial rep for the company.
As I recall, the move was necessitated by the fact that fewer and fewer women were home during the day to place their orders for household supplies, so it was getting harder to support a growing family on that income.
At the same time, Fuller Brush was trying to recruit some of those working women to be “Fullerettes”. Yes. Fullerettes. I don’t think it was very successful; in fact I can’t remember a single woman sales rep for Fuller during my Dad’s career with them.
But I digress. Back to menus.
Easter – ?
Life was busy for Mom and so I can understand that she might not remember the details of a particular meal, if she didn’t think to jot down her notes until much later.
Thanksgiving – 24 total
wine, turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, olives, cauliflower & frozen mixed vegetables & cornflakes (previously mentioned in this post), cranberry sauce prepared here; Catherine Ennis – sweet potatoes (with marshmallow topping, mmmmm), rolls from Mrs. Conant (Aunt Mary Ann’s mother)
Funny story about mashed potatoes. One of the things I remember about those huge Thanksgiving dinners with 20+ people were all the women helping in the kitchen. They’d help Mom fill the serving dishes and hurry them out to the dining room and living room where an extra table or two were set up. They’d help with pouring coffee and filling water glasses and all those tasks. And once, a very helpful helper announced, in a loud announcing voice, “Anyone want more mashed potatoes? They’re instant so we can make some right away!”
I think Mom wanted to die of embarrassment. Somehow she thought nobody would know that those unnaturally smooth, white mashed potatoes were from a box. To this day I never use instant mashed potatoes (and yet I just learned that one of my sisters-in-law prefers those to homemade!)
Anyway, there were desserts for this meal, of course. Grandma M. brought 2 mince pies, Aunt Mary Ann brought 2 pumpkin pies, and Marie Schottler (one of Dad’s cousins) brought 1 pumpkin and 1 apple pie.
So that’s six pies for 24 people. Sweet.
Christmas – Mother, Corine, Aunt Felice (Sr. Mary Clement). (With our family of six that made a small gathering of nine total.)
Turkey, Mother’s dressing, cauliflower & mixed vegetables, cranberry sauce, olives. Mince and pumpkin pies (Mother).
This tugs at my heart a bit. You see, Grandma Ruhl died in February, 1975 of Alzheimer’s Disease. I notice this was the first Christmas dinner held at our house – probably because Grandma was no longer able to host the meal. But she still was able to make pie, apparently, which is pretty good (unless her daughter Corine actually did the baking.)