Thanksgiving was pretty early that year – November 23 (the 22nd is the earliest it can possibly be). We already know the menu, but let’s see what Mom’s notes have to say:
Wine, 20-1/2 lb. Sentry turkey – 33 ¢ per lb., $6.78 (just enough, really). Catherine Clark dressing, instant mashed, sweet potatoes, gravy, rolls, cauliflower & mixed veg., cornflakes, olives, cranberries, pies, coffee and Decaf. Grandma Ruhl here. Grandma M – mince pie, Catherine – sweet potatoes (2 casseroles), Mrs. Conant – 4 doz rolls plus 9, Mary Ann – pie, Marie – 2 pies – pumpk. and apple, Carol Krueger – mince and apple pie – also mints, caramels, and soda.
Ok first of all, wow. Just a 20 pound turkey for all those people? Mom doesn’t have a total count, but I’m guessing it had to be at least 24, including plenty of teenagers with good appetites. After all, there were six pies, which would be about 36 servings, so, it had to be a pretty big crowd. I know portions were smaller then, and maybe everybody held back a little bit, but that’s really taking a chance, I’d say. Apparently it was “just enough”! Whew.
Christmas – Mother and Ed’s mother here for Christmas Eve and overnight – breakfast – the usual – Lovas’ pork sausages (the last time), grapefruit (bananas for Lawrence & me) & cherry, Jule Kage, and pecan rolls from Corine.
Another old Milwaukee name – Lovas’ Butcher Shop. It was on Center Street, just east of Sherman Boulevard, I believe. Must have closed down around that time. I know my Dad often would go to Lovas’s butcher shop and then Pinah’s bakery on a Saturday with a list from Mom.
Christmas dinner – Mother, Aunt Felice, and John & Teddy (unexpectedly) – 13 lb turkey (plenty), Catherine Clark dressing, frozen cauliflower & mixed veg., cornflakes, rolls & relishes, sweet & mashed potatoes, gravy, mince pie & cookies.
Mince pie only – interesting. And just one pie, for 10 people?? Of course John & Teddy were apparently surprise guests… but still, I’m surprised. At the same time, she might not have had the time to make more, since this was probably a stressful season of life for my Mom. Her Mother was most likely in the nursing home by now, she had four growing kids, the house to manage, volunteer work, and possibly some outside-the-home work as well. For awhile Mom did substitute teaching, and later she did proofreading work (which she loved). So maybe one pie was all she had time for, and since Dad loved mince pie, well, that’s what it was.
Besides, there were plenty of Christmas cookies.