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Robbin Bruce: Fried turkey and fruit cake cookies

  • Friday, November 22, 2013

I donít know about yíall but Iím getting hungry. Itís weird because Iím really not; I just had me a couple Eggoís, so food should be the last thing on my mind. Maybe it started last night, Mel asked if I had mentioned to my brothers or anybody else about Thanksgiving. I really didnít think I needed to. In a sense, she has kind of taken Mommaís place when it comes to the holiday meals. I never called Momma and asked her if she was going to cook for Thanksgiving, Iíd have got an earful. So I sent out a few texts, and from the answers I got from them, they kind of thought it was a crazy question too. And thatís about the time I started thinking about fried turkey, and the hunger pangs began.

Now donít get me wrong, eleven months out the year if you couldnít take a step outside without stepping on a turkey, I wouldnít shoot one to eat it. But there is something about pulling one out the grease, then waiting long enough to let it cool to pull you off a piece to eat, that makes my mouth water. And by the time weíve finally finished supper, Iím pretty well deep in a ďTurkey ComaĒ. I heard somewhere that there is something in turkey that makes you sleepy, and I believe it.

And the dressing, Lord help us, the dressing. I reckon you could cook it in July, but I donít know anybody who would eat it. I only remember Momma cooking it one time other than a holiday, one of my brothers wanted it for his birthday, but it just wasnít the same. Something about the magic of this time of year seems to add something to the flavor to that browned cornbread.

Momma had a way of cooking things; I guess all Mommas do, which only she knew how. And either it was her secret recipe, or we just never got around to asking her how she did it. You know what I mean, how many times have you said to yourself, ĎThis is good, but it sure ainít Mommaís?Ē Believe it or not, we finally cracked her code on two of them, or Mel and Joby did. Mel figured out her dressing recipe, by trial and error, and Joby by accident, her pizza. And just so I donít let out any secrets, youíll have to ask them.

Another thing that tends to show up around here around this time is fruit cake cookies. Now to be perfectly honest, I donít eat fruit cake, period. We use to get them in C-Rations, in a can, if you can believe it. After trying it one time the only use I had for it was to throw it at the Aggressor Force when they attacked, either in the can or out, it didnít matter, it would still knock umí out. So you can imagine my reluctance to eat something called ďFruit Cake Cookies,Ē I figured they were just made smaller to be easier to chunk with. But with hat in hand I must admit they are delicious. Mom got into it so much she made sacks of them to give away, and Melís got into it now, and the only problem is Mel, or when Momma did, they always run out.

But you know, if we really think about it, itís not really the food, itís so much more, itís the fellowship. Over time chairs become empty, but before you know it there is a new face where an old one sat. Bloodlines donít always make family, thatís the spirit that was passed down to us from the very first Thanksgiving. Almost half of the people who made the crossing on the Mayflower were dead by the first harvest. But by the Grace of God the others were still alive, and that called for a celebration.

And itís that celebration that has been passed down to us. To celebrate family and friends, to remember those that have gone before us and those that are to come. To remember the good times, to comfort those that are in need, and to thank God for the bounty he has blessed us with for another year. Just as the Pilgrims did, on that rocky shore in Massachusetts, so long ago.


You can reach Robbin Bruce by e-mail at robbinbruce@yahoo.com.


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