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Memories of frozen turkey, football

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Updated: December 24, 2012 6:47AM



Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that provides the perfect backdrop for family traditions and brings back memories of loved ones now gone.

In the Bosak family, as far back as I can remember, Thanksgiving was celebrated each year at my aunt and uncle’s, both now deceased.

The turkey was my uncle’s baby. Sitting on the counter to cool, it always looked like a bronzed work of art and smelled divine.

Several of us were turkey skin fanatics, so we hovered around the counter like vultures, waiting for pieces of the crispy delights.

I can feel my arteries clogging just thinking about it.

Packed around the linen-covered table in a relatively small dining room, young and old, we were eager to dig into the bounty set before us. Never forgetting that it was a day for giving thanks, no one made a move to fill a plate until we said our prayers of gratitude.

After that, it was every person for himself or herself.

Although our arms were somewhat pinned to our sides by the large number of people in close proximity, we wouldn’t have had it any other way. This was family and, primarily, it was for this that we gave thanks.

Here are some more Thanksgiving memories and traditions from your neighbors.

Tessa Shrader, Highland: “When I was a new bride of only a couple months, I decided I would make Thanksgiving dinner. Although I had no experience in the kitchen, I figured, how hard could it be?

“I put the turkey in the refrigerator the day before to defrost. Thanksgiving morning, I poked it, and it had some give, so I figured it was ready. I slapped that bird in a pan and threw it in the oven around noon; dinner was at 2.

“Needless to say, where it wasn’t still frozen, it was bloody raw.

“My mother-in-law came to the rescue, pulling things out of my pantry, and we had spaghetti, salad and garlic rolls for dinner that year.

“The following year, she invited me to join her in making the turkey. We enjoyed spending time getting to know each other and we began cooking together often. Those are wonderful memories, except for the frozen turkey.”

Collen McGuire, Munster: “My cousin and I were first given the “job” of making place cards for the table. I think it was a way to keep us quiet while we were waiting to eat.

“As we grew, the place cards progressed from very primitive to much more elaborate.

“We’re both married now, but we still get together the weekend before Thanksgiving to make our place cards. This year will be complete with feathers and sequins.”

Kevin Delinski, Hammond: “Football — how cliché is that? My brothers, my dad, my uncles and my cousins and I go to the park down the block and play football for a couple of hours — rain, snow or shine.

“I can remember a couple of Thanksgivings when dinner had to be postponed because we were all a muddy mess.

“My mom gives us that look of disgust but hey, it’s not Thanksgiving without football.



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