New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
Shelley Shepard Gray

A Thanksgiving Update

Posted Nov 26 2010, 6:02 am

Yesterday morning, my daughter had swim team practice. So, there I was at 5:30 in the morning, sipping coffee and watching TV. Next thing I know, my husband was there, too. An hour passed. We read the paper. Looked at the sale fliers for Black Friday. Half-heartedly watched the news.

It was raining and raining. Perfect day to sit home and do nothing!

Then on came the Today Show. After a while, Martha Stewart appeared. Of course, she was showing how to cook a turkey-she put a butter and wine soaked cheesecloth on it for the first hour.  It looked amazing! My husband put his coffee cup down. “You know, we really should cook a turkey today,” he said.

I pointed out our beautiful roast in the refrigerator. Reminded him that I was planning to make a Yule Log with Lesley.

But my husband shook his head. “What are we going to do if we dont fuss with that turkey all day? We can save that roast for Saturday night. Let’s go to the store, get everything for our usual Thanksgiving dinner and make it.”

This made no sense! It was raining. We had planned to make beef and potatoes and creamed spinach. Plus, there were only three of us…and, well, I had planned to be melancholy all day!

But….I do like to cook with my husband. And…cornbread stuffing did sound pretty good…

So what did I say?  “We can go to the store. But if there’s no fresh turkey, I’m not making it.”

“Deal,” Tom replied.

Well, guess what? Our Kroger was full of very smart people~all they had were fresh turkeys on sale for half off!  So, next thing I knew, I was grabbing a shopping cart at 8:00 am yesterday and buying everything we needed for stuffing, green beans, yams, and an apple pie. We bought a cheese cloth, too, and a whole lot of butter. : )

Yesterday, Tom and I-then later Lesley-had a great day. We fussed over that turkey, rolled out pie crust, chopped vegetables and set the table.  In the middle of it all, my son called, told me how much fun he was having with a fraternity brother’s family in Mississippi, and reminded me that he’ll be home in two weeks.

We talked to our extended family. Said prayers and were thankful. Then we watched football and I started a puzzle.

Actually, this Thanksgiving that I’d been dreading was pretty great!

Once again I was treated to the gentle reminder that though things are different here, they are much the same, too. Perhaps they always will be. For us, Thanksgiving is about family, near and far, cooking and eating and giving thanks. Yesterday, that’s what we did.

I hope y’all had a  nice Thanksgiving, too!

I half considered getting up early this morning to go shopping, but quickly decided against that. It’s still rainy and cold-too cold for me to hit the stores at 4 am!  Today I’m writing, then will go see the new Harry Potter movie.

How are y’all spending today? Working? Sleeping? Eating turkey sandwiches? Did anyone go to the stores early? My daughter and I went out at 4 two years ago. It was fun!




7 responses to “A Thanksgiving Update”

  1. Tonya Kappes says:

    OH good! I’m glad Tom talked you into this! You needed it. Plus you got some really good, great new memories!!

  2. Jeanette says:

    I wasn’t planning to go shopping this morning but since I woke up early (about 3:00) I looked at the adds from yesterday’s paper and decided to go to WalMart. I wanted to look in the book section anyway. And I got a few of their sale items.

    It was raining when I started out but didn’t really feel too cold. but by the time I was leaving the store the rain had stopped, the wind was blowing and it felt much colder.

    I’m so glad that you had a great Thanksgiving. My daughter did her turkey in the deep fryer again. It was pretty crispy on the outside, but still good although not as moist as one done in the roaster. The dogs and cats thought it was pretty good too.

    I did bring home some left overs. I had ham on dinner rolls, noodles, mashed potatoes and waldorf salad for breakfast today. Being a night shift person I can eat anything anytime.

    Have a great weekend!


  3. Jeanette says:


    I thought of a couple more things I wanted to add.

    One is one of my most embarrasing turkey moments. I was in my late teens or very eary 20’s, the turkey was out of the oven and I decided to check its temperature. I used a glass oral thermometer. You guessed it! The thermometer broke with glass in the turkey. We had to cut away a large chunk of breast meat. My mother was upset, but I’m sure she felt bad for me also. My father was just angry that I would do something so stupid. Money was tight and he was thinking of the waste.

    They always bought a large turkey and we had all kinds of leftovers.
    Sandwiches, turkey salad for more sandwiches, croquettes, and soup. Those turkey bones were picked clean.

    I can look back at the thermometer episode and smile now but I was devastated at the time.


  4. Patsy says:

    My daughters and I did go out shopping on black Friday. We left about 5 a.m. We didn’t need anything special. It was just for fun. It was really warm on Thanksgiving here in Mississippi, but on Friday we woke up to rain and dropping temps. We went out anyway. Crazy!

    Shelley, I caught the last part of Martha’s presentation of her turkey on the Today Show. It looked really good. I was wondering how it turned out for you.

    I baked a turkey for the first time this year. It was so tender it fell of the bone. Got the recipe from

  5. KAREN SMITH says:


  6. Will Carpenter says:

    🙂 Wellll, I’m not surprised! I am certainly glad you did this. Good for Tom. We went to our nieces. It wasn’t the same. We made the best of it. The best part of it was we skyped our daughter in Tennessee. She returns to Charleston today I believe. Just in time to pick up Mark from the airport. Mark is talking to a girl from, Wisconsin, who is with her family in Hawaii. Her father is a Naval officer. It is good to see him with someone. He is turning 21 tonight. Any how it seems-like…well, I feel what your going through. With the children growing etc. etc. But everyone was somewhere safe. Praise the Lord for this. I’m Blogging tomorrow. Trying to think of something.
    Hope all is well.

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