The Humor and Life, in Particular Web site
author:  Margie Culbertson

Guest Author Pages

Thanksgiving Feast


Debbie Farmer

This year I decided to emulate Martha Stewart and have a traditional, old fashioned Thanksgiving at home with my husband and two kids instead of traveling to Gramma's . I thought preparing and eating our feast together would be a fun, enriching experience which would help my children understand the meaning of Thanksgiving. I wanted them to know that it was more than mashing cranberries into fake blood and smearing it on the cat or jamming black olives onto their fingers and seeing who could fling them the farthest.

"This year," I announced to my family, "we're going to make Thanksgiving dinner here, just us."

My husband looked worried.

"Does this mean I can eat Frosted Flakes out of my Barney bowl in the living room?" my five–year old daughter asked.

"No," I said, "we are going to work together to create a family meal that'll show our thankfulness for each other, our lives, and all living creatures."

"Yippee! Macaroni and cheese!"

I sighed. "e"re going to buy a turkey and cook it ourselves."


"We're going to put it in the oven."

My children looked confused.

"You know," I said, "the box in the kitchen where I store the Christmas paper and extra shoe boxes."


I wanted everything to be perfect, so the day before Thanksgiving I consulted my copy of "The Domestic Goddess Culinary Queen Holiday Cookbook," which I had placed in the back of my deepest cupboard when I became the mother of two.

So I leafed through the pages and found the turkey recipe: 

Pick a turkey from the flock by the perkiness of its tail. Once plucked and feathered, rinse, stuff with breadcrumbs left over from your oldest homemade loaf and season with fresh garden herbs mixed with honey from the hive.

I considered the recipe for a moment, then quickly translated it into the "Busy Women With Kids"(aka "Motherhood" dialect) version:  buy a turkey, thaw it, stick it in the oven.

Next, I looked up pumpkin pie in the index: 

Pick a ripe pumpkin from the garden by tapping its gourd. Then peel and cook meat. Grind flour for crust and mix in fresh butter made from cream.

I looked but I couldn't find the part about opening the can and pouring the pumpkin into the ready–made crust. So, I translated again into Motherhood dialect:  one frozen pie.

Next, I found the recipe for yams: 

Dig up roots from garden. Dice and saut in fresh ground garlic and....

Two cans of sweet potatoes.

I still needed some ideas on holiday decorating tips. I thumbed through some pictures of centerpieces that put the Rose Bowl Parade to shame.

"Look!" I said, pointing to a Thanksgiving center piece with a guarantee it could be created by picking choice cuttings from the yard. I called the kids in, "We can make this one while the turkey is cooking."

Dawn. There I was sliding this 30 pound turkey into the oven so it would be ready by dinnertime. When my children were over their fascination with the working oven, we went into the backyard to find cuttings for our Thanksgiving centerpiece. We returned with a bouquet of clovers and a plastic daisy mounted on a wire, which the children stuck into an empty two–liter bottle and placed in the center of the table.


The turkey was ready so I assembled my children in the kitchen so we could have a family experience creating the rest of the meal. I placed a pot on the stove and turned on the burner, and watched my son pour the cranberry sauce out of the can into the pot. I noticed he smiled as he stirred.

My daughter sprinkled marshmallows over the sweet potatoes and opened the box containing the frozen pie and slid it into the oven.

Then, came the great moment. My children proudly carried their culinary masterpieces to the dining room to present to my husband, who was busy picking ants off the tablecloth from the centerpiece.

"What a wonderful feast!" he said.

My children excitedly told him our secret recipes while we ate our meal and, even though I was no Martha Stewart, gravy from a jar, canned vegetables, and processed pie had never tasted so good.

© 1997, Debbie Farmer

About the author: 

Debbie Farmer was born in San Francisco, California, but claims she is much too young to remember "The Summer of Love." Debbie claims her first major writing gig came when she was given her own column in her sixth grade class' newspaper. There she dazzled the local literary scene (aka: the rest of the class) with her witty insights on baby hamsters and Shaun Cassidy. Later she expanded her subject matter and earned a B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Debbie launched her syndicated column "Family Daze" in 1996 which now reaches over 400,000 readers in over 40 newspapers. "Family Daze" eventually won Honorable Mention in the National Society of Newspaper Columnists annual contest. In 2002 Debbie's column was instrumental in helping Pittsburgh Parent Magazine win a gold medal in humor writing from the Parenting Publications of America.

Her publishing credits include: "Reader's Digest", "Family Fun Magazine", "The Washington Post", "The Christian Science Monitor", "Christian Parenting Today", and "Sunset Publications", and she is featured in hundreds of parenting magazines in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. In addition, Debbie is featured in the books: Chicken Soup For The Mother's Soul II, Chicken Soup For The Gardener's Soul, Chocolate For A Woman's Courage, Life's A Stitch (with authors such as Erma Bombeck and Gloria Steinem.)

She currently lives in California with her family, two inspirational children, and way too many cats. And, speaking of cats, you can find her book, Don't Put Lipstick on the Cat, on or in bookstores.

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking Sites.
It helps give the page "votes" and it helps you find this page later on!

©Margie Culbertson

Home Back to The Humor and Life, in Particular Home Page