This year my family and I are celebrating Thanksgiving on Wednesday evening the 27th. I am looking forward to spending the holiday with my mother, sister, brother-in-law, and last but not least Jeana, the newest member of our family born this past June.
Amongst the different items that we are bringing to the feast — the turkey, dressing, cranberry relish, glazed Brussels sprouts and a cherry pie — by far, we all look forward to the dressing.
You see this is no ordinary dressing recipe, but one full of memories of Thanksgivings of years past, and a personal remembrance of being thankful not simply for the feast to come, but for the moments of life with friends and family.
No one knows what the future holds, and back on such a day before Thanksgiving years ago, my sister and I participated in making this dressing, a Greenwald family tradition, with my grandmother who knew this recipe only by "tactile" memory but had never written it down.
Mother transcribed as grandmother directed, cyphering through crazy instructions of "day old stale bread," "a handful of raisins," "up to 6 apples," and instructions like "bake until done."
We will cherish for a lifetime the moments we shared with Grandmother Dorothy, as this was unexpectedly her last.
Yes, you may be wondering why I shared this sad, yet joyful story of my past, for this Thanksgiving's Nature's Advocate article.
With regret I must let you know that this will be the last Nature's Advocate article, as I will be leaving my position as horticulture specialist with the University of Missouri Extension in Phelps County.
We cannot predict where life's journey will take us, but I am so glad, that although for only a short time, I was able to work for the people of Rolla and the surrounding communities.
There are no words which can express my gratitude for this opportunity to write for the Rolla Daily News, a memory which I will value for the rest of my career.
This Thanksgiving, I have been truly blessed and must give a special thanks to the readers that have supported my writings; Paul, the editor of the Rolla Daily News; MU-Extension for this opportunity to serve the Rolla community; and the Phelps County Master Gardeners; and the Meramec Hills chapter Missouri Master Naturalist volunteers.
Although we don't know what tomorrow will bring, what job we will have, the new experiences on the horizon or what friends we will make, we can give thanks this year like Folliott S. Pierpoint wrote in 1864, "For the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent, child…." And what I will add, "for the friends and people of Rolla."
So, as a fellow Nature's Advocate I must say good bye, but before that, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite memories and recipe for the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving!
Page 2 of 2 - Grandma Greenwald's Thanksgiving Dressing:
2 loaves of day old bread (large sandwich loaves; lay slices out to get dry) 3 eggs 1 cup chopped scallions
4-6 Granny Smith Apples peeled and chopped fine
1 1/2 pounds of pork sausage (half mild have spicy) 1 cup raisins 6-7 cups chicken broth
Brown pork sausage with scallions. Cut bread into crouton size pieces. Mix all ingredients together and place it into a large baking dish with lid.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for one hour. Turn the oven up to 375 degrees F, remove the lid and bake until browned on top and center is hot. Serves 20-24.