An Old Western Thanksgiving

by Pollyanna-loving blogger Ruth Logan Herne

We’ve all got our own traditions for Thanksgiving, don’t we?

Being in Western New York, our traditions are very New England… the turkey and stuffing and gravy and mashed potatoes and maybe corn… rolls and butter. Cranberry sauce!

Oh, it’s a delightful way of putting on the dog and thanking God that one day a year…. (I’m of a mind we should be doing that on a more daily basis, but this is a Thanksgiving post, not a lecture. 🙂

Down south I have friends who can’t have Thanksgiving without barbecue…. and I mean real “cue” with brisket and cornbread or corn pudding (SO DELICIOUS!!!) and shrimp-and-grits and coke.

Notice the lower case, because all soft drinks are cokes. 🙂

And if you wander to Tex-Mex country, you might find traditional turkey in some places, but you might find a vast buffet of Hispanic foods, too….

And in an Italian house, what’s Thanksgiving without lasagna?

Unthinkable!

In the old west, in the early railroad days or pre-railroad days, you cooked what you had. What you grew. What you shot or trapped or bagged.

So Thanksgiving might be fresh fish or salt cod.

It might be chicken and dumplings if you were lucky enough to have started a flock of chickens and could spare one.

It might be smoked venison if you bagged a deer or an elk.

Or it could be birds… Not turkeys. Smaller birds. Game birds.

Or if you had the know-how to grow a pig over the summer, then butchering time might give you a fresh ham or a smoked ham… or bacon… or chops. Smoking and salting cured meat so that it would last longer.

We’re talking about lack of ice in an upcoming post and that was a big concern in parts of the west. you could cut block ice in the north, but that wasn’t happening in the lower states… not with a huge degree of keeping things cold because their winter is much shorter.

But when it comes right down to it, does it matter what we eat?

Naw.

Or what day we celebrate giving thanks to God for all of our blessings?

Nope.

When family is together, we choose that day. With a big family you can’t be governed by a calendar… so we choose to be governed by love. 🙂

How about you? Do you have a traditional-style Thanksgiving?

Or are you a little more regionally acclimated?

Let me know below!

And I have a copy of my upcoming Love Inspired book “A Hopeful Harvest” in the prize closet for one lucky person!

Next week is my mailing week…. and I’d love to pick your name!

Nationwide Release Mid-December!