My Corner, Your Corner: Trying to salvage Thanksgiving memories

My Corner, - Your Corner - Tony Callaio

Here it is… a big week ahead. It’s a holiday week with Thanksgiving on Thursday and, for some, even a bigger holiday, Black Friday.

I look forward to this holiday because it’s about family and food. My family has been dwindling away over the past few years and having a whole mess of people to celebrate a bountiful meal appears, at this moment, may be a thing of the past. That part saddens me.

Nonetheless, my daughters will do their best to recreate a meal that would make their grandmother proud.

When my mother passed away 19 months ago, we just packed up her belongings and stored them at my house. Recently, my daughters found a bunch of my mom’s recipes so now they want to use them for Thanksgiving dinner.

It’s pretty amazing how many recipes my mom had handwritten. In so many cases, those recipes were all stored in her brain and she never needed to refer to the recipe.

The biggest thing was finding dessert recipes. My kids loved Gram’s desserts.

They will attempt making her sauce and ravioli and that’s always a challenge. The first time my daughter Tiffany attempted making ravioli, I had to come in to save the day. Yes, that’s right, I had to help finish the job.

If there was one thing I did growing up, I’d either watch attentively while mom made pasta or I’d actually pitch in and get my hands doughy. It was a fun process and, although I didn’t know it at the time, but it was a bonding moment for the two of us.

Mom was so good at it, she had many friends and relatives call to ask if she would assist in making their ravioli.

I learned over time and, without a recipe and when I was asked to help salvage my daughter’s attempt, it all came back to me. I’m talking a few decades since I helped make ravioli.

Making Thanksgiving dinner brought back so many memories and I just wanted to do my mother proud, you know, just in case she was watching from somewhere.

We did a pretty good job and those dinners turned out great. My dad’s brother John always loved my mother’s ravioli so, to put our attempt to the test, we had he and my Aunt Pat over for Thanksgiving.

I’m happy to report; he loved those raviolis so this year will be a repeat of that.

Once your meal is over and all the football games are watched, you’ll probably plan out your Black Friday shopping spree.

Some stores changed their philosophy with hours of operation, so you might have to use different plans this year.

I’ve always marveled at people who camp out at Best Buy to get the incredible discounts they offer. Usually, those dynamite deals only have a few items in each store and campers at the end of the line don’t even get the chance to grab a deal.

Last year, I had a Thanksgiving assignment from the paper to photograph shoppers on Black Friday. I ended up at Best Buy and I was photographing those very same campers. It was crazy but those people just loved being there. Maybe it’s more about the hunt that the victory.

I was allowed to enter the store before the shoppers and I could feel the energy in the air from employees. It was almost like being in the locker room before a big game. It was pretty electric.

When the doors were opened, I expected a mad rush but it was steady and people walked in briskly but orderly.

I was surprised that the inventory was plentiful and, if you wanted that new high def. TV, there were enough for even those campers at the end of the line.

Before that assignment, I was a non-believer of Black Friday sales, but now I have second thoughts about actually running out and grabbing a bargain.

Of course, enjoying Thanksgiving and shopping on Black Friday is centered on the fact that you are felling well and everything is okay.

About 10 days ago, I got hit with an upper respiratory infection. It came out of nowhere and, after trying over-the-counter drugs, I had to call my physician for an antibiotic. I’m a few days into it and starting to feel some relief.

The problem is, I can’t not work. I have to go out whenever I’m called upon so the antibiotic was very welcomed.

With having this nasty cough, I can’t help but think about how long this winter could be. I don’t like winter or anything to do with winter.

Will we have a mild winter? Will we have a frigid winter? Or even worse, have a decent winter and then have the kick in the pants 20-plus inches in March like we did last year? Man, I hated that.

Winter is coming, just like Thanksgiving and Black Friday and, before you know it Old Saint Nick will make an appearance.

Enjoy the holiday, everyone, and try not to eat too much.

Quote of the week

“I’ve found the formula for avoiding these exaggerated fears of age; you take care of every day – let the calendar take care of the years.” – Ed Wynn, American actor

Thought of the week

“You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.” – Oliver Goldsmith, British essayist

Bumper sticker

“God will not forgive us if we fail.” – Leonid Brezhnev, Russian statesman

My Corner,

Your Corner

Tony Callaio