Gill Thanksgiving 1939
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Gill Thanksgiving 1939
In her 1939 diary, Alice (Dolloff) Blake details the holiday gathering of her extended family. Wife of Ernest Blake and mother of Ruth and Clesson, she starts a week ahead of the holiday by washing the curtains and then decides to wash the woodwork in the downstairs rooms before re-hanging them. Finally, the floors are mopped and waxed. On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, she goes to Turners Falls and buys the groceries and meat.
“Got the Bird’s Eye Turkey I had ordered, 9 lbs. 9 oz. dressed weight, supposed to equal 12 lb. 9 oz. as they are usually w4ighed. Frozen hard and pressed flat and looks small. Ordered Bird’s Eye Peas and cream to be gotten tomorrow.
Wed. Nov. 29 – Fair and warm. Made two squash pies and two mince. Gave living and dining rooms a final cleaning and dusting. Made stuffing for turkey, chopped cooked giblets and meat from the neck, one loaf bread, couple dozen rolled Boston crackers, three or four eggs, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Also made chocolate cake with marshmallow frosting and got table set. Ruth and Maurice (son-in-law) arrived about nine o’clock. M. brought his skates.
Thursday, Thanksgiving – We can certainly be thankful, when we read the terrible war news, that our ancestors had the guts and the gumption to endure the hardships and frustrations of pioneer life. We are now profiting thereby and how! Intended to rise early but it was nearly eight Got the turkey washed,, stuffed, and in to bake first thing. Then took it easy for half an hour while I ate breakfast. I do enjoy a leisurely breakfast with a good story on the side!
Ruth made the beds upstairs and did the breakfast dishes. I made the beds downstairs, got the vegetables washed and peeled, then made the English pudding, whole recipe, adding two eggs and a pkg. of mixed candied fruits and a few nutmeats. Then got the squash on to cook, made the pudding sauce (egg and cream), got the dishes out, and got the vegetables on to cook. Also had an extra dish of stuffing to bake.
It was about one and half past when the crowd arrived. There were twelve of us all together for dinner. Rachel (Clapp) and Reginald French and Rebecca, Margaret and Richard Clapp, Mr. Fletcher and Eleanor Fletcher (related to the Clapps), Maurice Cook, Ruth and Clesson and Pa and me. The turkey was well done and tasted delicious, but also collapsed when I tried to lift it out onto the platter, whether from too much cooking or from having been pressed so flat when frozen. I decided to serve from the kitchen. Richard mashed the potatoes, Reg helped with the squash, Margaret had already cleaned the celery and washed the grapes which she brought. So with all the help we got along swimmingly. Richard helped serve by putting the food on the plates and Ruth carried them to the table. The turkey was fine, tender, juicy and delicious and they all seemed to like the stuffing. I also had tomato juice, cranberry jelly, and Ruth’s favorite cranberry relish. Reg and Rachel told us of a few of their interesting experiences.
They left first before dark, . . . [Some] went to to the football game at T. F. between Turners High and Greenfield High, the latter winning 14-7. Then they went skating a little while.