Terrible Tom Turkey

Awfuls chasing tureyRepost of ne of my favorites.  Original art by Kathleen Swain.

When I was a kid, we often went places normal people would never intentionally go. Periodically, Daddy would realize he hadn’t spent any time around social misfits and needed a fix, bad! One day he announced he’d had heard of somebody who lived back in the woods about four miles off Tobacco Road who had a thingamajig he just had to have. Never mind, all five kids needed new shoes and the lights were due to be cut off. He NEEDED that thingamajig!

He HAD to check it out, driving forever down rutted roads that looked like they might disappear into nothing. Finally we got back to Mr. Tucker’s shack. Mr. Tucker was wearing overalls and nothing else. Apparently buttoning overalls wasted valuable time needed forpile junk collecting. While Daddy and Mr. Tucker disappeared into the tangle of weeds and mess of old cars, car tires, trash, broken washing machines and other refuse scattered around the house and into the woods. Mother sweltered in the car with the five of us while Daddy and Mr. Tucker rambled.

It was hot. It got hotter the longer we waited in the punishing July heat. We opened the car doors, hoping to catch a breeze as it got hotter and hotter. The baby and the two-year-old were squalling out their misery as Mother fanned them. Daddy wasn’t known for the consideration he showed his family. He was “the man.”

Mrs. Tucker, a big woman in overalls came out in the front yard and started a fire, never even looking our way. She probably thought our car was just another old clunker in their yard. It got even hotter. We were all begging for a drink of water. Daddy was still gone, admiring Mr. Tucker’s junk collection. Daddy could talk for hours, unconcerned that his family was sweltering in the car. He thought misery was character-building. It didn’t matter that he didn’t know the people he’d just stumbled up on. We spent many an hour waiting in the car while he “talked” usually having stopped off on the way to visit some of his relatives.

Finally, in desperation, Mother got out of the car, introduced herself to Mrs. Tucker, and asked if we could have a drink of water. Mrs, Tucker turned without speaking, went into the house, came back out with some cloudy snuff glasses, called us over to the well, drew a bucket of water, and let us drink till we were satisfied. That was the best water I ever had. Mrs. Tucker pulled a couple of chairs under a shade tree and Mother sat down. We all sat down in the dirt in the cool of the shade and played. Daddy was still prowling around in search of junk, but things looked a lot better after we cooled off and had a drink. Mrs. Tucker was interesting to look at, but didn’t have a lot to say. She had a couple of teeth missing, had greasy red hair that was chopped off straight around, and long scratches down both arms.

Mother tried to talk to her, but Mrs. Tucker wasn’t a great conversationalist. I suspect she didn’t know too many words. I couldn’t take my eyes off the missing teeth and long scratches down her arm. Despite Mother’s attempts to quell my questions, I found out a lot about her. She didn’t have any kids. It didn’t take long to figure out she “wasn’t right.” I was fascinated and wanted to ask about what happened to her teeth, but knew that would get me in trouble, so I asked how she scratched her arms. Mother told me to hush, but fortunately, Mrs. Tucker explained. It seemed she was going to put a rooster in the big pot in the front yard to scald him before plucking him. He’d scratched her and gotten away before she could get the lid on. Apparently she didn’t know she was supposed to kill him first. Just at the point where things were getting interesting, Daddy came back and I didn’t get to hear the rest of the story.

Mrs. Tucker gave us a turkey that day, teaching me a valuable lesson. Don’t ever accept the gift of a turkey. Ol’ Tom was going to be the guest of honor at our Thanksgiving Dinner. Daddy put him in the chicken yard and Tom took over, whipping the roosters, terrorizing the hens, and jumping on any kid sent to feed him and the chickens. We hated him. Mother had to take a stick to threaten him off when she went out to the chicken yard. He even flew over the fence and chased us as we played in the back yard till Daddy clipped his wings.

Before too long, we saw the Nickerson kids, the meanest kids in the neighborhood, headed for the chicken yard. Mother couldn’t wait to see Tom get them. Sure enough, Ol’ Devil Tom jumped out from behind a shed on jumped on the biggest boy, Clarence. Clarence yelped and ran. The other boys were right behind him, swatting at the turkey. Unlike us, they didn’t run out with their tails tucked between their legs. They launched an all-out attack on Tom, beating him with their jackets, sticks, and whatever they could grab. They chased him until they were tired of the game. Tom never chased any of us again, but Mother never got around to thanking the Nickersons.

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Laugh Your Way With Best Thanksgiving Jokes of the Day

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An industrious farmer was always experimenting with breeding, his mission was to produce the perfect turkey. His family was fond of the leg portion for dinner and there were never enough legs for everyone.

After many frustrating attempts, the farmer was relating the results of his efforts to his friends at the general store. ‘Well I finally did it! I bred a turkey that has six legs!’ They all asked the farmer how it tasted.

‘I don’t know, ‘said the farmer, ‘I never could catch one!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laugh Your Way With Joke of the Day

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Thinking of being thankful while still keeping a funny tone? You can do so and still wish a happy Thanksgiving to your close ones using these famous but yet funny Thanksgiving sayings and phrases.funny thanksgiving turkey

My cooking is so bad my kids thought Thanksgiving was to commemorate Pearl Harbor. ~ Phyllis Diller

We’re having something a little different this year for Thanksgiving. Instead of a turkey, we’re having a swan. You get more stuffing. ~ George Carlin

An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day. ~ Iry Kupcinet

I hate turkeys. If you stand in the meat section at the grocery store long enough, you start to get mad at turkeys. There’s turkey ham, turkey bologna, turkey pastrami. Some one needs to tell the turkey, ‘man, just be yourself. ~ Mitch Hedberg

I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land. ~ Jon Stewart

The thing I’m most thankful for right now is elastic waistbands. ~Unknown Author

Most turkeys taste better the day after; my mother’s tasted better the day before. ~ Rita Rudner

I love Thanksgiving turkey… it’s the only time in Los Angeles that you see natural breasts. ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger

Thanksgiving is so called because we are all so thankful that it only comes once a year. ~ P.J. O’Rourke

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence. ~ Erma Bombeck

Thanksgiving is America’s national chow-down feast, the one occasion each year when gluttony becomes a patriotic duty. ~ Michael Dresser

I have strong doubts that the first Thanksgiving even remotely resembled the ‘history’ I was told in second grade. But considering that (when it comes to holidays) mainstream America’s traditions tend to be over-eating, shopping, or getting drunk, I suppose it’s a miracle that the concept of giving thanks even surfaces at all. ~ Ellen Orleans

We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink. ~ Epicurus

It’s not the minutes spent at the table that put on weight, it’s the seconds. ~ Unknown Author

Thanksgiving is America’s national chow-down feast, the one occasion each year when gluttony becomes a patriotic duty. ~ Michael Dresser

My mother is such a lousy cook that Thanksgiving at her house is a time of sorrow. ~ Rita Rudner

What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving? ~ Erma Bombeck

Thanksgiving, man! Not a good day to be my pants. ~ Kevin James

I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land. ~ Jon Stewart

Here I am 5 o’clock in the morning stuffing bread crumbs up a dead bird’s butt. ~ Roseanne Barr

Cooking Tip: Wrap turkey leftovers in aluminium foil and throw them out. ~ Nicole Hollander

I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage. ~ Erma Bombeck

A lot of Thanksgiving days have been ruined by not carving the turkey in the kitchen. ~ Kin Hubbard

Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie. ~ Jim Davis

Coexistence… what the farmer does with the turkey – until Thanksgiving ? ~ Mike Connolly

Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie. ~ Jim Davis

If you want to save a species, simply decide to eat it. Then it will be managed – like chickens, like turkeys, like deer, like Canadian geese. ~ Ted Nugent

There is no sincerer love than the love of food. ~ George Bernard Shaw

It must be an odd feeling to be thankful to nobody in particular. Christians in public institutions often see this odd thing happening on Thanksgiving Day. Everyone in the institution seems to be thankful ‘in general.’ It’s very strange. It’s a little like being married in general. ~ Cornelius Plantinga, Jr

May your stuffing be tasty. May your turkey plump, May your potatoes and gravy. Have nary a lump. May your yams be delicious, And your pies take the prize, And may your Thanksgiving dinner stay off your thighs! ~Unknown Author

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Shoo-Fly Pie, a Recipe that even people on Facebook would Love

pieSweet potato pies were a staple on our Thanksgiving table.  When I was about fifteen, Mother was running way behind with the many demands of the day and coerced me into making the pies the day before Thanksgiving.  I had better things to do; anything would have been better than being stuck in the house making pies.  Mother didn’t play around that day.  I wasn’t going anywhere or doing anything till those pies got made.  I was not happy.  All the other kids in the world got to do what they wanted to.  I had to work all the time.  It wasn’t my company coming tomorrow.  I didn’t even like stupid potato pie.  The only reason Mother had kids was so they could do her work.

I was experienced enough in the ways of the world to keep my smart mouth shut, but I fumed as I worked.  Mother even had the nerve to jump on me about pouting.  “You’d better stop that pouting and get in a better mood or I’m going to give you something to pout about.”

How in the heck do you fake a good mood?  Like a true smartass, I burst loudly into “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” and got a swift kick in the butt for my efforts.  It was always embarrassing when I pushed Mother far enough to get her in action.  She’s about four feet ten inches tall and squeaks when she talks.  It’s like getting swatted my Minnie Mouse.  It just made me feel stupid!

Back to the pies, I cooked and peeled sweet potatoes till my eyes crossed, whipped eggs, mixed the batter, and finally got those pies in the oven.  Just as I was getting ready to slip out the back door to slip out to catch my horse and ride, Mother caught me.

“Where do you think you are going?  Get back here and clean up this kitchen……and quit trying to run off.  I’m not through with you, yet.  You can forget about that horse until all the cooking is done, the kitchen is cleaned up, and the floors are swept.”  She was a slave driver.

Finally, after I muddled through the God-Awful mess I’d added to the breakfast dishes that were still piled in the sink, I got around to cleaning up my pie mess.  I was putting spices back in the cabinet when I happened to notice the label on the can of what I’d thought was pumpkin-pie spice.  FISH FOOD!  I’d just put fish food in the pies instead of pumpkin-pie spice.  I read the ingredients on the can…..insect and vegetable flakes!  In view of the situation, I reasoned it would be far healthier to keep my mouth shut than worry Mother about a little thing like fish food in the pies.  I put that fish food right back on the shelf and saved myself some trouble.  I didn’t like sweet potato pies, anyway.

The pies were good.  Everybody gobbled them up like they’d been craving fish food.  It was years before I felt like anybody really needed to know.

Early Thanksgiving

turkeyA week ago, I put four hundred twelve pounds of fresh beef in my freezer.  Two days ago we made sixteen pounds of homemade liverwurst and put it in the freezer.  Last week I froze quite a bit of fresh sweet corn.  In the midst of all this, I canned seven quarts of dried pinto beans and ham hocks.  Things were going so well, I was planned to start making a big batch of corned beef.  I was admiring the contents of my pantry when Bud came through saying, “What’s this big puddle of water coming from the freezer?”

We rushed out to inspect and found the packed freezer dead with the contents starting to thaw.  We shuffled the meat to my other freezer and ice chests.  Mean while, Bud starting investigating the freezer problem while I started canning and cooking.  By the end of the day, thank goodness, Bud had the freezer running again and I had canned all the thawed vegetables.  In addition to that, I had made pies  from my frozen pumpkin pie filling and frozen pie dough.  You might find a previous post on that subject.  https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2015/08/20/fifty-two-pies-2/

At the end of the day, everything was saved, and we sat down to a turkey dinner with fresh pumpkin pie.  I am so grateful for the bounty and the freezer that kicked back off and saved us.