By Connie Kay Ash of Scrapbook Wife
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday – it is a time to spend with family and friends. Even as a child, growing up in Texas, I loved Thanksgiving. The holiday always consisted of family, friends, good food, the Thanksgiving Day Parade and football.
Moving to Arkansas 25 years ago was an adventure. The adventure has not stopped. I met and married the love of my life, referred to as the Big Man. Collectively the Big Man and I have six adult children. Thanksgiving Day at our home means feeding a minimum of 15 people. The usual number of people at the table is 20 to 25.
This picture was taken 7 years ago – before we added dining room furniture and a couple of new family members.
Like most Arkansans our meal contains the usual meats – turkey and ham. It is the side dishes that make the meal. We have cranberry sauce, green beans, sweet potato casserole and potato salad. There are always chips, dips, veggies and cheeseballs to hold everyone till the meal.
Mom’s very special fruit salad and Mom’s Famous Banana Pudding are those dishes that everyone grabs first and wants to take home with them. Both of Mom’s specialties come from an old cookbook – A Book of Favorite Recipes Complied by the United Methodist Women of The Jewett Texas published in 1988.
The Fruit Salad
3 apples, chopped, unpeeled, seeds and stems removed
1 smajar maraschino cherrie, halved
2 small cans mixed fruit cocktail, drained
1 cup small marshmallows
½ cup nuts (I like walnuts or pecans)
½ cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 Tabloespoons flour
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup sugar
Mom’s Famous Banana Pudding
(The most sought after dish at our house.)
Warning – do not eat unless you have room to add to your belt.
2 packages large vanilla instant pudding (I use the FF.)
3 cups milk (I use skim.)
3 cups Pet Milk (I use FF.)
1 can Eagle Brand (I use the FF.)
1 large container of Cool Whip (I use low fat.)
3 ounces of Carnation Coffee Creamer (I use FF.)
1 large box of vanilla wafers
Mix Coffee Mate and Cool Whip and set aside. Mix the instant pudding mix, milk, Pet Milk and Eagle Brand. Fold in 1/3 of the Cool Whip mixture. Layer pudding, vanilla wafers, and bananas. Put reserved Cool Whip mix on top. Serves approximately 10 people.
This year we are unsure of our Thanksgiving plans. But, the one thing I am sure of is, there will be Mom’s Famous Banana Pudding with the meal.
I am 50-something wife, mother, Nana, vegetarian, nurse, teacher, volunteer clinic administrator and student (soon to be Advanced Practice Nurse), living in the small community of Blytheville, AR. located in the far northeast corner of the state. I share a home with my husband of 19 years and our 13 four-legged rescue children. Collectively we have six adult near-perfect children and five perfect grandboys and two awesome granddogs.
I love learning. My goal is to learn something new every day.
I like to challenge myself physically by calling myself a runner. I love to practice yoga, knit, and scrapbook. I am teaching myself to quilt. On long weekends when time allows , we trout fish at Mammoth Springs, AR.
I can honestly say, I am living a blessed life in Northeast, Arkansas.