Thanksgiving: A Love Story - A FULLY ENRICHED LIFE Blog at - 314782


Thanksgiving: A Love Story 
Nov. 10, 2013 6:26 am 
Updated: Mar. 6, 2014 10:43 am

Thanksgiving always conjures up different visions for me, some happy and some not quite so satisfying.  Over the years our holiday dinners have included a different cast—mostly family and friends we considered to be family.  For the last 50 years there has been one constant:  my husband, Russ.  We’ve weathered a lot over the years, and we consider ourselves to be very lucky that we’ve done that side by side.

The first Thanksgiving we spent together was in my hometown in Utah with my family.  That was a very somber dinner that year---November 28, 1963, and no one had recovered from the loss five days earlier of President John F. Kennedy.  Russ and I got married the following May and stayed in Utah for another year while I graduated from college and he finished coursework for his Master’s degree.  We then headed off to Southern California where we have lived since then.

I’m not sure where the next decade of Thanksgivings were spent, but I do know that there were some trips back to Utah, some spent in our first home in Anaheim, and some with Russ’s parents in their Long Beach home.  We moved into our current home in 1974, and all but one Thanksgiving dinners have been spent in our home since then. 

I found a family photo of the 1975 gathering.  You can probably guess the year by the hair and the plaid pants.  My parents, his parents, and his brother (now a doctor) were a motley crew to put it lightly.  Put a politically diametrically opposed group together and just see what you get.  You may be able to tell by the lack of smiles on most faces!




I can see in these old photos that the blueberry salad I blogged about before was good even back in 1975!<

One year we decided to get away from the Thanksgiving hullabaloo by taking the kids to Brianhead, Utah, for a little ski trip.  That was the only time we ever spent the holiday away from home.  Another year we cajoled Russ into carving the turkey!  We had to get a photo of that because it was a FIRST! 

We caught him trying to scarf up the turkey dressing that his dad was so proud of.  We’ve never strayed from that recipe!  He died from Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1983, and we still talk about him with great love—especially this time of year.<

This photo was taken around 1990.  That was a very quiet year because neither of our children was around that year.

This year I’ll be adding a new recipe to our spread thanks to Sargento and their awesome challenge to Allrecipes’ Allstar Ambassadors to create a new dish using their cheese (free gratis to us!).  I started out with a few products and a lot of chopping:



This is the final result of my potatoes!  Aren’t they pretty?  I wonder how my family will like venturing away from the traditional mashed potatoes!  One thing is for sure:  they will let me know!<



This 50th Thanksgiving with Russ will be a landmark.  I wonder who will join us this year!  Whatever the case, I know Russ will be by my side!
Nov. 10, 2013 6:42 am
What a beautiful blog. An example of lives well lived! Your potatoes look great. My family is fussy about change. It is really hard to introduce something new. That is OK though, I am just glad that we are together and they have memories of the 'standards' that must grace our Thanksgiving table.
Nov. 10, 2013 6:44 am
Oh, I just looked at Tips Turkey dressing! My family would LOVE that!
Nov. 10, 2013 6:45 am
Beautiful blog, Marianne! Thanksgiving is my favorite Holiday. It is all about family and making memories. Thank you for sharing yours!
Nov. 10, 2013 6:46 am
I still have Tip's recipe in his own handwriting. I really do doubt that my family will let me do these potatoes for Thanksgiving, but I've made them a number of times in the past. Thanks for your comments!
Nov. 10, 2013 6:47 am
Well, thanks, happyschmoopies! It has always been our favorite, too!
Nov. 10, 2013 6:49 am
Love, love, love this! I'd also love to hear more tips on marriage--congratulations on 50 years, that is amazing and special! Great blog, Marianne, it would be neat to pull up a chair at your Thanksgiving table.
Nov. 10, 2013 6:52 am
Thanks, jrbaker! Tips on marriage? Sometimes you just have to turn a blindside! I roll my eyes a lot, and I'm sure he does, too!
Nov. 10, 2013 7:04 am
Absolutely wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations Marianne and Russ
Nov. 10, 2013 7:07 am
I don't do romance very well, but you captured my attention to read your post. Congratulations to you and Russ for staying on the high road for 50 years, Marianne!
Nov. 10, 2013 7:09 am
Thanks, ellie! Mike, it's been kind of eerie thinking that it's been that long. Thanks for stopping by!
Nov. 10, 2013 7:16 am
50 years! Time passes so quickly. Nice that you both have been able to support each other during difficult periods. I am so sorry to hear your FIL suffered so. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving with whatever potatos make it to the table. Very nice blog.
Nov. 10, 2013 7:16 am
Aaawwww Marianne, what a Truly wonderful story of love n family!! Very impressive, thone guys are not always easy to live with, totally eye rolling on our end too! lol Congrats Sweety.
Nov. 10, 2013 7:17 am
During the hard times, first he'd be the strong one, then me. It worked. ALS is a terrible disease! I can only imagine that mashed potatoes will actually make it to the table, in all honesty! Thanks, Marie.
Nov. 10, 2013 7:18 am
Patty, the eye rolling gets us through, doesn't it?! Thank you!
Nov. 10, 2013 7:20 am
Fantastic Blog Marianne! I just love looking at the photos of your family. You have aptly captured what Thanksgiving is all about; family, tradition and gratitude. AND Good Eats! You and Russ are so dear. Your longevity and commitment to one another and your family is inspirational. I recognize the pic of you and Russ. Isn't it in "my room?" Are the two youngin's Nicole and Mike? I loved reading every word!
Nov. 10, 2013 7:20 am
LOL! ! Saved your potatoes too, sounds heavenly for dinner tomorrow!! mmmmm
Nov. 10, 2013 7:20 am
This was a great blog! I love Thanksgiving because it is all about family, food, fun - and giving thanks for all we have! Congrats on 50 years - that is a success story in itself. I enjoyed looking at your family pics as well - thank you so much for sharing!
Nov. 10, 2013 7:21 am
You are right about the photo in your room! And yes, those two little ones are not little any more! Thanks, Candice!
Nov. 10, 2013 7:22 am
BTW, I'll shoot you an e-mail sometime today!
Nov. 10, 2013 7:22 am
Family photos are amazing, aren't they, Mother Ann? We are in the process now of trying to regroup them because we now have all ours, my mom and dad's, and his parents, too. It's quite daunting.
Nov. 10, 2013 7:24 am
What a beautiful story Marianne!
Nov. 10, 2013 7:25 am
Patty, those potatoes are my take on those from Fleming's in Newport Beach. I hope they work for you.
Nov. 10, 2013 7:26 am
I'll "talk" to you later, Candice!
Nov. 10, 2013 7:26 am
Thanks, Magnolia Blossom!
Nov. 10, 2013 7:36 am
grest blog- how dare russ- marrying a 3 year old!!!:-)
Nov. 10, 2013 7:44 am
i don't know why my comment won't show- but i love the blog:-)
Nov. 10, 2013 7:49 am
Nanny, I KNOW! How could he rob that cradle? Thanks for coming by!
Nov. 10, 2013 8:11 am
What a heartfelt blog, enjoyed it immensely. Statistics on broken marriages is mind boggling, but you've figured out what it takes to make it last. And I agree, eye rolling and compromise is part of it, we all do it. A "50th Thanksgiving Together" surely is special and one to celebrate. Hope you're able to get everybody important in your life together for this special day.
Nov. 10, 2013 8:16 am
Hello, Marianne. I can tell holidays are special in your home. You are a nice looking couple and congratulations on your 50th Thanksgiving together. All your recipes sound wonderful.
Nov. 10, 2013 8:16 am
Thanks, lutzflcat. My daughter won't be joining us---she and friend are going to vacation in Key West or somewhere around there.
Nov. 10, 2013 8:17 am
Thanks, Lela. I'd just better never think of changing a thing we serve at Thanksgiving! I have gotten away from purchased cranberry sauce---except for hubby, who still prefers that. I don't get that, but, his choice!
Nov. 10, 2013 8:38 am
Lovely Marianne, 50 years, wow, how wonderful to hear about happy things. Congrats.
Nov. 10, 2013 8:39 am
Awwwhhhh Marianne. Thank *YOU* for sharing your lifelong LOVING story. Absolutely perfect harmony. K.
Nov. 10, 2013 8:39 am
Thanks, manella. I can't believe 50 years!
Nov. 10, 2013 8:59 am
DQ, I wouldn't say perfect harmony, but loving harmony! We wouldn't have it any other way!
Nov. 10, 2013 10:13 am
What a lovely blog. Congratulations on 50 wonderful years. I love the pictures, the first one was definitely from the 70's :)
Nov. 10, 2013 10:14 am
Oops, I meant the 2nd one, all the men around the Thanksgiving table. You can just tell it's not the 2010's :)
Nov. 10, 2013 10:21 am
Exactly, Cindy! The plaid and sideburns say it all, don't they!
Nov. 10, 2013 5:56 pm
Great story! We don't have many family traditions because we travel so much. Here one year, there another, and the next somewhere else. This year we are having Thanksgiving at home. I think I'll try your potato recipe! Looks great!
Nov. 10, 2013 7:14 pm
Thanks for stopping by, Doc. I love traditions! Now my daughter will be more like you, I think. She loves to travel.
Nov. 10, 2013 11:35 pm
You were a lovely bride and you both have gotten to this point very gracefully. My group is resistant to change too but I have found that if I add something without deleting anything, the following year I can have the new item with no complaints. You have no idea how I envy your 50 years. We would have been at 45 this year. Eye rolls do so much less harm than harsh words. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Nov. 11, 2013 5:37 am
Emeralds, there is another dressing on AR that is very similar. Can't recall the name of it. But my family could tell the difference! Regarding leisure suits, it is so much fun to look back at photos of those. I think that the sideburns add so much sheik to those crazy suits with the top stitching!
Nov. 11, 2013 5:39 am
Thanks, BSM! I'm sorry about the "would have been" in your life. And you are so right about the eye rolls! Thanks!
Nov. 12, 2013 9:10 pm
U have a great family and I wish u the best Thanksgiving. We have lost my mother-in-law a couple of years ago and she was the glue that always made our family strong. She loved to cook for us I never had to do Thanksgiving before, See I come from a very big and very close family so Thanksgiving was always a big day. I can look back and still smell my mom and Granny in the kitchen always trying not to stand on one others toes. lol. Well any ways through out my years I was always thought that do what makes u happy and that new things is always scary but always worth a try. So make the potatoes and u can always look back and say you give it your best shot. And you give me a good thing to inspire to I have been with my husband for almost 12 years and married for almost 9 I hope we are going strong like you and Russ. I hope ya'll have many more to come.
Nov. 13, 2013 7:07 am
Thank you for your very sweet post, MommaBear2! Families are what it's all about---no doubt about that! I bet you are on your way to 50!
Nov. 13, 2013 7:08 am
And I should add that I hope my granddaughters will remember me through food and fun and love all mixed together!
Mar. 6, 2014 10:43 am
THank you for your help!! I found my cupcake request. Wow! That was back in 2009! I think I had been an AR member for a couple months. My icon photo is the of a cupcake that was the result of the replies- I was quite proud of those cupcakes! In case you're interested, the reply who's info I followed is copied & pasted here: 'All ingredients should be room temperature, including eggs. Sometimes melted butter will make it sink in the middle. Don’t over mix batter, or over bake either. If you want a dome you have to preheat the oven to 425º F even if the recipe says to use a 350º or 375º F etc. As soon as you put the bread, muffins etc. in the oven reduce the heat to what the recipe calls for. The initial high heat of 425º F causes the batter to have greater oven spring or rapid rise during the first minute. The end result will be a nice high dome. This will take some practice; so watch the cooking time carefully until you are confident enough to leave them without fear of over baking.' - Interesting, and it works well. Thanks again!
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About Me
As a child of Swedish parents who always cooked, I have always loved to serve up my love to others through food--just like my folks. Most of my favorite family memories are a result of meals, families sitting around the table talking, parties with good food, good wine, sparkling conversations.
My favorite things to cook
My favorite foods depend on the time of year, the occasion, and my hankerings. I'm easily coerced into changing my mind by mere suggestions (I am Libra rising): a bit of meat--yum; a pancake--I'm ready; potatoes--now what! Desserts, well, that's a whole new ball of wax! Whew!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Swedish pancakes are really a trademark I copied from my mother. These crepe-like pancakes are cooked on a cast iron griddle, spotted with sour cream and jam, rolled up and then sprinkled with syrup. I dare you to eat just one!
My cooking triumphs
When I cook vegetables and am actually able to eat them, I consider that to be a triumph! I grew up with a botanist father who grew EVERY single vegetable possible and could NOT for the life of me eat them. I'm the only one of four children who would sit at the table for hours until I finally convinced them I wouldn't eat. Now, only a few, and then mostly only raw.
My cooking tragedies
When I was first married more than 40 years ago, I bought a bag of peanuts from someone "giving" them away for some charitable organization. Naive, yes. I made a meatloaf (supposedly a very good recipe) using those stale, sour nuts and ended up throwing the "result" against the sink when my husband suggested that perhaps this was not really an edible meal. I have since learned better ways to handle disappointments!
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