Your Mother’s Thanksgiving Dinner Or How to Make Your Holiday Special

By Sandra Sylvester | Nov 19, 2012
Photo by: squidoo

Knox County — Thanksgiving dinner never tasted as good as your mother’s. My mother’s spread looked something like this picture. The menu was similar to many other houses in the South End, however, it never tasted as good as your mother’s. Right? In this blog I will try to make up for the fact that you don’t have a mother to cook your Thanksgiving dinner for you anymore, or if you do, you can’t make it to where she is this year.

This is what my mother’s spread usually consisted of: Turkey; home-made stuffing; rolls; cranberry sauce from the can; creamed onions; smashed potatoes and sweet potatoes; squash and turnip also smashed; gravy; a green bean dish; maybe a jellied salad; relishes and celery stuffed with cream cheese and walnuts on top; all manner of pies, usually at least chocolate, apple and pumpkin.

How did they do it without microwaves to keep everything warm; and how did they get everything to come out at the same time? A miracle right? I can see my mother’s stove with every burner going with the serving dishes ready when it was time to put it all on the table at once.

My father’s duty was to slice the turkey, which he did with an electric knife later on. I once attempted to replicate my mother’s menu and invite a few friends who could not be home for Thanksgiving either. I did pretty well but it ended up more-or-less as a serve-it-yourself event. Everyone put what they want on their plate and zapped it in the microwave to reach the proper temperature. Worked pretty well that way since I didn’t have a big table to sit everyone down at.

You can find menus, recipes and tips at the following sites online:

You can find menus, recipes and tips at the following sites online:

Better Homes and Gardens site at:

There are many videos on You Tube to help you prepare your Thanksgiving dinner menu. I came across one hilarious video called “Thanksgiving Dinner in an Hour.” It’s an outrageous video to anyone who loves this holiday and the preparation that goes into it which is part of the fun of it. My mother would be simply appalled to even suggest such a thing. But here you go: (see the video on YouTube or at

 If you need help decorating your table for the holiday, there is a very good site with many suggestions at

 If you decide you don’t want to cook at all, there are many restaurants in Maine that are serving Thanksgiving dinner. Here are a few along the coastal area. I suggest you call to make reservations if you’re interested. Besides the restaurants listed below, I suggest you also call your favorite local restaurant to see if they are serving Thanksgiving dinner. A check at the Courier Gazette online could not give me that information. Just remember, you won’t have those leftover turkey sandwiches to eat while watching the football games.


Inn at Brunswick Station; 4 Noble St.; 837-6565


Camden Harbour Inn; 83 Bayview St.; 236-7008;


DiSanto’s Restaurant; 322 West Gray Road; 438-4300;


Eve’s at the Garden; Portland Harbor Hotel; 468 Fore St.; 775-90910

Old Port Tavern; 11 Moulton St.; 774-0444


Saltwater Grille; 231 Front St.; 799-5400

In the days before we jumped from the Thanksgiving table to head for the Mall, we actually had local celebrations of the holiday. Many of you may remember this old hymn which is very appropriate for the Thanksgiving holiday. I couldn’t download the audio, but if you bring the site up at  

and then set your laptop on the Thanksgiving table, you can sing along to the words below. Here’s some information about this song along with the words:

We Gather Together

 Words & Music: This song of praise was orig­in­al­ly writ­ten in 1597 to cel­e­brate a Dutch vic­to­ry. It ap­peared in Ne­der­landtsche Ge­denck­clanck, by Adri­an­us Va­ler­ius (Haar­lem, Hol­land: 1626) (Wilt heden nu treden).

Ar­ranged & trans­lat­ed from Dutch to La­tin by Ed­uard Krem­ser in Sechs Al­tnie­der­länd­ische Volks­lied­er (Leip­zig, Ger­many: 1877) (MI­DI, score). Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by

The­o­dore Bak­er, 1894.


We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!

We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

So there’s your complete plans for the holiday. I hope you and yours enjoy the holiday. I will be cooking dinner here for Nanci and me.  It will be a late dinner as she is working till 5:00 pm. While I’m cooking though, I’ll remember my mother and all the special food memories she gave us on Thanksgiving. God bless her and God bless all the servicemen and women serving overseas during the holidays and God bless the United States of America.

Thanks for listening.


Comments (1)
Posted by: William Pease | Nov 19, 2012 17:41

Thanks very much for that, Sandra: warm, homey, & full of love. Wonderful.

Harlan's still in my heart.

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