Thanksgiving 1982. Or was it 1983? Doesn’t matter. I was far from home in Lexington, Kentucky, living with my future husband Tony Ingram. Tony was in a band called Spurzz that had oh, maybe six members, but tons of fans and friends that loved to party with them. The band had rented a large house and all lived together, sharing expenses. On any given morning there could be four or five other girlfriends tucked in with band members and who knows how many more groupies snoring in the living room.
We were invited to a party on Thanksgiving Day and when we arrived there were plenty of drinks and appetizers to be found, but no main dish. Someone had bought a turkey, someone had bought a ham. Nobody knew how to cook it. Well, neither did I.
I don’t remember who helped me that day, maybe one of the guys, maybe one of the girls, but we got that turkey into the oven and got it going. I remembered my sister Sandy always used brown sugar and pepsi as a glaze for a ham, but I also remembered seeing pictures of whole cloves stuck on a ham and sometimes pineapples. I was in luck! All of those ingredients were in that house so we just used them all!
I did know how to make mashed potatoes – peel, boil, smash, add butter, salt, milk and cream. Tony was the gravy man. The house was filling up with people and everyone was beginning to smell the turkey and missing home. There’s something about the wonderful aroma of turkey or ham on Thanksgiving day that makes you sad and comforted all at the same time, but it undoubtedly makes you think of home.
Well, the bird was finally done and it was time to eat. What’s that inside the bird? Stuffing? A bag? A bag! Good grief! I didn’t know they left the neck and liver and heart and gizzards and all that gooshy stuff inside the bird! How was I to know? That’s okay, I was forgiven . . well, they were all drunk by then anyway.
By the way, the ham turned out great and I think this was one of my most favorite Thanksgivings. I believe it was because of the crowd which I don’t normally like to be in, but it was like feeding a room full of children, reaching out to a room full of lost souls, and making a softer name for myself within that rough bunch.