A collection of distilled sarcastic wisdom, numerous photographs, discussions of books and stuff to learn and more stuff to think about from a retired economics professor turned blogger and photographer.
I have gone through all the photos that have been passed down to me from Velna's family, and very few have shown up that were taken of her as a young child. More were taken by junior high and high school age, but this one is a rare one of which I am very fond.
In 1964 we were living in State College Pa where I was teaching at Penn State. My wife's parents and sister came from Wyoming and we went from there to New York to the World's Fair. I took my family again the following year for a second time. Whatever happened to the wonderful World's Fairs? Here is a previously undeveloped photo.
Yesterday's informative and authoritative tutorial on preparing pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving dinner was so successful, that the Professor has decided to augment that tutorial with a tutorial for preparing a complete Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, an on-line food blog picked up and reproduced my pumpkin pie epic piece! We're not yet as famous as Pioneer Woman and Rachel Ray, but we're getting there.
The first step in making decisions about Thanksgiving Dinner is deciding where to have it or if you should go out to eat. Eating with relatives, depending on the relatives, can some times be problematical, if you know what I mean. If you eat Thanksgiving dinner away from home, then you are left with a major dilemma: No leftovers! So then, do you cook your own turkey and trimmings the next day so you can eat turkey leftovers for three weeks?
Assuming you have decided to cook your own Thanksgiving dinner, here is all the information you need. Pinterest and the food blogs have 9,000 tips for your Thanksgiving dinner, but we will simplify all that complicated stuff.
First step: Make mashed potatoes.
How to make mashed potatoes:
Either grow your own spuds or go to the grocery store and buy some. Remember how much hard work all those Idaho potato farmers went to so you could have some mashed potatoes. They probably didn't make all that money. Then think of all the other truckers, wholesalers, retailers, etc., etc., who were responsible for you being able to buy a bag of spuds for 99 cents.
Get a potato peeler.
Peel the potatoes.
Boil the potatoes in a big pot until they are soft.
Dump in sour cream, cream cheese, half and half, milk, or whatever you think will load up an ordinary potato until it reaches 2,500 calories but tastes really, really good.
Get out your little hand mixer and whip them up. Or get out your big monster Bosch and do the same thing.
Mashed potatoes are done. Now we move on to green bean casserole and marshmallow smothered yams:
How to make green bean casserole:
See the left side of the photo above.
Dump green beans in a baking dish.
Pour cream of mushroom soup over it.
Add the greasy French-fried expensive onions.
Add whatever else you find necessary.
Bake for awhile.
See the right side of the photo above.
Go to the store and either buy some yams and spend a half hour peeling the miserable things or let Bruce do it and buy a can of Bruce's yams, the preferred method.
Smother with brown sugar and marshmallows to up the calorie count.
Bake until marshmallows are all melty
The Fritos are not an ingredient. They are included in case you get hungry during your arduous dinner preparation labors.
Now the turkey:
The modern way to prepare a turkey seems to be to soak it in brine so it will be extra juicy and you can brag about your juicy turkey to your less fortunate brethren and sisters who munched on a dry and tasteless bird. However, here is how we roast our turkey:
Get a free 18 pound turkey for buying $100 worth of groceries at Albertson's.
Begin thawing four or five days before Thanksgiving.
Get out the same blue enamel roasting pan you have used for 50 years.
Stick the turkey carcass in the sink and retrieve all the scrawny neck and innard pieces. Do not ever throw away the liver. A roasted turkey liver is the best part of an 18 pound bird.
Put the turkey in a roasting bag.
Put the turkey in the roasting bag in the blue enamel roasting pan and stick in the oven.
Do not rely on the popout thermometer which may mean your turkey is too dry. Rely on a good thermometer you stick in the thickest part of the breast or somewhere close.
Put the stuffing in if you stuff the turkey.
Baste it with whatever you use to baste it with.
Wait a few hours and take it out of the oven, and you have roasted your turkey.
I forgot to mention the dressing. Here's how we make it.
Melt a cube of butter.
dump in a bunch of chopped onion and celery and stir around until soft.
dump in a bunch of dry bread pieces.
dump in some more chicken broth.
add chicken spice, sage, whatever you want it to taste like.
stick some of it in the turkey cavity, roast the rest in a baking pan.
Since you made your pies yesterday, your dinner is now complete. Just open a couple of cans of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce, make some gravy, and sit down and eat. The Curmudgeonly Professor hopes that this authoritative and easy tutorial has enhanced your ability to make a foolproof and wonderful Thanksgiving dinner! I am not responsible for any errors.
I grew up on an irrigated farm twelve miles west of Powell Wyoming in northwest Wyoming not too far from Yellowstone Park. The Powell school system was a "consolidated" system which encompassed the surrounding area reaching 10-15 miles or even more in all directions from Powell. I took this photo of a photograph on the wall of the Homesteader Museum in Powell Wyoming.
I just stumbled across the old photo from the treasure trove of old photos. The photo is of a group of LDS children taken in front of the LDS Institute at 12th and Grand in Laramie Wyoming probably about 1940. I have been looking for pictures of my wife, Velna, when she was a young girl, and there she is, the blonde girl on the right in row 3 at about age seven. Her mother is directly behind her in the very back.
In about 1956, I shared an office in the center of the top floor where the curve is. My office mate had cluttered his desk with stuff, filled the pulled-out leaves with piles of papers, piled high the table behind his desk. So one day I came in the office and he was writing on a yellow pad on his knee. He was a labor economist; maybe that had something to do with it. I spent 10 years at Colorado State, beginning when I was 21 and had just finished a master's degree in agricultural economics at Montana State, returning after I finished my Ph.D. prelims at Michigan, and once more after teaching at Wyoming for 9 years. This photo was taken when I was a visiting professor at CSU during the late 80s. But my office was no longer here. I always loved Colorado State and Fort Collins, though I finished my career at Brigham Young.
Most people past the Captain Kangaroo stage have at least two major sets of photos:
Pre-digital photos, including black and white, Polaroid, Kodachrome--some printed but mostly in slides. Remember when we had our nice little slide projector (yes, son Jimmy, you managed to render that inoperable through your insatiable curiosity, along with my Retina IIIC, an original gem of a 35 mm. camera), and we had our slides all neatly organized in labeled boxes? Black and whites were some times organized into photo albums on black paper with white or black photo corners holding them on the pages, about half of which fell off over the years. Sadly, many of these albums were cannibalized as people robbed them of favored pictures. Polaroids were fun, but most of them look like microwaved Jello today. We printed some photos from slides, but mostly we just looked at the slides. Then, over time, we accumulated shoeboxes full of unorganized prints and negatives and slide boxes full of slides, which became increasingly disorganized and out of order over time. We keep acknowledging that we need to something with these photos some day. But, out of sight and out of mind, we often never get around to doing anything until, sadly and all too often, we have waited too long.
These collections of pre-digital era photos are the lifeblood of our heritage, and deserve careful preservation. We'll talk more about what to do with these treasured relics of our past in the next post in this series.
The second set of photos, which emanaged from the digital era, are digital photos. Most people I talk to, if they take photos at all, say that the photos are all sitting on their hard drives and they don't know what to do with them. More on this later.