New England Traditions Grew Up in a Term Paper

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NEW ENGLAND TRADITIONS grew up in a family who moved from Boston, Massachusetts to San Diego, California. Needless to say, Thanksgiving has always been an interesting blend of staid New England cooking, blended with some laid-back California traditions with a baby-boom mother mentality of frozen and canned foods as part of the tradition.

My mother learned traditional New England cooking from her mother, and so we still ate a lot of "pot roast" and "New England boiled dinners" complete with over-boiled cabbage and corned beef, for Sunday dinner. My mother still made real Boston baked beans and brown bread for occasional Saturday night suppers, too.

Thanksgiving was always a big deal in our house, even though the rest of the family was back East, and there was only us to celebrate the day. Sometimes we would invite friends who also did not have family in San Diego. Sometimes we would go to a friend's house, but mom would always cart along a variety of her traditional side dishes to make it more "homey."

Mom
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always started with a frozen turkey, never fresh, they were too expensive. Usually it was a small one, but since mom liked to eat early in the afternoon, it went into the over it seemed at the crack of dawn, complete with "Mrs. Cubbison's Homemade" stuffing mix, which was the only stuffing mom would use. Then she started on the other dishes. She never made the traditional "green bean casserole" with mushroom soup and fried onion rings on top, evidently that was not a New England tradition, but frozen squash definitely was, and we had to have a hearty helping with a dollop of butter on our plates to make Thanksgiving complete. This frozen stuff is runnier than mashed potatoes, has absolutely no flavor, and glows bright orange on the Thanksgiving table. One taste, and you wonder why it is such a big tradition, at least I did.

Then there were the mashed potatoes. Mom always made real mashed potatoes with plenty of milk and butter, and when I smell real butter melting, I can close my eyes and see those potatoes. Gravy, however, was not…

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