Joyce Marie Taylor
Thanksgiving is Thursday, Nov. 22 and aside from the different meanings the day holds for many people, traditions also play a big part in the celebration. While some will be feasting on turkey, ham and all the scrumptious side dishes, others will be lucky to find a hot, healthy meal anywhere, while still others find themselves having to go to work on the holiday.
Supervisor of Elections Laura Deas, after the grueling Nov. 6 election process ended, said she is looking forward to being with her family this Thanksgiving and having dinner at home.
“We’ll be giving thanks for what we are fortunate to have,” she said.
The Sunday before Thanksgiving one family does something really special.
“We usually invite people to our house who do not have family that live in the area,” said Candy Bontrager.
“A lot of single adults,” her mother Barbara Butler, who works at North Hamilton Elementary, added.
Chuck Burnett from the Hamilton County Recreation Department said Thanksgiving is a time for him to spend quality time with his family, since he is always working. He enjoys playing ball with his kids in the backyard and then hanging out at his famous tiki hut.
The Moffses kids, Taylor and Catherine, and their friend Lexie Parks had some enjoyable things to say about Thanksgiving, especially the fact the family gets to celebrate the holiday all together.
When asked if they had any special traditions, Taylor Moffses said, “We eat till we puke.”
That can only mean one thing. The cooking must be mighty good at the Moffses household.
Some folks have to work on Thanksgiving like Bob Wynn, who has been with PCS Phosphate White Springs for 30 years. He and his wife Patricia celebrate the holiday the day after Thanksgiving with dinner at home.
“It will be the traditional meal, just no turkey,” Patricia Wynn said. “We do ham.”
The Smyth family just got moved into their new home in Jennings about a year ago. Dad Les Smyth said they have been building it for several years.
For Thanksgiving, his daughter Rachel Smyth said, “We’ll have family over if they’re in town or near and we’ll have a big dinner.”
Hamilton County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Chip Belote said he absolutely has to have duck dressing with the holiday meal.
“It’s been like this ever since I can remember,” he said.
Duck hunting season starts the weekend before Thanksgiving.
“Everything else gets put on hold that Saturday because I gotta go shoot a mess of ducks to make duck dressing the next week for Thanksgiving,” he said.
The Wednesday before the big feast Belote rises early and cuts up the ducks, using mainly the breasts. Then he tosses about three or four of them into a crock pot with a couple of big onions and adds salt and pepper.
“I let that cook on low all day Wednesday and all night Wednesday,” he went on.
On Thursday morning before his wife gets up to start making her cornbread for the dressing, Belote aims for the crock pot and removes the cooked ducks. He scrapes the meat off with a butter knife, which he said literally falls off the bones. Then all that shredded duck meat and the duck broth are mixed in with his wife’s cornbread stuffing.
“You can’t eat a lot of it, but it is delicious,” he said. “That’s my little quirky Thanksgiving tradition.”
Belote added that if he couldn’t go duck hunting he’d have to cancel Thanksgiving.