The Birminghamster
Lowe Knows




by Mrs. Lowe

Carry On, Men

Ever tried to carry on and have a "normal Holiday" when things are not "normal"?

Here are some examples of the traditional southern Thanksgiving family gathering at the Lowe's. The tables are laden with turkey, ham, dressing, vegetables, casseroles, salads and desserts. The aroma of homemade yeast rolls and sweet raspberry tea fill the air. The men all sit around and talk about the Alabama-Auburn game or go outside and blow leaves while the finishing touches are made. My Mom and I have cooked for days. My brother always buys the ham. My daughter sets the dining room table with the good china. My son is the one blowing the leaves and cleaning out the gutters. He loves to be outside and developed the leaf habit from his grandfather, who is no longer with us physically but his spirit lives on in his grandson who learned early on that on this day, it is best to get out of the kitchen if you can't stand the heat! My husband is my number one kitchen mate. He washes up the pots and pans as fast as I empty them and sweeps up after me as fast as he can. He says the blessing and makes you realize just how thankful you are to be in this particular place in time. To have what you have and who you have and be who you are. There are no leftovers.

This year was different. One of the key elements of this scene is missing. There is also a new face at the table. Two friends are here to help us celebrate and realize how much we still have to be thankful for. They came all the way from Wisconsin. They all love me and they didn't even seem to mind that some of the age old standard recipes were not quite the same -- not quite up to par with the usual Lowe fare.

For some reason, I went searching through some recipe books for ideas (since I seem to be unable to recall the basic fundamentals of cooking and preparing those age old standards). Thus, some strange things appeared on my table. The deviled egg recipe I found called for Worcestershire, hence the slightly brown hue in the otherwise bright yellow centers! The ham my brother brought needed to be heated for a couple of hours before he arrived with it so we were forced to nuke a leftover portion from a previous ham in the microwave. Don't ever try it, friends! And don't try to substitute the ingredients you have on hand for the ones called for in the recipe unless you are fully functional and know what you are doing. The Broccoli-Rice and Cheese casserole was tasty but really should have been served as a soup. The packaged Tatum rolls were a poor substitute for the yeast rolls I usually make and gave off no heady aroma, just acrid smoke when I burned them. My Mom and I had a dressing cook-off which I won hands down. We were all gracious enough to say hers was best but we are now wondering what to do with the two pans of dressing left uneaten. We gave some to Lucy and T-Bird, our canine relatives, but they declined. If Bill Lowe were still with us, we would NOT have had that problem. God bless him, he would just eat whatever you gave him and be extremely complimentary to the cook. There are many leftovers.

I made a pecan pie which had to be chiseled out of the pan and incinerated on the leaf pile out back. The Hoover Fire Department was called to the scene. A neighbor reported that we were burning toxic waste! It was not my family recipe but one which I found on a Karo bottle. Why did I think Karo knew better than Lowe Knows?

Bill may not have been here for the Thanksgiving Dinner but he surely had a hand in the outcome of the Alabama-Auburn game. Those of you who knew him well knew that the Tide rolled for him that Saturday. I think he would have taken that over an extra pan of dressing any day.

Aside from all this, I am thankful still. Mostly for my family and friends. If you have people who love you, you can get through anything and, like Bill, be extremely grateful and complimentary to the Person who makes all things possible. All things considered, I am not enclosing a recipe in this column. No one in their right mind would try to use it anyway! But later, friends, later.