Now Thanksgiving at The Crumpled House was sometimes the traditional roast-turkey-mashed-potatoes-gravy-and-pumpkin-pie family feast---my mother dearly loved potatoes in any form---which would mean we’d get Fred Flintstone Telephone Rolls. The rest of the world calls them sour cream crescent rolls, but as kids we thought they looked like the telephones on the animated TV show “The Flintstones”.
When these rolls were served, it was the only time we were allowed to play with our food at the table. You would hold the roll up to your ear and pretend to dial a rotary phone; the obligatory sound effect was “ZUH-oh, ZUH-oh” as you dialed. Some else at the table would say “Ring-ring!” then pick up a roll and say “Hello?” When you are under age 8, this whole operation is a cause for hilarity and riot and must be repeated until Dad gets fed up with it and yells at you to eat your turkey. However, we were still fulfilling this ritual well into our teenage and college years, and I expect it to be re-enacted later this week.
However, in spite of my mother’s Irish heritage and her love for potatoes and gravy, more often than not she’d serve spaghetti, meatballs and Italian sausage for Thanksgiving. She got the recipes from my father’s side of the family, including Grandpa Jim’s sauce recipe and the meatball recipe from my dad’s great-grandma Fiori. But the sausages always came from Ciota’s, an Italian deli on the south side of Peoria.
Early in the day Mom would make a huge pot of sauce, fry up the meatballs and sausage, and then simmer them in the sauce pot all morning. She’d make long loaves of Italian bread, and there was probably some kind of Iceberg lettuce salad. I don’t recall what kind of dessert she customarily served, except that on at least one occasion she made Lemon Lush. My sister Eileen recalls my mother buying some kind of chocolate torte with about nine layers, so rich you could only eat thin slices.
God bless and happy baking!