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Interview: Thanksgiving Memories with Author Janet Bolin

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When Janet  was about seven, she’d been offering helpful suggestions about the clothes her mother designed and sewed.  She was determined to make her own skirt.

At the fabric shop, she ran her fingers along each bolt of cloth, probably about sixteen times. Her mother didn’t mind. She was doing the same thing. Finally, after much indecision and heavy consultation, Bolin chose a navy blue cotton broadcloth with a red pin stripe.

Back home, under her mother’s watchful eye, she cut out a couple of large rectangles and a strip for the waistband. Using her mother’s old black Singer, she carefully stitched the rectangles into a tube, then gathered the tube to the waistband.  She made a buttonhole and sewed on a big red button. Bolin and her mom folded a deep hem, and Bolin’s mother, whose ability to stitch a straight line was far superior to Bolin’s, sewed the hem with her machine. For the finishing touch, her mom showed her how to wind red embroidery floss under one machine stitch and over the next.

Bolin had made her own skirt and embroidered it, too. The rest as they say is history because she was hooked.

Janet was kind enough to share her Thanksgiving traditions with me. As to whether or not you want to make reservations…

What are you most grateful for?

This beautiful planet.

Favorite Thanksgiving tradition?

When I was a kid, seeing my grandmother’s special china, silver, and lace tablecloths. And the glasses with the South American motifs painted on them-don’t ask me why those came out at Thanksgiving.

Where will you spend Thanksgiving this year?

At home.

Most memorable Thanksgiving memory?

That poltergeist.

What do you do the eve before Thanksgiving?

Kick myself for not doing more ahead of time.

What’s your number one splurge food?

On Thanksgiving? Turkey. When I was a kid, it was the sweet gherkins and the olives.

What do you prefer sweet or salty?


What are your plans for the holidays this year?

The same as every year — eating too much.

Which food and drink combo says it’s the holiday season to you?

Turkey and white wine — I usually drink red wine.

What are the five tools you must have in the kitchen for Thanksgiving dinner?

Whatever the cook — please say it’s not me — wants.

Please share a favorite Thanksgiving recipe.

Cranberry Sauce

Wash a package of cranberries and place in a large microwaveable casserole dish. Cook until the berries pop. Stir in honey to taste. Sprinkle in some cinnamon.

This is a good one because it takes hardly any time or effort (leaving me more time for writing or sewing) and I get to taste a lot of it. Maybe you should make a large amount-but be sure to put it into a big casserole. My sauce usually explodes all over the inside of the microwave.

If you could have a dream Thanksgiving dinner party, who would you invite?

Julia Child. Think she’ll offer to do all the cooking?

What’s the one Thanksgiving dish your family can’t live without?

A friend makes the best creamed onions.

What do you do after the meal is finished? Play football? Watch football? Movies?

Go for a waddle. Then it’s time to eat again.

Pumpkin, Pecan or Apple?

A small slice of all three, and then seconds on the pecan pie.

Are you up early the next morning to kick off your holiday shopping?

Only if the next morning is December 24.

Thank you bunches for the heads up to eat at home and just bring yummies. Oops, I mean, ah, ooohhh, um… this warm Thanksgiving memory. *giggling*

Hmmm… wonder if I can grab a few bagels and pumpkin muffins at Tim Horton’s since filling up on the marshmallows Janet offered just isn’t cutting it.

(Click here to read Janet’s Fright Bites Interview.)

Janet’s website.

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About Diane Morasco