Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

For this week’s Sepia Saturday I have a photo from the 1970s of my mother carving a turkey. From the perspective I believe my sister or I took the photo because she is looking down at the photographer, i.e. a little kid ha ha. Her note on the back of the photo says the turkey was very good, stuffed and cooked on the barbecue. I imagine it roasted quite some time on the spit, slowly turning it round and round. Mom used an electric knife for many years, until she was given her father’s ham knife, and then it was over. To this day I ask her to carve the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner. Mom is a great cook and loves to entertain; they are known for their many parties and great meals that brought together family and friends throughout the year.

The turkey was the centerpiece to our Thanksgiving dinner, but we had turkey for many other meals as well. This could have been any time of the year, really, and we never discriminated what meal would feature which dish. For many years, we enjoyed a Christmas dinner of Kara Age (ah-gay), which is Japanese for “browned chicken.” The chicken is cut into bite sized pieces, then marinaded in a wine & soy sauce mixture over night; finally it is dredged in corn starch and cooked in hot oil in a wok. We are not Japanese, but this is still a family favorite.

This photo was taken before they remodeled their kitchen in the late 80s/early 90s. The counter tops were 4″ avocado green tiles and we used a small brush to clean the grout in between – and there was a large counter/bar where we ate breakfast in the morning and lunches on the weekend. I wish today that I had a kitchen laid out half as nicely as hers was. She had lots of counter space, a nice double sink, and a double oven!

For more mouth watering photos of holiday foods, click the button below, then jump off the deep end and into the mashed potatoes and gravy.


13 thoughts on “Mom

  1. postcardy says:

    We always went to my Aunt’s house for Christmas and she always cooked turkey. That picture looks a lot like both my Aunt and cousin looked back then.


  2. Little Nell says:

    I had one of those electric carving knives – I wonder what happened to it. That’s a great photo of your mother, smiling away as she carves. The kitchen sounds as though it was a cook’s dream with all that counter space.


  3. Auntie Kat says:

    Mom is a great cook! It’s a good thing kitchen color didn’t reflect on meals presented in that kitchen. Looking forward to more Mom-cooked meals in the future!


  4. Linda says:

    I remember those 1970s kitchens of avocado green! Your mom sounds like a good (and adventurous) cook.


  5. Bob Scotney says:

    I’m not allowed to carve our turkey, my wife is better with the knife. I can smell the turkey already.


  6. Christine H. says:

    What a classic photo. I think I may just try that Kara Age though; that sounds delicious.


  7. Great old photo of your Mom in the kitchen! :)


  8. Karen S. says:

    As I remember the Coppertone color we had, and then Harvest Gold, but a girlfriend of mine, her mother had pink….my mother was so envious of her pink kitchen, they even had the extra oven built into the wall…..away from the stove-top…progress…your Mother looks so happy….and what a dinner it must have been too!


  9. Still have the old electric knife my aunt and uncle gave my folks. It still runs, but is never give a chance to do anything. I always found it absurd.


  10. Liz Stratton says:

    Oh my! We still have an electric knife almost identical to the one shown and use it every Thanksgiving. We ham it up at Christmas. Fun memories – great pic!


  11. It’s so funny how a humble appliance like the electric carving knife can evoke fond memories of family and holiday meals. Great essay.


  12. QMM says:

    Love this photo and your description of her kitchen. We don’t serve turkey at Christmas just a Thanksgiving. At Christmas we have our own cured country ham. Definitely a southern delicacy. Some like it sugar cured and some like it smoke or salt cured. I have no business eating any of it but I will have a little sugar cured. Merry Christmas to you and yours.


  13. GrammaA says:

    My goodness, I go away for a week and look what happens to your site. The kitchen looks so dark (it was). But the layout was great and when the house was new it was the latest in colors (autumn tones – olive greens and golds were the favorites – white was so OUT!) Gram had a pink kitchen and she loved it.


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