Tuesday, November 24, 2009

24 November 1955 “ Thanksgiving Menu and My Role of Homemaker”

turkey card I have been rather busy today with much holiday to-doing. Having had a fun ladies afternoon yesterday did mean my having to push a few things to today, but a homemaker’s schedule is rather elastic and needs to be. When your place of work is also a dwelling for you and your family, a restaurant, a laundry, a bookstore, an entertainment lounge, and of course an Inn, there has to be some give and take. I can only imagine adding young ones to the mix increases the need for some flexibility to the schedule, of course trying to hold to some structure for the sake of your own sanity as well as the little ones. But, I digress, perhaps I spend too much time picking through chestnuts at the market today, or considered the fresh cranberries too deeply, none the less, this post will be not as involved as I had originally planned.

I have finally decided the finalized menu for my Thanksgiving and it is as follows

                                                        Shrimp cocktail


                                                         Lobster Bisque


                        Roast Turkey in a cranberry orange glaze       stuffed with ‘Johnny Cake and Chestnut Stuffing’ (in other words cornbread). Mashed potatoes with garlic chives, roasted Acorn squash, Yams, and Apple in Maple Butter. Creamed Onions. Cranberries and green beans with orange zest and slivered almonds.


                                     Grapes, various cheese, Cheese wafers and Parker House Rolls.


                                   Godiva Cheesecake (guests contribution) served with homemade chestnut maple syrup vanilla ice cream.   Roasted Chestnuts and Coffee.  


I might actually make little Meal cards to place at each setting.

Now, one or our lovely fellow Apron Revolutionaries, Linda,  asked me the following questions yesterday:

I hope you don't mind me asking here 50'sgal but I have some questions for your dear hubby the answers to which you might be able to relay. Seeing he's on holidays I thought he might have time to answer them via you if they're not too intrusive.

Does he love the new lifestyle with his precious housewife? Does he think it'll last? Does he HOPE it will last? Does he mind the 'perceived' financial loss without you not bringing home a pay-check? Is he proud to say 'a homemaker' when asked what his wife does or does he feel himself needing to expound on how intelligent, artistic, talented you are? (My husband is proud of the fact that he provides for me, that he gets special treatment and we have a smooth-running, peaceful home.)What are some of his favourite 'changes' from this year? Is he surprised at how skilled you've become so quickly and how well you've adapted to this 50's lifestyle? Does he have any advice for us ladies? Please excuse my boldness in asking these questions... Linda

pepsi thanksgiving ad He does, indeed, love our current lifestyle. He has seen me ‘go through’ many phases and crazy ideas before, but this project, being now almost a year old, seems to have a staying power he feels confident in. He sort of thought, in the beginning, it was just another idea I had. Though, even when my schemes peter out, he usually enjoys the ride and they are often over due to their not really applying to our life any longer. I think if I told him I wanted to go out and work, he would not think twice about it and probably would like the extra money, who wouldn’t? But, he sees that I am happy and knows that I have a genuine role and occupation in Homemaker.woman and man pipe

Actually, concerning telling people what his wife does, he is indeed proud of it. He often comments with proud about his packed lunches when people see him take out his linen napkin and knife and fork and eat a full home cooked meal with a homemade dessert. He told me once, a co-worker asked if his wife, “since she is just a housewife” minded those calenders (those horrid ones I dislike where they take old adverts and then slap on things like “Housework is pointless” or some such) to which my hubby replied, she does not like them, but she doesn’t mind, she is, after all, a homemaker guru and many other people have been inspired by her ‘housework’. I laughed at that, as I am so very in the learning phase I thought the term guru funny, but was proud that he ‘stood up for me’ and said I was a homemaker without feeling the need to explain.

I think his number one favorite change is the food. We eat really good in this house, if I do say so myself and I DO! He also likes the smooth running of the home, as it allows him to focus on his work at work and when he comes home he can honestly enjoy his ‘free time’. He can write (he also loves writing and I can often hear him tapping away on his vintage typewriters upstairs in his little study) read and practice the piano without worrying about food, clean clothes, or a messy house. He also likes the money we save on eating out, as when we lived in the city we ate out almost all the time and it does add up! He appreciates the separate roles we have, as it allows our time together to be about what we like to discuss or find interesting and not, ‘Oh, will you clean out that, or oh did  you think of anything for dinner, or what should we do about this or that?” As any of you know, who are homemakers, when you treat making a home as a job, you do your best to keep it smooth running as you would at any work. But, I know he LOVES the food and always gets excited when I present some new creation or recipe. He most anytime can pop in the kitchen and have some homemade snack available. He also told me he likes my wardrobe as he often, even now almost a year later, will say when he gets home, “Oh, you look so nice” or “You look cute today” something along those lines.

He is not surprised at my skill level, as he says I can do anything, which of course is not true but darling of him to say so. I have always been the one to go full steam ahead into things and often surprise him at my results so he said, when I told him I was going to live in 1955 for a year, he just sort of took it in stride.

His advice, and I think it quite good, to the ladies is to have confidence and pride in the role of Homemaker. If you want your husband or significant other to take it seriously and to see it as an actual career, you have to believe it yourself and believe in it. I can see how much work it is to run a home and I applaud any who want to do it. If you want it and take the time to discuss it logically, showing the financial benefits, your husband would have to be nuts to disagree with it. The separate roles of breadwinner and homemaker are not just that roles, not labels. One is not oppressed or put upon if the roles are clearly defined and agreed upon by both involved, so don’t fall prey to the modern concept that having a two income family somehow makes you more liberated. Your quality of life is better because you CAN’T overspend, so you end up spending more time together and after all, isn’t that one of the best parts of being married, getting to be with and make happy the one you love?

So those were his answers and I hope you enjoyed them. You can see what a treasure of a hubby I do have. I think really a marriage really does need to have mutual respect and understanding. If one partner thinks what they do is not worthy or not enough or not a ‘real occupation’ it is true, how will the other partner feel that way? A marriage is a partnership, a chance in this world of ups and downs to have a partner there along for the ride, to laugh and cry and share and even get angry with, when you’d rather blame someone other than yourself, even if you know it is your fault, because you know you will do the same for them. I am proud of my husband and myself. I am proud of the role of homemaker and all it entails. As with anything we do in love from being a bagger at a grocery store to president of the united states, if we believe in doing a good job and trying to do the best we can where we are, make our self and others around us happy, then anything can be a rewarding career. Somehow we seem to have lost the sense of pride of place and worth in ourselves that says, ‘I am defined by my actions and reactions to others and not by the sign on my office door.’

Well, that is enough philosophizing for me today. I have chestnuts to roast (in the oven, I will share the results don’t worry), cornbread to make, cranberries to boil down and just to throw a little extra in, I might sew together a new dress for Thanksgiving, and who said being a homemaker was boring or lazy work?!

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