Sasee Magazine - November 2022

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November 2022

“The fondest memories are made when gathered around the table.”




-Johnny Castle



A Place Where You Belong If you’re looking for a community that understands and honors you as a unique individual, you’ve come to the right place. At Portside at Grande Dunes, you can rest easy knowing that your lifestyle and your interests will be catered to and your expectations exceeded. We offer a variety of living options, as well as daily wellness, cultural, and educational programs. This is the place for you to live your best life–exactly as you want it. LIFESTYLE & AMENITIES • Choice of studio, one- or two-bedroom apartment styles, as well as Cottage Homes

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“Gather & Gobble” November 2022 Contents Volume 21, Issue 11

Gets Personal with 12 Sasee Sandy Copeland: Physicians Weight Loss Centers


The Outreach Farm: Feeding the Hungry by Sarah Elaine Hawkinson

Can Save Anything 16 Gravy by Leslee W. Kahler


Thrill of the Hunt


Hot Roll Hotline by Alice Muschany


Our Little Turkey by David Warren


How to Cook a Turkey by Rose Ann Sinay

20 Sasee Wish List

4 :: :: November 2022

at the Kaminski House Museum in historic Georgetown, SC




Designer Lee Padgett

DECEMBER 10th YULETIDE TOUR (11 a.m. - 2 p.m.)



(843) 546-7706


from the Editor Gathering with loved ones and gobbling down some yummy food is most certainly underrated. Not to mention that it’s a beautiful time of year, from the charming colors to the perfect weather. Warm hues of yellow, orange, red, and purple coupled with the cozy sweater attire certainly creates wonderful feelings of comfort. Despite how lovely this time of year is, Thanksgiving does not seem to be very many people’s favorite holiday. Is that because there are no material gifts? Why can’t the best present of all be our simple presence? If nothing else, Thanksgiving is the best excuse to get together and make memories while telling stories, laughing, and eating delicious cuisine. From the traditional turkey (stuffed or dressed to your liking) to the cheesy vegetables and delightful selection of pies, having food to consume in general is an undervalued reason to be thankful. Plus, nothing quite says “thank you” like sharing meals with friends and family – and especially, those in need. The holiday season is an extra important time to give back and volunteer. There are several dedicated, compassionate organizations along the Grand Strand that strive to make a difference within our communities. One special nonprofit in particular that is featured within this Sasee issue is The Outreach Farm, which donates protein to the many local organizations that specifically feed those in need for free. In order for these charitable organizations to continue their philanthropic work, they are always in need of assistance. Whether it be financially, or volunteer-based, your support matters and if you haven’t contributed before, it’s never too late to start a new holiday tradition. As so wisely said by Amy Leigh Mercree, “Thanksgiving is a joyous invitation to shower the world with love and gratitude.” May your bellies stay full of food and your hearts full of grace.

Publisher Delores Blount Sales & Marketing Director Susan Bryant Editor Sarah Elaine Hawkinson Account Executives Erica Schneider Gay Stackhouse Art Director Patrick Sullivan Contributing Photographer Chasing the Light Photography Web Developer Scott Konradt Accounting Gail Knowles Executive Publishers Jim Creel Bill Hennecy Suzette Rogers PO Box 1389, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 fax 843-626-6452 • phone 843-626-8911 • Sasee is published monthly and distributed free along the Grand Strand. Submissions of articles and art are welcome. Visit our website for details on submission. Sasee is a Strand Media Group, Inc. publication. Copyright © 2022. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material, in part or in whole, prepared by Strand Media Group, Inc. and appearing within this publication is strictly prohibited. Title “Sasee” is registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

6 :: :: November 2022

Get to know our family. PruittHealth – Conway at Conway Medical Center specializes in post-acute and skilled nursing care with the goal of transitioning our patients home. Our center offers a comprehensive menu of state-of-the-art rehabilitative services. We are dedicated to providing quality health care to you and your loved ones.





2379 Cypress Circle, Conway, SC 29526 843-347-8179 • Other members of the PruittHealth family of providers: PruittHealth Hospice (Florence): 843-662-8633 The PruittHealth Organization complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. PruittHealth @ Home (Myrtle Beach): 843-353-1152 The PruittHealth Organization complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.



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Gets Personal with Sandy Copeland:

Physicians Weight Loss Centers



Sandy Copeland Owner • 75 lbs gone! Jan - June 2012

Q: When did you move to the Grand Strand? I moved to Conway in 1985 to open the Physicians Weight Loss franchise and over the years, I continued to open more locations in Murrells Inlet, Myrtle Beach, and North Myrtle Beach. Having so many locations made it difficult for me to have time with my child, so we eventually consolidated into one central location in south Myrtle Beach, the palmetto pointe area. With a baby on my hip and a briefcase in my hand, I was able to balance taking proper care of my clients as well as my home life. Q: What about your work specifically makes you feel grateful? While moving to a new place and opening a business is not the easiest, I am incredibly thankful to have such amazing clients and staff. As a Certified Diet and Nutrition Counselor, my ability to help people excites me, especially because my inspiration to go into this field was because of my own health journey I struggled with for so long. I believe in natural remedies, when possible, and am grateful to share my story and my knowledge with others to increase their quality of life.

Q: What are your Thanksgiving traditions? We always decorate because I love the bright orange and red colors of fall. Traditionally, our plan has always been to gather at my mother’s house for Thanksgiving. Because we recently lost her, my son and I will still gather, gobble, and play games with our family, but I am also going to prioritize reaching out to local nonprofits to donate money to organizations who provide food for those in need. Q: What is your role for Thanksgiving? My whole family would laugh so hard if they heard this question. I am in charge of bringing paper goods to eat off of (so we don’t have to do dishes) as well as the extra beverages like tea and soda…only the easy stuff. Then once I arrive, my only responsibility is to entertain and play with my twin sister’s seven grandchildren. Q: What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory? All of the best memories take me back to my mom and our quality time spent on her big farm in Lake City. We always had so much fun and my mother was always playing with the kids and cooking. The kitchen would be full of food because she loved to cater, and she would cook every child’s favorite thing even if it was 3 different types of meat. I cherish my time spent with her as she never met a stranger and showed us that love is the best thing anyone can have in their heart. Q: When do y’all start to decorate for the (Christmas) holidays? Oh, the day after thanksgiving…I have a beautiful tree we put up every year!

Physicians Weight Loss Centers 843-293-9333 • 4883 US Hwy 17 Bypass South • Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 12 :: :: November 2022

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Join Our 17th Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive to Benefit The MANNA HOUSE to Help Those Less Fortunate

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Gravy Can Save Anything by Leslee W. Kahler

When I was a little girl, my father worked as an engineer for an oil company in Alabama, and part of his job required him to wine and dine potential clients. Where we lived in Mobile, there were few fancy restaurants and my mother was not only an excellent hostess but a great cook, so my father would often bring home important clients for my mom to entertain. It was the day before Thanksgiving and all the family had come to stay at our house for Thanksgiving. My mother’s mother was there as well as my father’s younger sister, Aunt Trevie and her husband, Uncle Jack. My father called my mom to say that two important clients would be joining us for Thanksgiving dinner. Apparently, due to storms, their flights home had been canceled, and Dad had invited them to our house for a home-cooked meal. My mom, after a moments panic, told my older brother and I that we would have to help her get the house ready for the important guests. She sent my brother to dust and polish furniture and pulled out all her good wedding silver and sat me down at the kitchen table with silver polish and a rag, while she pulled out her cookbooks to find a recipe for apple pie. Thanksgiving morning came and my poor mother not only had to make breakfast for everyone but start her turkey, do her hair, and get the house spotless, no easy task considering she had guests and a bloodhound puppy to deal with. The puppy, named Missile, was tied up in our large backyard, to keep it out of the way, and my brother and I were again drafted to help with preparations. My father’s guests arrived at three and they were ushered into our spotless house by my father and introduced to my mother, who was now in her best dress and pearls, and the rest of the family. My mother had made hors d’oeuveres and she sent me out with them on a silver tray to serve the guests while my father played bartender. Everything was going well until Aunt Trevie got into a fight with Uncle Jack. My uncle drank a lot and when he drank, he talked a lot. Apparently, he said something to Aunt Trevie, who was in a wheelchair, that she didn’t like for she threw her glass of red wine at him. It hit him in the face and he dropped his brandy, then when she tried to wheel away, she knocked down one of my mother’s ceramic lamps. Both the living room carpet and sofa where my uncle had been sitting were white and now covered with wine and brandy. I ran to the kitchen to get my mother who’d just taken the turkey out of the oven to settle. Mom came running with dish towels, 16 :: :: November 2022

while I followed behind her with a bowl of soapy water. Meanwhile, dad was chasing after his sister and Uncle Jack while Grandmother, who’d also had a few too many glasses of sherry, was entertaining the guests with stories of the Great Depression. Mom and I saved the carpet and the sofa and then announced dinner was ready. My father wrangled his sister and brother-in-law inside the house, then got his guests and Grandma to the dining room, where my mother had set a beautiful table that Martha Stewart would have been proud of. Mom and I went into the kitchen to start bringing out the food and discovered that my brother who’d been in the backyard the whole time was standing there covered in mud and watching Missile eat our Thanksgiving turkey. My mom wrestled the turkey away from the dog, no easy feat, and told my brother to go change after making him drag the dog back outside. Luckily, Missile had only started eating the turkey and had only made off with one leg. My mom looked at me and said don’t tell anyone, and then ordered me to start carrying out all the side dishes and set them on the table. I carried out the sides one by one while my mother strategically began carving the turkey. Once I had all the sides out, she handed me a bottle of white wine and said go fill all the guest’s glasses and keep them full. Mom sliced up the salvaged turkey and laid it on her best platter, with stuffing and covered in lots of gravy, then presented it to the guests. The rest of the meal went without incident and all the guests enjoyed mom’s meal. The two important clients so loved our family Thanksgiving that they awarded my dad a huge contract and he got a promotion. My mom swore me to secrecy about her turkey disaster and I kept my promise till my mother passed. As for me, I learned that any meal can be salvaged with enough gravy and ingenuity.

Leslee W. Kahler is a laid-off teaching assistant and struggling writer. She lives in rural Pennsylvania on a hobby farm with her family, seven rescue cats, two dogs, three horses, and a horde of pet ducks.


How to Cook a Turkey by Rose Ann Sinay

For years, my husband and I would traipse between his parents’ home and mine for Thanksgiving dinner. It was tradition, and besides, there were so many leftovers to take home I wouldn’t have to cook for the rest of the week. When our kids were old enough to understand the significance of the day, I decided that I would host the event. Everyone was invited and asked to bring their favorite pie. I would do the rest. It would be an old-fashioned Thanksgiving with everything made from scratch and a fresh bird ordered weeks in advance. It would be easy peasy, I thought, as I pictured my table laden with all the delicious, unadulterated food I would make! The day before Thanksgiving, I donned my apron and spread all my baking ingredients on the counter. I proceeded to make the cornbread and rolls from an old recipe card. I’d never made them before, and my first efforts went into the trash. My second batch of rolls rose to a proper height and baked to a lovely golden brown. The cornbread tasted like sawdust. I continued to my next recipe, date-nut bread. I cracked walnut shells and cut up dates which took an hour instead of the fifteen minutes I had allotted on my timetable. It was tedious work to separate all the broken shells from the nut meat. I couldn’t imagine if I’d had to make the pies, too. I was tired, and I hadn’t even gotten to the side dishes. Thanksgiving morning, I gave my son a mason jar and a carton of cream. I explained that he was going to make and shape the butter that would sit on a special plate on the table (and would also keep him busy). I scowled as he filled the jar and began to shake it – over his head, under his leg, and around his back – handling it like a basketball. I prayed he didn’t drop it, or we would be reduced to lowly margarine for our mashed potatoes and dry cornbread. I spread the fresh cranberries in a bowl of water and let my five-year-old daughter check for stems before putting them into a pan of sugar, water, and spices. Kailey and I watched the skins burst and the syrup boil into thick red bubbles. It smelled heavenly. I spooned out a plump berry to taste and was surprised. All I could taste was the sweet syrup. I pulled out the Betty Crocker cookbook. I had to fix this. At midnight, I poured out most of the syrup, added two 18 :: :: November 2022

cans of whole berry sauce to my concoction, and put it in the fridge. How could anyone mess up cranberry sauce? I buried the cans at the bottom of the trash can. Early Thanksgiving morning, I chopped the onions, celery, and apples, and fried the sausage that would go into the dressing. I didn’t stop until the turkey was oiled, herbed, and stuffed. I put it into the oven and took a break. How had my mother done it all these years? Preparing Thanksgiving dinner was hard work. I began to peel the potatoes while the kids cut giant leaves from red, orange, and brown construction paper for decoration. I had a stencil to trace so the leaves would all be the same size, but I couldn’t find it, and my need for perfection was running low. I poured myself a glass of wine; I don’t drink wine, but then again, I didn’t bake either. I just wanted this meal done and ready to go on the table. I checked the clock, I had plenty of time. I started to relax when I noticed that I didn’t smell anything. Shouldn’t the house be filled with the delicious aroma of cooking fowl, I wondered? No, no, no. I couldn’t have… I dashed for the stove. Yes, I did. I’d forgotten to turn the oven on. I chugged the awful-tasting wine and desperately tried to think through the fog of failure. My husband walked into the kitchen. “Anything, I can do?” he asked. “Yes,” I said. “I need you to run to the grocery store. It’s open until 2:00.” I made a list: cornbread muffins, four boxes of any kind of frozen vegetable in a cheese sauce, butter, and another bottle of wine. After he left, I took the room-temperature turkey out of the oven and cut the legs off – perfectly. I put them into the microwave on the lowest level and let them get warm and steamy. Then, I wrapped the legs in foil and popped them into the (now) heated oven. I scooped the stuffing out of the bird and into a casserole dish to cook separately. Using a cast iron skillet, I carefully flattened the top of the bird without cracking the bone and slid it into the microwave.

By the time my husband arrived home, the bird had been pieced back together with a large skewer and heavy string and was roasting in the oven. *** The perfectly browned turkey (achieved with lots of butter and liquid smoke) sat next to a mound of steaming mashed potatoes. I held my breath as my husband sliced the turkey and passed the platter. Was it dry? Thoroughly cooked? I inspected each slice as my guests put it on their plates. “Pass the cranberry sauce,” my father said. Kailey passed the bowl with pride. “Me and mommy made it ourselves,” she said. I cringed and picked up the butter plate. A smiley face looked back at me. I gave my son a silent thumbs-up. I waited impatiently for the platter to get to me. I took my slice of turkey and tasted it immediately. It was good, really good! I sighed with relief and added modern conveniences to the long list of things I was grateful for.

843-248-2624 317 Laurel Street • Conway, SC 29526 (Closed Sunday & Monday)

Book Your Holiday Par ties Now Pr ivate R ooms Available Local Oyster Roasts and Steampots Now Available

“Delicious,” my family proclaimed. Microwaved turkey – who knew?

Offering To Go Orders, Curbside Pickup & Inside Dining Fresh Carolina Seafood • Hand Cut Steaks Rose Ann Sinay is a freelance writer newly relocated to Connecticut. She continues to write about moments worth remembering, graciously provided by family and friends.

Family -owned restaurant located in the North Litchfield Beach section of Pawleys Island, SC Open Mon - Sat at 4pm Early Bird Specials & Happy Hour 4-6pm daily 14360 Ocean Hw y • Paw leys Island (843) 235-3021 • w w :: November 2022 :: 19

Wish List

Sasee is incredibly thankful for all of you, our devoted readers, and we hope all of you understand just how important our advertisers are to our magazine. Our advertisers are all local and offer unique gifts for you and your loved ones so please join us in supporting them this holiday season. Sasee encourages you all to give thanks as well as give gifts from our Wish List.

Consuela Bags “make every day ridiculously awesome!” Founded in Austin, their style is unmatched, and perfect for giving or gifting yourself! Bleu 720 Sunset Blvd N • Sunset Beach, NC 910-579-5628

If you want to add a sense of calm to any room in your home, look to images or art pieces that have that effect on you naturally like this 30 x 42 Framed Classic Coastal Artwork. Coastal Luxe Interiors 6613 N Kings Hwy • Myrtle Beach 843-946-6644

Featuring a map of Pawleys Island and flecks of gold leaf, this Hand-Crafted Cuff Bracelet for your favorite coastal lady comes with a 22-karat yellow gold overlay. Swarovski crystals have also been added for sparkle and light. Christopher’s Fine Jewelry 11412 Ocean Hwy • Pawleys Island 843-237-3773

Sparkle from every angle in these Handmade Beaded Oyster Earrings that are finished with 14k Gold & Hypoallergenic Hardware. Made with beautiful shades of gray and silver, these earrings are a statement that must be made. Good Deed Goods 3579 US-17 BUS • Murrells Inlet 843-651-7979

With love passed from grandparent to parent to child, the Madame Alexander doll brand has inspired kindness and healthy imaginative play for nearly a century. Doodlebugs 800 Front St • Georgetown 843-546-6858

Hand Engraved 14kt Gold Signet Rings. Order Now for Holiday Gifting. Surf Unlimited Mercantile 17 Causeway Dr • Ocean Isle Beach, NC 910-579-1525

Take 10% off these Book Bundles of best-selling authors, stand-alone and backlist books. Some of our bundles are staff picks from a certain genre that come with a great recommendation! Litchfield Books 11421 Ocean Hwy Unit D • Pawleys Island 843-237-8138

These adorable Baby Cakes can be created using many different colors and themes and are sure to be the sweetest gift for any holiday gathering. Incredible Edibles 11326 Ocean Hwy Suite 3 • Pawleys Island 843-237-5040

In German tradition, Nutcracker soldiers are symbols of good luck, frightening away malevolent spirits and protecting your home. In the 1890s, the Nutcracker became associated with Christmas when the “The Nutcracker” ballet was produced. We may not be German or believe in malevolent spirits, but the nutcracker is now a beautiful symbol that relates us to Christmas. Nye’s Pharmacy 1600 10th Ave • Conway 843-248-5015 This Palmetto necklace is sure to be the best gift under the tree. This beautiful piece of jewelry was designed by Dawn at Grady’s Jewelers. Grady’s Jewelers 317 Laurel St • Conway 843-248-2624

With the temperatures dropping, get cozy and stay stylish by rocking this Mauve Along Shacket all season long. Shop Ravel 1904 US-17 BUS • Surfside Beach 843-945-4116

Classic, yet simple for all ages, the Pearl Initial Necklace is a great gift you can’t go wrong with. The Curious Mermaid Boutique 120-1 Causeway Dr • Ocean Isle Beach, NC 910-575-5356

Give a timeless gift this holiday season, like the Proseccoscented Antica Farmacista Diffuser to spice up the scent of any room in your home. Barbara’s Fine Gifts 6914 N. Kings Hwy • Myrtle Beach 843-449-0448

Handmade in Charleston, South Carolina, by stay-at-home moms and college students, these dynamic and colorful Snaffle Bit Bracelets would make the perfect gift for anyone on your list. Cocora Home Décor + More 727 Wachesaw Rd • Murrells Inlet 843-651-0801 This seasonal-crafted Nest New York Holiday Grand Candle features a very merry fragrance with a blend of pomegranate, mandarin orange, pine, cloves, cinnamon and a hint of vanilla and amber, giving any space you place it a touch of holiday aroma. Rose Arbor Fabrics 6916 N. Kings Hwy • Myrtle Beach • 843-449-7673 11382 Ocean Hwy • Pawleys Island • 843-979-9970

One shape, endless possibilities! Plus-Plus Tubes encourage the use of fine motor skills, logic, creativity, and imagination all without the use of a screen. Perfect for on-the-go. Gay Dolphin 916 N. Ocean Blvd • Myrtle Beach 843-448-6550

Introducing our #1 best seller, the 13-piece Home Set comes neatly packed in a box which is great for both storage and shipping and is guaranteed to be a perfect gift. Fourth & Main on Laurel 321 Laurel St • Conway 843-488-6247

Using the fluffer stuffer, you are able to pick your very own Fluffie and have it stuffed on the spot in store and personalized with different outfits, hearts to put inside, and your very own Fluffie birth certificate. Small Town Toys 1011 4th Ave • Conway 843-488-6246

American made with solid brass and finished with 24k gold, this South Carolina Palmetto State Crescent Moon Ornament is the perfect southern charm to add to your holiday décor. River City Christmas 916 3rd Ave & 302 Main St • Conway 843-248-8016

When it comes to the quintessential Southern porch, a pair of durable, beautiful Poly Lumber Rocking Chairs are a must. Available in multiple colors. Give us a call to get yours! Custom Outdoor Furniture & Restrapping 2415 Highway 17 Bus • Garden City 843-651-9633

Created to be both stunning and sustainable, this Maureen Mallam Cork Bag is certainly a staple piece to accessorize with that will match any outfits. Sunset River Marketplace 10283 Beach Dr SW • Calabash, NC 910-575-5999

With only a couple in stock, it’s time to show off this classic Bamboo Design Display Easel in satin gold. It’s small enough to fit in multiple spaces to accentuate a favorite antique book or a framed photo. B. Graham Interiors Collection 1307 Enterprise Ave • Myrtle Beach 843-692-7844

The Outreach Farm: Feeding the Hungry by Sarah Elaine Hawkinson

For almost two decades, a local non-profit has been substantial in helping feed those in need along the Grand Strand. Founded in 2003, Michael “Mike” Luvollo, a retired cattle farmer from New England, moved to our rural area and quickly became aware of the protein deficiency, especially for local children. He acquired some volunteers and after they bought beef cattle, they used the meat to distribute to local organizations that specifically provide meals at no cost for the people of Georgetown, Horry, and surrounding counties. The Outreach Farm eventually made the switch from raising cattle to buying frozen pro-cured meat (more than beef) in bulk from Sysco. Once a month, the board of volunteers delivers 18,000 servings of protein to the organizations they partner with. Their biggest need is raising more donation money so they can continue their mission. Currently, the Farm’s donations benefit over a dozen non-profits from residential homes, churches, and even a food truck that parks and distributes cooked meals around low-income neighborhoods. For Thanksgiving, the organization usually provides turkeys from local providers, but due to inflation, they are looking into ham for this year. Although they rely heavily on monetary donations, the one time of year the organization needs hands-on volunteering is for their Mailbox Wreath Fundraiser. From Thanksgiving to December 10th, the wreaths need to be picked up from Callas Florist in Murrells Inlet (who creates the décor) and delivered to the houses of 26 :: :: November 2022

those who purchased a wreath in support of the Farm. The volunteer would have a specific route depending on how many wreaths they could take and then assemble the wreaths onto the mailboxes. (To volunteer, please call Phil Baldwin at 770-294-5148.) The local nonprofits that are already in partnership with the Farm are All Saints Church, AMI Kids, Community Kitchen of Myrtle Beach, Community Lunch, Father Pat’s Lunch Kitchen, Food From the Father Ministry, Friendship Place, Hopewell Senior Day Care Center, Meals on Wheels of Horry and Georgetown County, Inc., No Boundaries International, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Shepherd of the Sea Lutheran, Shepard’s Table, Sonshine Recovery Ministries, Teen Challenge, The Village Group, and Waccamaw Youth Center. If you know of any other entities that prepare and provide free meals to those in need, please fill out the form on the website under “contact” so they can be added to the list. One area in particular that heavily lacks protein nutrition and needs to be addressed is the highway corridor between Georgetown and Andrews and the surrounding areas. Please consider helping The Outreach Farm reach its yearly goal of providing over 200,000 meals so that the under-served people of our community can also continue to gather and gobble together. For more information, please visit:

Happy Fall Y’all

Named Best Consignment Shop 13 years in a row

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It’s beginning to look (& smell) a lot like Christmas! Our ever favorite Thymes Frasier Fir and Traditional Blue & White Collections are here to help you ge t in the Christmas Spirit!

Located inside Lee’s Inlet Apothecary

843.651.7979 3579 U.S. 17 Business Murrells Inlet, SC 29576


THE SHOPS AT OAK LEA 11096 OCEAN HIGHWAY PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC 29585 (843) 237-8080 WWW.ELEANORPITTS.COM :: November 2022 :: 29

Hot Roll Hotline by Alice Muschany

“Traditions are like a love note from home that your children and grandchildren will take with them into their future” ~Janet Hondrka

Mom always made the best homemade yeast rolls, but whenever I asked her for the recipe, she insisted the ingredients were just thrown together. Years later, her health began to decline. She surprised me one morning when she called and offered to show me how to make her delicious rolls. I rushed over to her house and scribbled down the recipe along with cheat notes as I watched her combine the ingredients and add a smidge more flour every now and then while kneading the soft dough. After it doubled in size, she formed perfect rolls from years of practice. Sadly, Mom passed away a short time later with no one in my family aware that I’d learned her yeast roll secrets. That first holiday at Dad’s without her, I decided to surprise everyone and make the scrumptious homemade dinner rolls. As the scent of warm bread wafted throughout the kitchen, one of the nephews announced, “I smell Grandma’s rolls.” Our usual boisterous crowd grew quiet, no doubt everyone missed our mother. As we sat down to eat, mouth-watering hot rolls sailed around the table. Soon laughter replaced our sorrow. From then on, I baked Mom’s rolls every holiday. Twelve years later, Dad died a week before Thanksgiving. Exhausted from funeral duties and still coping with grief, my siblings and I decided to skip our annual extended family gathering. Thanksgiving morning, even though it would just be my husband and me for dinner, I gathered the ingredients and started a batch of rolls. No sooner than I’d set the dough aside to rise, my phone rang. “Hi, Aunt Alice. Mind sharing Grandma’s hot roll recipe? I haven’t made anything with yeast before,” my niece confessed, “but I’m going to give it a try.” After rattling off the ingredients and instructions, I said, “Good luck! Call if you have any questions.” Ten minutes later, my phone rang again. I chuckled, thinking it was her. Instead, my youngest daughter asked, “Mom, what ingredients do I need to make Grandma’s rolls?” My husband laughed when the phone trilled once more. “You might as well be operating a switchboard.” 30 :: :: November 2022

My niece called, concerned her dough was too sticky. I explained that was how it was supposed to feel. She just needed to sprinkle a generous amount of flour on her counter before working the dough. Barring! Brrring! My daughter wanted to know, “Is it really necessary to knead the dough a hundred times?” “Yes, Honey. And don’t forget to push down hard with both palms.” My younger sister called a half hour later and asked how hard Mom’s rolls were to make. I gave her the recipe and assured her she’d do fine. From then on, I answered my phone, “Hot Roll Hotline.” “Should I grease the tops?” “How hot should the oven temperature be?” “How long do I bake the rolls?” Later that evening, the callbacks were triumphant. First my niece, “My rolls might not be as pretty as Grandma’s, but they sure taste good.” Next, my daughter phoned. “I did it! The boys thought my hot rolls were delicious.” My sister called to say she had good luck as well. Teary-eyed, I hung up. Mom would be so pleased the rolls she had “thrown together” with love and a smidge more flour would, like her memory, remain an important part of our family.

Alice Muschany writes about everyday life with a touch of humor. Her essays have appeared in numerous anthologies, magazines and newspapers. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her hiking, swimming or taking pictures.


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Our Little Turkey by David Warren

Each year, we bring her out and she takes her place on top of our kitchen counter. It’s the smallest turkey you’ll ever find, but it’s hugely important to our household. The little turkey is a craft our daughter made when she was a young child and annually, it reminds us of what Thanksgiving is all about. It has a simple design - a turkey’s body, head, and four wings made out of some colored felt material. Each wing contains a word that represents what my daughter was thankful for at the time. The words she chose are: Family, Food, Clothing, and God. I know I’m her Dad, but I’m confident in saying “my daughter nailed it.” The words and the sentiment have stood the test of time all these years later and they seem to sum up Thanksgiving quite well. After all, Thanksgiving is about getting dressed up, enjoying food, and being with family. Most importantly, it’s about being grateful for all of God’s blessings (no matter who your God is).

blessings our family has, but it serves as a reminder to think of others each holiday season. I guess my message is as simple as that little turkey…Remember to be thankful for all you are blessed with and to be giving to those that need some help.

David Warren has been freelance writing for the past 10 years. During the daytime, he’s a mild-mannered VP of Sales for an International manufacturer, and at night, he writes.

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