West Tisbury: Friendsgiving luncheon, and corn pudding recipe

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— Kyra Steck

It was cold this morning and the sky was a flat gray. It looked and felt like snow. The news showed a reporter standing amidst swirling snowflakes in three feet of snow in Buffalo. It’s not likely to happen here, and it seems early in the winter even for Buffalo. 

Mike built up the fire and I have kept it going all day. We are settling into our winter rituals, taking Abby out for a walk before it gets too dark, bringing wood and kindling inside, getting the fire going, turning lights on to brighten the early evenings.

I thought about a Thanksgiving many years ago when it snowed in West Tisbury. Mike had to pick everyone up and drive them over here for our family dinner. His truck was the only family vehicle that had 4-wheel drive. That might have been the same year there was a house fire on Thanksgiving. Or was it Christmas? So many days and holidays blur into some long-ago past.

Yesterday, Thursday, was the early Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving luncheon at the Howes House, officially the Up-Island Council on Aging. The three up-Island police departments cooked and served the meal. Chief Randhi Belain and Sgt. Paul Manning came from Aquinnah. From Chilmark were Sgt. Sean Slavin and officer Elizabeth Rogers. Our West Tisbury department was represented by Lt. Matt Gebo, Sgt. Brad Cortez, officers Jeremie Rogers and Bradley Fielder, and Samantha Hollinger, who organized everyone and everything. Thanks to all of you.

Thanks, also, to everyone who donated food for the meal. We were treated to Chilmark Coffee, bread from Orange Peel Bakery, amazing produce and ham from Ghost Island Farm, Grey Barn Farm, Beetlebung Farm, North Tabor Farm, Wise Owl Farm, Morning Glory Farm, Cliffhangers, Cronig’s, and Cash & Carry.

The meal was delicious. Everyone was sent home with a container of leftovers for dinner. Hard to imagine there were leftovers, as the room was full to bursting with tables for four all around. It was so nice to see lots of friends of 30 or 40 years. We have all grown old together. 

A very special and heartfelt thank you to everyone at the Howes House. You made sure every one of us felt welcomed and we were certainly well-fed. The dining room looked so pretty. I hope you all feel appreciated for your daily kindnesses and attentions, and for keeping us all together. Joyce Albertine, Jennie Gadowski, Bethany Hammond, Susan Merrill — you are the best.

Here is my annual reprint of the corn pudding recipe:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix together:
½ stick of melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 16 ounce can of cream style corn
1 16 ounce can of corn kernels, drained
1 cup of sour cream
1 9-ounce package of Jiffy corn muffin mix

Bake in a casserole for 35 to 40 minutes, till the center is set.

This recipe is easy to double and is my go-to recipe for winter potlucks. Just bake a little longer, about an hour. I will be bringing it to our town party. Jen Rand emailed that we will be gathering at the Ag Hall this year on Thursday evening, Dec. 8, from 5 to 7 pm. Contact Janice Haynes at  508 696-0100 or thassist@westtisbury-ma.gov. The library and town offices will be closed Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday. I wish everyone a lovely Thanksgiving however you celebrate, and even if you don’t celebrate at all. May we all be grateful for something in our lives.

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