Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Supper: The Purple Turkey

Early married life for my parents, Jesse L. and Carolina R. Green (pictured left at their wedding) meant moving from one Army base to another.  They were married November 9, 1941 a few short weeks prior to the start of World War II.  My mother, being the youngest child of seven children, never learned to cook prior to her marriage. 

One Thanksgiving my father surprised my mother by inviting friends over for Thanksgiving dinner.  Mom was very nervous about fixing a Thanksgiving dinner for company.  Dad said there was nothing to it -  you just kept basting the turkey with wine.  The results, he said, would be a moist and flavorful well-done turkey.  My mother followed his instructions and basted the turkey while it was cooking. 

When it was time to serve the bird, it was indeed moist, flavorful and purple!  You guessed it.  She basted the turkey with red wine!  She said she was never able to duplicate that feat again.

Thank you to Root Cellar member Carolee Jones for sharing your hilarious family story.

Sunday Supper is one of several blogging themes suggested on Geneabloggers.  Get your ancestors noticed here by submitting a short story and/or image to

posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond


  1. When I first moved to the Bay Area many years ago, it seemed vital to my standing as a good cook to buy an organic turkey and to brine it for several days prior to Thanksgiving. A supermarket bird with a little pop-up red tag in the breast just wouldn't do. The brine recipe called for red wine. Like your bird, mine was purple and there was nothing I could do to hide the fact. My overseas guests had no experience with the holiday but they teased me mercilessly, because my face was redder than the turkey was purple.

  2. I LOVE this story. I have so many funny stories about not knowing how to cook. I'm wise enough not to bake a turkey... that's the hubby's job. In any case. I LOVE this story for far to many personal reasons.


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