A Different Kind of Thanksgiving Bird

Five layers into 24 hour multi-layer salad prep. Individually packaged to share with my friends for enhanced social distancing.

The RV Resort where I am wintering cancels the community pot luck lunch normally enjoyed by residents here each holiday.  Instead volunteers prepare plates of traditional Thanksgiving fixins at various kitchens in their homes and groups deliver free meals to each resident/camper at their home/RV (how very nice!).  At the clubhouse kitchen, I assist in this endeavor by plating the potatoes for each Styrofoam packaged meal.  Happily this is a task that is easily within my limited food preparation skill level.

The modified pot luck trickles out across the park into remotely seated groups set up outside in carports and on scattered picnic tables sharing tasty treats.  I receive lunch invitations from both my music friends and my 4-wheelin’ friends which is awesome!  The resulting leftovers feed me for the rest of the week.  I am very grateful for these invitations, each delicious morsel and the camaraderie shared at each gathering.  I also acquire tips for easy future personal meals.  For example, at lunch #2, Jane’s deviled eggs are so creamy that I beg her for the secret to her tasty success.  We compare ingredients:


Jane's creamy deviled eggs were just one small part of the scrumptious buffet that greeted me at lunch #2 hosted at Jim and Helen's RV

So what makes her eggs ambrosial compared to my attempts at egg devilment?  The answer – she adds a dollop of sour cream to the filling mix. That addition renders a velvety texture my taste buds find to be exquisite. As a bonus, she shares her daughter’s secret preparation tip which includes squishing the filling ingredients in a Ziploc bag to mix them. Once the egg deviling is properly mixed, she cuts off a corner of the bag and uses it as a piping tool to fill the eggs.

My goodness!  That is culinary genius to a cook (I am using that term loosely) like me who regularly employs my smoke detector as an oven timer.  Using Jane’s tips and my super fast boiled egg cooking Instant Pot, this yummy treat may very well become my lunch “meat” of choice.

An Attempted Southern Exposure

Meanwhile back at lunch #1, I join my mid-western musical friends some of whom claim to never even have heard of “The Andy Griffin Show.”  This is an educational deficit that is beyond my imagination especially for people who seem to love Bluegrass.  How can they not have ever listened to “The Darling Family” sing with Andy?  In an attempt to somewhat rectify their lack of exposure to the highlights of being Southern, I bake up some cornpone for my luncheon contribution. 

Butter, Sugar, Cornmeal - how can I go wrong with Cornpone? After some hesitation it was a big hit at Lunch #1!

From their suspicious expressions and tentative fork poking one might have thought I made the faux pas of serving up deep fried possum fritters (which as far as I know is NOT a Southern holiday delicacy) for Thanksgiving.  I try to calm their fears of tasting my exotic dish by offering the opinion that my cornpone can be described as falling halfway between spoon bread and cornbread in composition.  “What is spoon bread?” they ask.  Oh my goodness, I have a lot of work to do here!

Recovering with the Birds

A quartet of cranes troll the shoreline

Feasting and napping all day Thursday leaves me in desperate need of exercise on Saturday.  Eager for some fresh scenery, I take a trip to the wilderness to track down a different holiday bird.  Rumor has it that the Sandhill Cranes are returning to roost at Whitewater Draw.  I’d like to get a view of the mass arrival of that flight.

After an hour’s drive, I unfold out of the Jeep only to be startled by the quiet produced by the absence of any red wing blackbirds.  On a previous visit with Jane to this remote water aviary last spring those crimson tattooed chorus members sheltering here produced a sonic wave of sound nearly bowling us over as soon as we opened the car doors.  Today I notice only a distant cacophony of bird shrieks and screeches revealing the flock’s location.

Following the trail and sounds, I turn a corner to the amazing sight of crane covered fields. Watching these sometimes red masked stalkers reminds me of spending time with any family gathering over the holidays.  There is some drinking, lots of eating, some squabbling and a lot of chatter.  After my watch informs me that I have completed my requisite daily step requirement pacing the park trails, I find a bench and tranquilly enjoy the theater of aviary drama before me.  Below are a few scenes from the crane clan gathering.

In Loving Memory

Stormy Weathers

About Sunny Weathers

Pilot, motorcyclist and full time RVer. Follow me as I travel all over the US in my Country Coach RV volunteering, making new friends and pursuing a constant outdoor temperature between 70F and 80F. I'll share the fun and the tribulations and any great survival tricks I learn!

7 Replies to “A Different Kind of Thanksgiving Bird”

  1. Michele Hilberth says: Reply

    Pretty cool crane pics. Missing your smiling face. Stay safe!

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      Thanks! I miss your smiling face too!!

  2. jim Sandy dukeman says: Reply

    WOW, quite a blog this time, great. That meal makes me want to fire up the old coach and head your way. I long for a good jam with my guitar and friends. My grandson came over and we played together yesterday most of the afternoon. First time I had done that in 15 years. Today my fingers will hardly stand the keyboard typing this. So glad you had a great time, keep up the good work and I want to try one of those eggs when you come home next. GOD BLESS
    Jim & Sandy

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      I bet your fingers are sore if you haven’t played for that long. I am afraid to not practice everyday lest I lose my hard won calluses and have to start over 🙁
      Come on out, I’d love to see you. I will plan on deviling some eggs when I return to NC – just for you!!

  3. I am heading into the kitchen now to try my hand at your deviled eggs. Never did before, but seems simple enough even for me. But I’d really like directions for the cornpone, which used to be my favorite dish at the K&W in downtown Greensboro.. Remind me to tell you about the night the K&W’s night baker sliced himself open with a bread knife in a suicide attempt, then ran all over the kitichen bleeding on eveything while he died. They had to close the place for a month to clean it up, and I doubt they ever got back their full customer base. Anyway, bad corpone can make you act crazy, which is why I need your recipe.

    N. Clement

  4. I don’t have any reeish, so I am scraping the cold slaw off an old hot dog and will advise success, or not.


    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      As requested, I forwarded the cornpone recipe to you. Can’t wait to hear how the deviled egg experiment goes!

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