Thanksgiving Tales ~ Only A Little Will Do

By Jennifer Donohoe

I grew up in a home where alcohol was rarely brought inside or even drank. However, during the holidays, an occasional wine bottle would make it into my grandmother’s home – obviously hidden in someone’s purse until it could be placed somewhere safe. And, I want to add, it wasn’t until my grandmother’s death that I realized how many people in my family drank quite often. On one particular Thanksgiving, an unknowing cousin brought red wine to share with the family over dinner. My grandmother immediately snatched the bottle and placed it in the refrigerator. Everyone’s mouth had to be manually shut by their own hands.

Curious, my cousin asked my grandmother a question. We all stood in silence, listening. “Is red your favorite wine? I’ve noticed in the past everyone else has brought white, but they always kept it hid.”

None of the other guilty family members wanted to admit their transgression and watched the scene unfold.

My grandmother smiled. “Oh pish posh. I knew they had the wine. I could smell on their breath. They were just too afraid to let me see it.” She went about her business finishing cooking the meal.

Other relatives shared their love with my cousin by slapping her on the back, pinching her arm, and whatever injury created the least amount of attention.

Everyone finally settled down and dinner was served. Some got to eat the large dinner table while others sat in the kitchen or living room, but all eyes were on my grandmother. Would she take the bottle out of the refrigerator and open the wine. Soon it was forgotten and everyone enjoyed their meal. When my grandmother finally sat down, she had  a small juice glass half way full with something deep red in it. Of course, the strong adults pushed their children into the dining room to see what she had in the glass.

When one of the braver adults sitting next to her finally asked, “What do you have there, Cleo?”

She giggled with red cheeks and said, “Wine, want some?”

The adult laughed and a mad rush ensued toward the kitchen where the bottle sat on the counter.

My grandmother took a long slow sip of the forbidden fruit and started giggling. “Wow, I’m woozy.”

Still afraid to say anything, one of the distant relatives pushed my mom’s shoulder to speak. “Mom, maybe you should take it a little easy on the wine.”

My grandmother narrowed her eyes and answered, “I’m having fun. Get off my back.”

The poor cousin that brought the wine wound up with a few more superficial injuries.

I hope you enjoyed the story. I’ve included a recipe that’s quite easy for anyone to make in a hurry. Sorry. It doesn’t contain any wine. You’ll have to drink that on the side.

Waldorf Salad


  • 1/2 cup chopped, slightly toasted walnuts or candied almonds
  • 1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup red seedless grapes, sliced (or a 1/4 cup of raisins)
  • 1 sweet apple, cored and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Sugar
  • Lettuce

Mix the mayonnaise with the sugar to your liking. Keep the mayonnaise mix on the side until you mix the other ingredients into the salad. Then mix the mayonnaise mix into the salad to your liking.

Now, I always change this recipe depending on the season. For instance, for Christmas I leave out the grapes and add cranberries. For summer, I usually add some summer fruit to the mix. This is a fun recipe that can be changed to suit your likes.

 Meet The Author

Jennifer Donohoe currently lives in Northeast Ohio. She works as an In-Home Counselor to Felony Juvenile Offenders. She loves taking landscape photography as a hobby and uses the photos as descriptions for some of the settings in her stories. Her passion is writing and enjoys the company of her characters.

Twitter: @donohoejennifer
Author of: The Legend of the Travelers: Willow’s Journey
Now available at Amazon: (Paperback) (Ebook)
Now available at Barnes-n-Nobles:

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3 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Tales ~ Only A Little Will Do

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