One of my favorite Thanksgivings was one of the years we were living in Erlangen in the neighborhood of Vossberg. This one Turkey-day we had most of the soldiers under Papa for dinner. But they came a day or two ahead of time to help cook when they were off duty. Some had lots of experience and just took over some of the cookies or pies but some actually enjoyed learning something they admitted avoiding in the past. We sang as we worked and joked and had a great time! I loved it when we could get a big group of friends together like that. It reminds me of family gatherings from when I was a girl. But better. Among the friends people just went home when they got tired or annoyed. It did not break down into family squabbling.
Another favorite memory from Erlangen was when we had a guest who was away from home cooking for a long time. The guest was so excited about home cooking and a Thanksgiving feast that he overfilled his plate and it took so long to eat it that by the time everyone else was ready for desert he was just finishing. Then the guest cried real tears because he had no room for the pies, cookies, and cakes. We assured him we would fill a plate with deserts so he could take some home. I have to admit it was wonderful watching someone enjoy my cooking so openly!