What you don’t know won’t hurt ya….

Dad and Aunt Edna

My Dad and My Aunt Edna

My Aunt Edna related this story to me and it was confirmed by my Dad. When they were young they lived about 4 or 5 miles southeast of Gildford on land called the “Hatch Place.” They were very “Hard Up” which in Montana speak means they were damned poor. Yes, they walked to school the 4 or 5 miles and if they were lucky they rode an old wagon with a horse pulling it. They had a lot of chores to do and all of them worked. They had very little food and it was rationed out.

My Aunt’s job was to cook this particular day and the only thing left to eat in the cupboard were beans and some Bisquick for biscuits. When she looked at the Bisquik she discovered mouse poop. What to do?  She quickly sifted out the mouse droppings and made biscuits and beans. No, she did not tell anyone for years afterwards and no she did not eat biscuits that particular day.

I am reminded of my first time cooking a turkey. I had joined an organization that put on a Thanksgiving dinner for its members and I had been appointed to cook a turkey. Of course I said I could do it and didn’t relate I had no idea what the hell I was doing.  How hard could it be, I thought. I bought the biggest bird I could fit into the oven and thawed it out. I put some butter on it and put it on a metal tray and popped it into stove. Of course, I didn’t ask or read about how things should be done, I didn’t want to appear stupid.

When said bird was taken out of the oven two things became apparent. Number 1 you should always cook a turkey breast side up and number 2 the plastic bag containing the giblets should not be left in the turkey when you cook it. I quickly remedied the situation by carving up the turkey and throwing away the plastic bag. No harm no fowl. At least there were no mouse turds to contend with.

I want to report my other Aunts, my Uncles, and my Dad lived a long time after the biscuits, and as far as I know no one died eating my turkey.

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  1. Nikki Alaee says:

    I am super glad that my sweet step mother is cooking the bird today.

    • Slim says:

      Good dinner, I’m glad I didn’t cook…

  2. Susan Bliss says:

    About 30 minutes into my first turkey roasting, my mom called and asked if I was going to make giblet gravy — what giblets??? Thus they got retrieved at an early stage. We probably all ate things as a kid that we didn’t know and it didn’t hurt us… good times. I remember “the Hatch” place but don’t remember where it is exactly. South of Hwy 2 heading east toward Havre?

    • Slim says:

      About 3 miles east on Hywy 2 and about 2 miles south. Nothing there anymore but the bottom of the creek and the prairie..

  3. Carl j Donovan says:

    I rember the first time I saw dressing in a turkey and my Aunt Alley pulled it out to check and I was there and said Why is the turkey pooping? For years she reminded me of that great memories thanks for sharing

  4. Lynda Patrick-Hayes says:

    Good story…as was the life of our forefathers homesteading on the prairies of Montana. Thanks for the story…it made me remember my family’s stories.

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