A fictional account of a young girl’s diary with actual events from The Carleton Place Canadian, Carleton Place Ontario: December 14th, 1950.
Mother came home from her Ladies Auxiliary meeting with a smile on her face on Thursday. She mentioned Mrs. Pollock from the Ladies Auxiliary to the Carleton Place Chamber of Commerce had informed everyone that the restrooms had finally been re-decorated. That would mean they would be available just in time for the Teenage Hoedown Christmas party at the Town Hall. Mother was pleased as this meant my sister would be pruning all day in front the mirror so she could attend the annual Carleton Place Turkey Fair the next day There would be lots of out of town buyers and a large amount of birds would be for sale.
As she talked about turkeys I closed my eyes and remembered the smell of her delicious Christmas turkey filled with stuffing from a secret recipe. Of course it really wasn’t a secret as Mother had seen the recipe for Marilyn Monroe’s Turkey Stuffing in one of her many magazines.
The next day after school I walked down to the Carleton Place Post Office which was quickly resembling Santa’s Village. Parcels and bags of mail were piled high and the clerks wondered if they were ever going to get through them. As I purchased my stamp to mail my letter to Santa Mr. Menzies the postmaster smiled and asked about my father, as he glanced back at the long lines of children and adults that stood in front of the wickets. He told me he was not anticipating the arrival of the next train because there would be lots more mailbags to sort. As I left he patted me on the head and he told me to say hello to Santa on Monday.
Sunday could not go by fast enough and after lunch on Monday all of the students lined up to go to the Roxy Theatre on Bridge Street. All day long over 1,000 children escorted by their teachers from various grades in Carleton Place and rural schools arrived on schedule for a featured Christmas movie in the theatre. After the short picture we calmly filed to the exit doors of the theatre passing Santa who gave each of us a candy. Some of the local business men remarked loudly they were to begin their Christmas hours on the 20th of December but they all took time out of their day to make sure not one child was disappointed with Santa’s visit and we weren’t.
When I got home my mother was reading my first letter to Santa that I had thrown in the wastebasket. I heard her tell my father that I wanted a doll and a new dress for my sister. She laughed as she read that I had told Santa not to come down the chimney or he would land in the furnace. I had also requested some new shoes because Marilyn Monroe said in Photoplay that if you have good shoes you can conquer the world. That Miss Monroe was pretty smart with her comments and of course her stuffing recipe wasn’t half bad either.
Respectfully yours–Lydia Neilson
Marilyn’s Turkey Stuffing Recipe
Marilyn Monroe’s stuffing recipe recently surfaced in “Fragments”(Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), a collection of her writing snippets from 1943 to her death in 1962.
6 ounces pain au levian (sourdough)
1/4 pound chicken livers
1/4 pound ground sirloin
1 cup mirepoix (mirepoix is a mixture of chopped celery, onions, and carrots)
2 bay leaves
1 cup chopped, fresh parsley
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
1/2 cup raisins (substitute any dried fruits)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2/3 cup cooked chestnuts, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
How to make 1950’s-style French stuffing:
Soak the pain au levian in water for 15 minutes. Drain the bread in a colander for 5 minutes and squeeze it dry. Pull it apart into small pieces.
While the bread is soaking and draining, prepare the livers and ground beef. Boil the livers for 8 to 10 minutes, until they are done. Finely chop the cooked livers. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet, and transfer the meat to a bowl.
Sauté the mirepoix and bay leaves in the remaining beef fat for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and stir together the shredded bread, cooked livers, browned beef, sautéed mirepoix, parsley, eggs, raisins, cheese, chestnuts, salt, pepper, and dried herbs.