A Story and a Recipe

By Dorothy Johnson


Remember when everyone would get catalogs in the mail?  We would all wait for the new Sears and Roebuck catalog to show up in the mailbox. In my family we did not order very much because we had Penny’s, Grant’s, Fishman’s (maybe Fisherman’s) and Newberry’s where we could actually look at and feel what we might want to buy.  My aunt would examine every item before she purchased it.  After commenting that her seams were better-made than those on the item in question, she would buy the item and then go home and repair it to her liking. The catalog was just used for a sort of “window shopping” activity for the long dark winter nights and for a chance to daydream.

Shopping has always been a disaster for me.  Calais offers few clothes that I could use for myself. Fashion bug was once a possibility, but that is long gone. I never go to the mall anymore so I do not know what is available in Bangor. I have resorted to the fat ladies’ catalogs for the last decade. I did notice that the ‘larger sizes’ were modeled by rather tall and skinny women.  I have never seen a piece of clothing for a 250 pound woman modeled by a 250 pound woman.  Shopping by catalog with that particular disadvantage is a crap shoot at best.

All of the nice jackets are long dress coats on me.  Those jackets look great on a 5’10” model, but when modeled on me, the drawstrings for the bottom of the jacket keep tripping me and the jacket becomes a car coat.  The bottom of the jacket drags in the snow banks and along the salty sand on the bottom of the car. I do get more coat material for the price of a jacket.  The only problem is that I cannot wear it without it dragging in the mud. After only one wear, my jacket looks as though it was with George Washington at Valley Forge.

The other problem I have is that most of the clothes are made in Thailand or Korea or China or Malaysia. Now, seriously, the workers in those countries are starving.  I have never seen a fat person from any of those countries except for the Sumo wrestlers and they are not shopping for women’s clothes.  It sounds like an impossible feat for me to actually find something that fits.

A month ago, though, my niece Linda, who is a whiz with computers, came for a visit.  She introduced me to on-line computer shopping from some of the same companies that formerly sent me catalogs. The models are the same tall, thin ladies, but the actual item was just about right. I was able to order underwear from the catalog.  I even found a new size for myself. The problem was that I was basing the size on the brand I had always found in K-Mart.  The brand I ordered was made in Pakistan and those items were big.  I swear that underwear would have fit the washing machine.  I do not know what those workers in Pakistan are eating or where they are getting their instructions on sizes, but I will tell you that they have the idea right.

I am not sure that I will do a lot of shopping on the computer because I cannot predict what countries’ workers will be making the clothes.  I would, however, in a heartbeat, take a chance on more underwear made in Pakistan.  I hope those workers branch out and make a jacket that is wider around than it is from the neck to the bottom.

I have found a recipe for after Thanksgiving if your family has a lot of leftovers or if you just want to continue with the turkey and dressing. The recipe was found in a Family Living recipe book of Holiday Favorites Family Meals. This particular recipe makes 12 to 14 servings and I do not suggest cutting back on the ingredients.


Turkey and Dressing Ring


One pound ground turkey sausage

Two packages (8 ounces each) herb-seasoned stuffing mix

One can (11 ounces) Mexican-style corn, drained

One can (10 and one-quarter ounces)

 cream of celery soup undiluted

One-half cup frozen chopped onion (or fresh onion)

One –half cup frozen chopped green pepper 

(or fresh green pepper)

One-half cup chopped pecans

Two eggs

One pound thinly sliced turkey breast

 (or deli-style turkey breast)

One can (16 ounces) whole berry cranberry sauce

Method: Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, 

combine sausage, stuffing mix, corn, soup, onion, green pepper, pecans and eggs. Mix until ingredients are 

well-blended. Press half of dressing into a greased 10-inch fluted tube pan. Layer turkey slices over dressing; lightly press  remaining dressing into pan.

Bake 60 to 65 minutes or until golden brown.  

Immediately invert onto a serving plate.  

Spoon cranberry sauce over hot dressing.  Serve warm.