As told by Ms. Brenda Johnson of Mountain City, Tennessee: This region is strange to an outsider. But it was even stranger to me. I grew up in Totenham, England. It’s about 85 kilometers north of London. I met and married Herby in 1957. Then I moved to the United States. We spent a few years in Texas before Herby came home to Mountain City. His family had been here since the region was first settled. It was when I got to Mountain City that I had my first experience with Thanksgiving. It was like nothing I’d seen before. So much food was prepared for just this one day of the year. And what delicious food it was. There was turkey and stuffing, potatoes both white and sweet, corn, green beans, crowder peas, ham, and rolls. As the years passed and I settled into my American life, I began taking an active role in Thanksgiving preparations. Herby’s favorite part was the giblet gravy. It was his mother who gave me the recipe.
Turkey (or chicken) giblets: neck, gizzards, heart, and liver
One quarter of an onion diced
One stalk of celery, ribbed and diced
One teaspoon of cornstarch
One egg, hard-boiled and sliced
In a small pot or saucepan, boil giblets until tender. Remove the meat from the neck portion and chop the gizzards, heart, and liver into pieces. Return to pot. Add onion and celery and let simmer until tender and onions are translucent. Add salt and pepper to taste. In a cup, mix cornstarch with a half cup of cold water until well blended. Once all lumps are broken down, add mixture to pot with sliced egg. Allow to simmer until it thickens. Serve over stuffing, dressing, or sliced meat.