Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.

Click here for installments number one, two, three, and four of this chronicle by WVFC publisher Patricia Yarberry-Allen, writing of her travels home for a major family Thanksgiving. (Ed.)

Mommie expected us at 10am to bring her home for Thanksgiving Day.  She was dressed in her winter coat waiting since it was 10:05am when we arrived.  We wanted her to be with us all day long, to share in the cooking and conversation.  Ashley, my first born son, is intensely connected to his grandmother.  He had insisted on visiting the Summit Manor Nursing home, wanting the staff to know that his Grandmother was loved and important.  He walked, as I had done the evening before, to the nursing station and introduced himself to all the staff there and then to those who were in the halls.  He knows intuitively how to connect to others and to get them to join him enthusiastically in every passion and project that he finds compelling. He did not want to miss this opportunity to engage everyone he could find in the mission of loving and caring for Gamma.

We took our precious package and her new best friend, a four footed walker, slowly through the corridors, out the door and carefully bundled her into the front seat.  She was so very happy to see her grandson since he cannot visit often.  They began immediately to talk turkey.  She thought it made perfect sense for me to bring a fresh turkey from New York since all the turkeys locally now come frozen from somewhere else.  Ashley told his grandmother that he was entirely in charge of the turkey.  No interference from YOU KNOW WHO.  There would be NO STUFFING in his Thanksgiving turkey since anyone who knew anything about turkeys and cooking in general knew that stuffing just dried out the turkey, then the knife in the back of his very own mother “And studies do show that it increases the chance of food borne illnesses.”  “What a brutal negotiator he will be”, I thought. “He engages his opponent in the cause, and then sticks the knife in to win”

“But” I protested, “We always put stuffing into the turkey.  It flavors the meat and keeps it moist.”
“I put aromatic herbs in the cavity along with lemon halves and shallots”, he announced.” Oh, and by the way, I bake the turkey breast side down for the first 4 hours.  It keeps the meat moist and no basting is needed. “

I was suddenly on very shaky ground.  This was an important day for my grownup son and he was facing off against his mother and grandmother…Thanksgiving secrets and all.  What was more important after all?

“Patty”, Mother said, “You know you always made me try new things.  Most of them turned out to be just fine.  Ashley will make a delicious turkey and you will make the turkey dressing. Just as we always have.

Patricia Yarberry-Allen

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