Greenberg Smoked Turkeys, a long-running East Texas family tradition, aren’t just for Thanksgiving anymore. The tradition began in the 1940’s when a Tyler man who regularly smoked meats for local families and friends shipped several dozen turkeys by train to a Dallas oilman who fell in love with the hickory fire slow-cooked bird. The Tyler-based culinary institution now ships to around 200,000 customers each holiday season. Families not only devour Greenberg’s birds at holiday gatherings these days, though. It’s now become commonplace to have the turkeys shipped as gifts to coworkers and friends. The six to fifteen pound turkeys, ranging in price from $28-$68, can be sent anywhere. The turkeys arrive at your door, fully smoked and ready to eat. And because the company suggests that the turkeys can be eaten chilled or at room temperature, there’s almost no reason for you to step foot in the kitchen when prepping your next holiday soiree. So, I guess a Greenberg Smoked Turkey is truly the gift that keeps on gobblin’.
To order go to www.gobblegobble.com or call (903) 595-0725.
Tyler is home to several grand Civil War era homes but the grandest of all is the Goodman-Le Grande House around the corner from the city’s Chamber of Commerce.
The curator of the grand old house is Patricia Heaton, and damn if she didn’t just share the name of the actress who plays Ray Romano’s wife In the long running American TV series, Everybody Loves Raymond – she looks like her too. And, if the adage “do what you love and the money will follow” holds true, Patricia will be a millionaire. It’s so refreshing to be around someone who absolutely loves what they do. Heaton is a wealth of information about her subject. And, she’s still discovering things about the house and its many owners – stowed away in the attic, the closets and in the drawers of the incredible antiques inside this glorious mansion.
The house was originally built as a four bedroom one story structure in 1859 by wealthy bachelor Samuel Gallitin Smith, just before the Civil War broke out. Smith was a Confederate officer who wanted to have a beautiful home for his future bride after the war. But, he may have had a premonition that he was never to return – in any event, Smith sold the house to F.N. Gary before he went off to serve in the Civil War’s Confederate army. Smith was killed in battle shortly after the war began. The house’s third owner, Dr William J. Goodman, was a commissioned surgeon in the Confederate army who ended the war as Division Surgeon of the 2nd Division of Texas Infantry commanded by General Slaughter. Dr. Goodman’s tools and medicines are on display. The mansion was passed down to Dr. Goodman’s son, another doctor and underwent several renovations, including the addition of a second floor. The house had its final facelift In the 1920’s with the addition of the front and back porticos and pillars. The home’s last owner, Sallie Goodman LeGrand, bequeathed the mansion to the city of Tyler – and the house is preserved essentially the same as it was the day she died – with four generations of family antiques, hand painted china by Sallie and her sister Etta – ladies did that in their leisure time instead of surfing the net, silverware, Waterford crystal, artwork, furnishings and clothing still hanging in the closet. It’s like they never left.
Brides have their portraits taken in the downstairs parlor and drawing room. The Goodmans would open the doors to these two rooms across the hall – and the long petticoat mirrors are lined up just so – like seeing into infinity – the same way the mirrors are lined up at Versailles outside of Paris. The painted borders trompe l’oeil molding and medallion ceiling in the family room are impeccable. The upstairs has all the original hardwood flooring. The beds are covered with quilts and coverlets. One room has a black mourning dress draped across the bed – it looks ready for a lady in mourning to put on. There’s also a complete wedding ensemble displayed in a case in the upstairs hallway.
If you like antiques, don’t miss a trip back in time at the Goodman House. Admission is free, but donations are requested.
Goodman-LeGrande House Museum
624 North Broadway Avenue