How Was Your Thanksgiving?

I spent Thanksgiving Eve with a best friend and her husband for a drink and a bite to eat.  Then I rushed home to make bar-b-que for my son to take to hunting camp.   But the night before I began to prepare for my Thanksgiving dinner. 

Before baking I made my cranberry chutney.  For years I made my grandmothers recipe; just toss the cranberries and an orange in a food grinder and add lots of sugar.  Now I make a chutney that I simmer on the stove, it gels into this deliciousness of sweet and tart cranberry heaven!  I simmer the berries in water and sugar until they pop, then add lemon and orange zest and their juices, simmer a little more and it is done! 

Next my list is the cherry pie.  Why I didn’t put the blasted pie on a baking sheet like I usually do is beyond me.  But I didn’t.  every few minutes I was checking to make sure it didn’t bake over.  And it was doing so well.  Until one peek. It was bubbling on the bottom of my oven.  Damn!  So I cleaned it up the best I could before I popped the pumpkin pie in the oven. 

I used a new pumpkin pie recipe, wishing I would not have.  Not super happy with it.  But it looks good!!!

The turkey was yummie!  I get my hands under the skin on the breast and separate it, rub olive oil all over the breast meat.  Then I make combination of spices and herbs and rub that over the breast meat.  I also dot the breast meat with butter.  Then I rub the skin with olive oil.  I think I need to go make myself a sandwich!

Anyone have any disasters?  I didn’t quite have a disaster, but I did forget the sweet potato casserole!  I didn’t put it in the oven early enough so it wasn’t ready when we sat down to eat.  I completely forgot about it until I started to clean up the kitchen.  Whoops!   I use butter, eggs, spices and vanilla for the potato part and I tried oats, brown sugar and butter for the topping, different from what I usually make the topping, not convinced I like it yet.

And if I wasn’t tired enough, friends and I were out shopping by midnight!  It was lots of fun and very beautiful!

On Black Friday, its tradition in my hometown for Santa to arrive in the morning.  I was shopping at that point so I missed the parade.  It’s also tradition for the Christmas tree lighting.  Complete with old-fashioned carolers and free hot chocolate.

Hope everyone had a very happy and fun Thanksgiving!

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Christmas Music

Jumping in the car this morning, I turned on  a local radio station that is already playing Christmas music, 24/7.  It wasn’t until I pulled out of the parking lot that I realized I ran out the door a little too early.  Shocking if you really knew me in the morning.  Anyway, by the time I park my car at work, this old Christmas tune is playing,  Johnny Mathias, “The Christmas Song”.  I was transported back in time.  Seriously.  I sat there and saw my Mom as though it was yesterday.  In her skirt, heels and hose with an apron tied around her waist.  The couture very 60’s!  Beehive hair-do, and frosted nonetheless!  On the kitchen wall was the cat clock that wagged its tail and moved its eyes as it kept time.  Dad in the kitchen helping my Mom mash the potatoes.  In the living room my grandparents sat with my brother and me playing with our new toys by the silver tree I disliked.  Our stockings hung on the bookcase shelves because we didn’t have a fireplace.  On the rooftop was a Santa in his sleigh with all the tiny reindeer, and Rudolph with a red lightbulb for his nose leading the way.  The house was framed in those old-fashioned large bulbs.    And on the record player, a Johnny Mathias album.  “The Christmas Song” filled the house along with the aroma of a turkey dinner cooking. 

And as I sit here typing this, I remember the same album playing at my Grandmothers house.  She is baking cookies and wrapping her gifts so precisely that the gift wrap pattern matches, you cannot see any seams.  And the Nativity scene.  That is one of the things I love the most about my childhood Christmas memories.  I would lay on my belly and just gaze at Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.  Oh and I cannot forget the ribbon candy!!!  She always had ribbon candy.  I didn’t think they made that anymore but someone brought some into work last week.

Hope you all have pleasant and happy Christmas memories too!

Thanksgiving, The Forgotten Holiday?

Or so says someone at work today.  We were talking about shopping for Christmas gifts, especially on Black Friday, buying decorations and putting them up, and so on.  He was not happy.  But I have to agree, Thanksgiving, in the commercial form, has definitely been forgotten.  I’d like to think that as families and friends, we still have the true meaning of Thanksgiving in our hearts.  The stores have indeed done their best to re-direct our focus from Thanksgiving to preparing for Christmas.

I have always loved Thanksgiving.  Family and friends are together, the food is incredibly delicious, and it gives us a time to reflect on how blessed and fortunate we truly are.  But I have to admit, I also love preparing for, and beginning to celebrate, Christmas.  I have fun on Black Friday shopping with my bestie and spending the weekend decorating for Christmas.

Christmas seems to bring the best out of most people.  The human race seems to be more considerate and thoughtful of those less fortunate.  Why is that?  Why can’t that heartfelt caring for other humans carry throughout the year?  I love to hear about people that are helping others, donating food and gifts.  So if this is what happens with the early arrival of Christmas preparations, is it really all that terrible?  I don’t think so.  But I do think, as my friend at work, that we need to hold onto Thanksgiving ~ embrace the traditions and celebrate one holiday at a time.

So I will be cooking dinner for my son and his girlfriend, and you can be sure that they will know how thankful I am to have them in my life, I’ll most likely visit some friends and my niece as well.  And yea I’ll be shopping on Black Friday. 

Oh, and another thing, I challenge you all to make a donation of some sort through the upcoming holiday’s.  Whether it be food donations, dropping off toys, anything to help someone in need.  Get out there and embrace the holidays, show those that you love and care for that you are blessed to have them and help those in need.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Girlie Wisdom

A friend of mine sent me this last week when I needed a laugh, I have to share!

1. A friend of mine confused her Valium with her birth control pills… She has 14 kids but doesn’t really care.  ~ I’m not so sure this is a bad thing!

 

2. One of life’s mysteries is how a 2-pound box of chocolates can make a woman gain 5 lbs. ~ Yea I can relate to this, thing is, just by looking at it I can gain the weight!

3. My mind not only wanders, it sometimes leaves completely. ~More and more everyday…

4. The best way to forget your troubles is to wear tight shoes. ~Nope, still there!

       
 5. The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don’t know what you are doing, someone else does. ~ OMG whoever said this lives in MY town!!!!

 

6. The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight because by then, your body and your fat are really good friends. ~and they never argue and end the relationship…

 

7. Just when I was getting used to yesterday, along came today. ~thus I live in a state of confusion

 

8. Sometimes I think I understand everything, and then I regain consciousness. ~ I… never mind

 

9. I gave up jogging for my health when my thighs kept rubbing together and setting fire to my underwear. ~Hey they don’t call me hot pants for nothing!!! I am sizzling!!

 

10. Amazing!  You hang something in your closet for a while and it shrinks 2 sizes! ~ Shocking it is

 

11. Skinny people irritate me!  Especially when they say things like…’You know sometimes I forget to eat!’  Really?  I’ve forgotten my address, my mother’s maiden name and my keys, but I have never forgotten to eat.  You have to be a special kind of stupid to forget to eat.   ~aaaa yea right

 

12. The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing and then they marry him. ~Been there done that, and was stupid enough to do it again…

 

13. I read this article that said the typical symptoms of stress are eating too much, impulse buying, and driving too fast. Are they kidding? That’s my idea of a perfect day!  AMEN

Holiday Time!

Now that Halloween is officially over in a matter of hours, I guess the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday is upon us.  There are cranberries and clementines in the markets.  Not to mention I think I noticed more frozen hams and turkeys too.   The Halloween decorations were shoved aside and put on sale so the other holiday items can begin to sell.

I’m wondering if I’ll see houses adorned with Christmas lights  this week or next.  Last year when I saw them early in November, I thought that due to the warm weather they had just put them up and were testing them.  But they’d be on every night.  I even saw some places with them still lit in February!!!

I will be totally honest with you and let you in on my little secret…I am a Christmas music junkie!!!  Been listening to some CD’s for the last few weeks.  I just love the tunes!  I can’t help it!  Was like this since I was a child.  And, Silent Night makes me cry, for some reason it makes me think of family members not with my anymore and I shed tears at the loss.   On another lighter note, I have also begun purchasing a few gifts, started months ago. 

But what gets me the most is hearing people already complain about “the season” and how much they hate it.  Really?  How can anyone hate the holidays?  Yea they have the right but then when I listen to why, I feel compelled to tell them that they are complaining about things they put upon themselves.  Enjoy the season for what it is, for what it really means.  If baking too many cookies or shopping for gifts is something you really hate and it takes away the joy of the season, DON’T DO IT!   Eliminate the things that you don’t like and learn to enjoy again.  The lights, the music, the giving, the togetherness, you can even enjoy everyone else’s decorations knowing that you aren’t the one that has to take them down and put them away.  So, I guess what I’m saying is, if you really don’t like this time of the year figure out why and fix it.  Learn to enjoy, learn to say no to the unimportant things.  I mean really, do you have to make 5 different kinds of cookies and do you really have to buy everyone you know a gift, or can you make only one batch of cookies or maybe even NONE.  Wouldn’t it be better to just buy a gift because you WANT to, not because you HAVE to.  Isn’t an awesome feeling to give a gift to someone you really love and watch the joy in their eyes when they open it?  That’s true giving.

And then there are the folks who don’t want to see ANYTHING related to Christmas till the week of.  Why? Does it hurt?   Who cares?  If it makes people happy, why not.  We need more happy people in the world!!  So if looking at and shopping for Christmas stuff/decorations in the stores as soon as Halloween is over, why does it really bother you?  I don’t particularly care for blood and guts scary movies that have been on for the last few weeks but it’s what other people enjoy, so let’em enjoy!  I’ll watch something else.

So I challenge all you Scrooges out there to take a good long look inside yourself and try to find a way to enjoy the upcoming holidays.  Try to see the holidays the way I see them.  Let me know how you make out.

Oh, and one more thing, donate a gift.  Contact you local Red Cross, your church, you can even go to Wal-Mart and grab one of those cards off the tree’s and buy a gift for a kid that way.  DO IT!  It’s an awesome feeling to know that you are making someone happy.

Enjoy the season!

Hugs and Love to all!