Thanksgiving Countdown…

November 24, 2015

Four a.m., seven hours of sleep, eyes open, and the clock starts. Menu: Dinner will consist of turkey, ham, canned jellied cranberry sauce, the smooth type, and naturally, Ocean Spray…I mean is there any other kind!? Chicken and dressing, some sort of bread (I FORGOT rolls),possibly creamed potatoes, and a first for me, turtle pie. I may throw in some French green beans if I’m feeling the need. Supper will be potluck at my sister-in-laws where it is tradition, with another batch of my C & D and Eagle Brand cream cheese pie with cherry topping.

Plans today include chop and cook onion, celery, cornbread, and chicken for dressing. That’s usually the most time consuming. Ham, I’ll cook tomorrow and we can consume it on Thursday morning while the turkey cooks leisurely in the oven.  The turtle pie sure sounds delicious, but when my son mentioned it I asked him what to buy. “Google it”, he says…Ok…I do this while at the store and all these recipes show up and I decide on one that looks good. After he gets home from work, I show him all the stuff I bought and he says, “Where’s the pretzels?” . What pretzels??? I told him I saw no pretzels listed in the ingredients on the one I chose. He said it was okay, that it would turn out delicious he was sure with what I’d bought. Love this young man. Good thing, too. Fourteen dollars worth of stuff for the pie!

Looking forward to the day and hoping bodies and souls will be filled  with good food and good memories.

Just so you know… Black Friday is going to be my day of leisure, so I’ll be going for another piece of turtle pie and some turkey and ham. Yesss…I did mention turtle pie first…

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Hi dee Friday…

October 23, 2015

Glad you are here. It’s rainy, cool, and Fall with a touch of cozy. The grass naps quietly in the yard, hints of green still peeking through since the blanket of winter has yet to cover the little blades who insist on trying to wriggle out from the past week of warm temperatures. This time of year brings a delight to one’s nose when leaves are burned and bon fires mix with marshmallows and hot dogs. The quietness of outside broken by orange bright wood, conversation, and packages rustling to quell the appetites that nature brings to life in the evening time among family and friends.

It brings rest to mind and body.

As the South says, “Happy Fall, Ya’ll”.

The following is from my test kitchen to yours.

Using one pound of hamburger and your favorite meat loaf recipe, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Take two loaf pans (yes, two) and divide mixture evenly. Place into oven at recommended temperature and double the time since you are cooking both at once. This is the key. Mine calls for one hour, so I set it for two.

When you hear the timer take them out and slice off the tops, scoop out the insides, and add ketchup to the thoroughly cooked meat. When completed, take the top crusts and shells and toss in garbage.

For a side meat, be sure to flour and season pork chops, frying them on the stove.

#2

This is an old favorite that I like to refer back to when recalling my younger years of food fare with chicken:

Epiphany* Chicken

Wash and apply your favorite spices. Put into a paper sack filled with powdered sugar and proceed to shake making sure that each piece is completely covered. Have your grease in the skillet just hot enough to hear a nice sizzle when submerging. The secret is getting the chicken done before the powdered sugar starts to burn…

———

I’ve been thinking I need to find Loretta Lynn’s pie recipe she used in Coal Miner’s Daughter.

* Epiphany: a moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way   (iword.com/idictionary/epiphany)

Thanksgiving…

November 27, 2013

As I write this, the fireplace is warm with a snapping orange glow that pushes back the coldness of the day. Nightfall is nearer than not and I’ve put the finishing touches on my part of tomorrow’s Thanksgiving supper. Tuesday was my biggest cooking day as I prepared the dressing and baked it. I’m hoping the flavors will be enhanced with the extra time, like spaghetti. You know, how sometimes the sauce is better a day or so later. Now I’m free to relax and enjoy my time until we travel to the relatives with the goods. Today I listened to an elderly man who spoke of remembering the holidays with his family, but now he is the lone one. I find myself intently observing him in the way he speaks about such things and note that overall, he has a pretty good attitude in his adjusting to it. I always interact with him because number one, it is certainly good manners, and also because I want him to have the dignity of speaking with at least one person who will not only hear, but listen to him. These are things I am striving for these days. To hear and listen better. It can make for better decisions in so many arenas of life. Here’s wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving.  

Today I laughed as I fed the second dog turnip greens and pinto beans. I could not believe he ate it. The other one turns up her nose quickly unless she is given her favorites. This one is younger, always happy with his tail in full swing and loves you like he hasn’t seen you for months even if only five minutes have passed. Grateful. That’s the word to describe him. He accepts every scrap you are willing to part with, every pat on the head, each kind word you utter to him and any sort of attention he can garner with relish. He makes you want to love him. My other one is my baby since I’ve raised her from a pup. I still see within her face the young dog of yesteryear, just like I still ‘see’ myself as young. Essentially, we’ve grown old together. We are both in our middle years with her catching up to me in dog years. The younger one baits her with play in the mornings and it is a sight to watch. He ‘blocks’ her and skips around till she chases him a bit and then they continue with the little dance. She’s gained a cousin and I’ve got more good memories to think about. No wonder dogs are called man’s best friend.

I Like Old Things…

June 18, 2013

Books, furniture, buildings, even some people. Of course I don’t like ALL things old. I much prefer fresh food, water, and air, but you know what I’m talking about. Right now I’m reading “Farmer Boy” by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I find myself constantly salivating over the food Almanzo describes as his days on the farm prepare him for a satisfying life of a farmer like his father. I remember my mother describing her life growing up on a farm. Although it was quite different than Almanzo’s, she still had the same love of the land. She said that when they would go into town on Saturdays and shop, whenever they got close to home, even the air smelled fresher. My grandfather loved it and his son even though he never ‘farmed’, always kept a garden until his age prevented it. I remember when my children were small, him bringing tiny eggs and I dyed them for Easter. For quite a while I never bought eggs from the store. Each week he brought Mama eggs for us and we ate them and never missed the cold storage ones a bit. The deep orangy-yellow yolks just can’t be beat in my opinion. Almanzo Wilder had the secret to happiness, I do think. He enjoyed his life and was grateful for the bounty of the land that God gave them. Who can ask for anything more.

Today’s society casts an interesting reflection upon the long held saying. On the one hand, words are said and spread as easily as softened butter across a piece of toast. Next, the crunchy mellow slice is consumed in a steady action till one’s mouth and hands are cleansed by the humble napkin that dutifully waits its turn. Afterward, the words are spoken, “What I really wanted was a jelly doughnut, but I’m on a diet.” While placing the order the request may have come in the following manner: (cheerful tone) “Yes, I think buttered toast and coffee is my choice this morning.” Immediately your breakfast friend slides into the booth ordering The Triple Waffle And Bacon Ticker Special. Ha ha. Ha.

Even though the toast was drawn out in art form, (both buttering and eating) the fact is, a jelly doughnut was the real desire in spite of the actions and words (including cheerful tone). In the end, true words came out even though the *correct* action was taken.

Actions and words are interchangeable, no doubt. The thing I ponder is how far down the rabbit hole does it take us as individuals and as a society?

I’ve never went for toast if a jelly doughnut was what I wanted. I learned for myself, I’m better off to eat what I want and crush the craving. Actions speak louder than words–continue to really THINK about this.

Perfect Timing…

May 6, 2013

The dog wanted outside and I opened the door just as my husband and grandson started across the road for the ice cream van. As I watched, my heart swelled with love for the two, one so small with a quick stride and happiness in his little voice and the other, calm strides with a surety of purpose for the mission. I stood there watching as they scanned the menu, all the while my sweet baby’s voice singing like a little bird telling precisely what he wanted. In a moment the deal was done and they came back with goods in hand. I so wished I would’ve had a video of this perfect moment. I will keep it in in my mind’s video. I love these two souls.

A Small Space…

May 2, 2013

a pleasant lunch. Best Chinese food I’ve eaten in four years and I had walked by it numerous times. Today I walked in and found it is not just a carry out, but hold four tables. Moo Goo Gai Pan and a Dr. Pepper is what I ordered and let me tell you, it was delicious. The vegetables and chicken were sliced thin and cooked to perfection. I was dumbstruck at how good it tasted. I only used one packet of soy sauce and regretted having used it once I started eating. Oh. My. Gosh. If you knew me, you’d know I am not one who rants over food (or much else) unless it really strikes my fancy and buddy this was one mighty fine fancy. I could not believe what I’ve missed all this time, except usually when I’m in the area I’ve already traveled to eat at their neighbor’s place (Mexican) a few doors down. Now I have two places at the same convienient location. Just take my pick. And…my fortune says “You will soon be the center of attention.” That’s when my name and picture show up as the newest lottery winner. Oh yeah!

Iron Skillets…

August 22, 2012

are a Southern MUST. At least where I’m from. Today I attempted to look at something on Yahoo concerning it and the video didn’t want to come up, so I axed the thing. It did, however, bring up lots of food for thought. Like how I’ve never lived in a household that didn’t have one. How that there is nothing to compare with it  in terms of Southern fried chicken (I make no claims on what section of the country the bird comes from) and fried potatoes.  Yes my dears, you have not lived until you’ve tasted cooking from a cast iron skillet. I remember how my mother would wash porkchops, then perfume them with salt and pepper. Next came the thick coating of flour with the excess shaken away. Then and only then were they ready to take their baptism in the hot bacon grease of goodness. It makes me nostalgic thinking of all the times I’ve smelled the love in those foods that my mother cooked. It has been years since my household has used a nonstick pan. In my younger years I had the enamel cookware, teflon coated stuff, and even a set of copper that I dearly loved. But, more and more it was whittled down to the good old fashioned iron skillets. I have four ranging from baby to large (one round, one square). One of my children inherited one of my other round ones. Overall, they really are easy to cook in and clean. Just be sure and season them correctly. I cook everything in them including spaghetti sauce (okay, from a jar…). The secret for me is to cook meats S L O W. And keep turning them. It takes longer, but I’m serious about it being delicious. Plus, you get the iron that seeps out into the food. Stainless steel saucepans and a small very old aluminum saucepan are a part of my cooking too, but for meats on the stove top, it’s handsdown cast iron. The other thing that I’l throw out here to complete this bias, is that I love gas for the stove. Something about the control you have cannot be matched with an electric range. I’ve had both and gas is the best from my point of view. It gives an even cooking temperature from my experience. Now, the only thing better is the smell of bacon frying in the open air in that same skillet along with fresh coffee while you are out in the campgrounds. Enjoy!

 P.S. If you need tips on cooking in an iron skillet, I’ll be happy to tell you what I know about them from my own experiences.