Showing posts from November, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Our Thanksgiving mantle this year.   The candlesticks, metal pumpkins, and pilgrims belonged to my mother.   The iron cross was a gift from my friend Amber when my father passed away last year.

Our sweet girls.   I wish we could have found the brown shirt in both sizes!
Our Thanksgiving plate this year: oven roasted turkey, sweet potatoes and apples, buttermilk mashed potatoes, corn, peas, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, and green bean casserole (which I never ate until after I was married), and homemade rolls--Mama's recipe.   I got a phone call from a woman in another state this morning about these rolls.   She saw the recipe in Taste of Home and had a question about how I formed them in the muffin tins.   We do a full meal even though it's "just us."   I look forward to cooking this meal all year!
One of my cherry pies this year.
Too much Thanksgiving!   Poor baby boy fell asleep at the table.
Funny little memories: The kids watched The Nutcracker Suite last …

In Thanksgiving

Three children, beautiful, happy and healthy
Husband, faithful and loving, and provider
Answered prayers, not always in my time or to my understanding, but always toward good in the end
Needs--most basic--comfort, shelter, food--met by the grace of God & those not basic, but still necessary--good books, conversation, beauty in creation, art, music and recreation to refresh body and mind
Kindness, in the forms of the most simple and the most profound acts by relatives, friends, and strangers
Faith--a complete gift, unmerited
Universal, or Catholic, Church, where I can meet Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament
Life, given me by God, nourished and tended by my parents, brightened and enriched by family and friends

"Night Night"

My sweet baby boy caught at nap time "night night" with his dogs.   He doesn't like to sleep without both dogs and his Aunt Amber blanket.   He raises his arms to me and says, "Night, night," when he's sleepy and as I carry him to his crib, he pats my back with his sweet little hand.   Such perfect sweetness.   Such a blessing; my heart overflows.

Homemade Butter for Thanksgiving Dinner

My children did this the past two years, so I guess it's on its way to becoming a family tradition.   It's super easy and gives everyone a chance to have a turn.   They are so proud to pass "their" butter around the table.   I could go into the details, but one of the blogs I follow, My Montessori Journey, has a post with directions and pictures.   Why reinvent the wheel?   Enjoy and I hope this becomes a tradition in your home, too!

Thanksgiving Recipes

My mother did not have a stuffing, or dressing, recipe.   She just made it, without written directions.   After she passed away, I wanted to find a recipe that tasted like hers.   This one not only tastes like hers, but it has the added benefit of freeing up space in the oven on Thanksgiving day.   Use a disposable liner in your slow-cooker and clean-up is easy.
from Southern Living, November 2005

4 1/2 cups cornbread crumbs
1 (16 oz.) pkg. herb stuffing mix
2 (10 3/4 oz.) cans cream of chicken soup
2 (14 oz.) cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 med. onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 eggs
1 Tbsp. rubbed sage
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. butter, cut up

Stir together cornbread crumbs, stuffing mix, and next 8 ingredients in a large bowl.

Pour cornbread mixture into a lightly greased 5 1/2 - 6 quart slow cooker.   Dot with butter.   Cook, covered, on LOW 4 hours or until cooked through and set.

This recipe is great for small families or it c…

Tuesday Folder: Blessed Simplicity--Nov. 17

I am up late, writing this just- barely- late- Tuesday Folder post.   If this week had a theme, it was Blessed Simplicity.

The past week was busy and wonderful.   The weather at the beginning of the week was gorgeous--skies that were so pretty they did not even look real and perfect temperatures with no need for a jacket and a much welcomed and appreciated reprieve from the heat.   So, all conditions were right for park days--just our family and playdates with friends.   How perfectly lovely and refreshing to visit with a like-minded mom while watching happy children play together in God's creation.   Thank you, Lord for such simple blessings!

Playing horse races!

He's so loved that he doesn't get to slide alone that often.

The latter part of the week was all about PIE.   Women of our parish joined forces to host a fund-raiser over the weekend which included a book fair and pie sale.   God smiled down upon us throughout the entire endeavor.   Thursday, three of us made hom…

Cheaper Than Therapy

Yesterday was a nice Saturday morning.   The kids spent fun time with Daddy (and hot Shipley's donuts) while I headed off to garage sales.   Being the first Saturday of the month, the front page of the classifieds section was full of sales.   Friday night, I picked those that looked most promising and entered them into the GPS (bought with profit from our own garage sale).   I didn't find much, but what I did find was worth my time.   One garage sale was held at the home of a friend, Ann, who passed away in March.   I was happy to find a coffee pot there; now I will think of her whenever I pour coffee for my guests.  

 All this for $35.
A Tiffany-style lamp, a glass and silver-plate coffee pot and warmer/serving stand, 4 science books for the kids, Dr. Dobson's book I've wanted to buy, and a Southern Living Quick Meals recipe book

We needed a new bedside lamp and this was perfect.  It even came with a light bulb!
Everyone had a great morning and was refreshed for the comi…

Put It In Writing

I enjoy seeing family recipe books full of special recipes and pictures from each member.   It makes such a precious keepsake.   I would like to suggest to anyone who puts together such a collection to make sure you include as many hand-written recipes as possible.   It has meant so much to me to find cards and notes in cookbooks that were written by my mother and grandmother.

I have many of my mom's standard recipes, but there are a few I don't have.   There were some dishes that she just made for which she never had a written recipe.   We all have recipes like that, but it's worth the time to write them down.

Here a couple of my simple recipes that are standards at our family's table.

Pot Roast

I like to use a London Broil cut or a small chuck roast.

Cut slits throughout the roast, top and bottom and stuff with either:  garlic slices or a stuffing mixture made of finely chopped (food processor is best)  onions, bell pepper, garlic, celery, salt, pepper, dash of cayenne…

Not Our Ways: Saying Good-bye to My Childhood Home

I'm sorry--rude of me--you just needed someone to get mad with you, not a sermon!   This was the text message I received a few weeks ago from my dear friend, Gina.   I had called her earlier to share news of our day so far and we had to get off the phone before we were finished speaking. 

Our family made a 29-hour round trip dash to south Louisiana to close on my parents' farm.   Actually, the farm is technically not in south Louisiana because it's north of I-10.   There are some people who don't think it's still the south at all if it's north of I-10!  

The farm is on a little over sixteen acres of rolling land.   There are old massive pecan trees scattered throughout the property, a pond, several barns, and the brick house we called home.   Normally, I would insert old pictures of the place here, but my scanner is not cooperating; I'll add them another time!   We moved there right before I turned four and we moved away the summer before my senior year o…

Anticipating Advent: Our Jesse Tree

It's hard to believe that we are only a few weeks away from the season of Advent, the time of waiting and preparing for the birth of Christ.   In addition to the traditional Advent wreath, several years ago, our family began the Advent tradition of the Jesse Tree.   The Jesse Tree, named after Jesse, the father of David, traces the story of salvation history from Adam and Eve to Jesus.   A new ornament is added each day during the season of Advent and the family shares the scripture story illustrated by that ornament.

I have enjoyed watching Joey lead our family in the nightly scripture study.   The children love helping put up each new ornament and listening to its story.   

There are many options for a Jesse Tree.   I made ours out of a piece of  white felt and purple ribbon.  I like the way this option shows the ornaments in chronological order.   I think that our children will remember these ornaments as we celebrate each year and it will be a visual reminder of the order of eve…

Comes a Time

"Comes a time when you've got to get down on your knees."  

This is one of my favorite quotes from the movie, I Remember Mama, adapted for screen from the play of the same name.   It is based on one of my favorite childhood novels, Mama's Bank Account.   In this scene, Mama is consumed with worry and frustration as her youngest child lies in a hospital recovering from successful surgery.   At that time, parents were not allowed to see their children for the first twenty-four hours following surgery and Mama cannot bear the thought of not being there when her baby, Dagmar, wakes.   So, home, and to her knees, to scrub the floor, pray, and wait for a solution, which does indeed come.

Pope John Paul II reminded the world often of the dignity of all work, especially that of manual labor.   As a young man, he was a laborer in a work camp during the Nazi occupation of his native Poland.   It was a different environment compared to the artistic and intellectual one of his h…

Take a Picture of It

Stuff.   It's no newsflash that most Americans just have too much stuff.   Everyday, people wheel big plastic bins out of discount stores and there are whole stores and businesses designed to help people organize their stuff.   There is a series on A & E called Hoarders which follows the extreme examples of people with an actual disorder that causes them to hoard things, even garbage and perishable foods.

Yesterday, I found this wonderful post at the blog, Small Notebook for a Simple Home.   I think it uses a convincing  image to convey the need to simplify the collection of sentimental items.

This is a topic very close to my own heart.   My mother was not a hoarder, but she was a collector.   I grew up in a beautiful home, thanks to my mother's creativity and eye for antiques and decorating.   People would actually call my mother to ask if they could bring a friend over to tour the house.   It wasn'…

All Hallow's Eve & All Saint's Day

The children had such a fun night Sunday.   We live in a very quiet neighborhood, where many of our neighbors are retirees who enjoy seeing our children dressed in their costumes.   In the past, we've used the same costumes for both All Hallow's Eve and All Saint's Day, but this year, we gave the girls the chance to choose separate costumes if they wanted them.

Joey and I have such sweet, simple memories of trick-or-treating.   I also have special memories of the annual hot dog roast held at Mrs. Carmel's house.   Her children and I would watch the pile of limbs grow over the month of October.   I looked forward to that special evening for weeks and the taste of toasted marshmallows still takes me back to those times.   Our children made similar sweet memories this year!

 Then came Monday night and the big celebration of All Saint's Day.    Our parish held a wonderful party and the children had so much fun learning about quite a few saints.   There were crafts, gam…