Thursday, November 28, 2019

Monday, November 25, 2019

Our Thanksgiving Menu 2019

Today I wanted to share our Thanksgiving menu with you, with links to the recipes we use. This menu has changed little over the years, if only to add another dish in years when I wanted to try something new. But it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving if these dishes were not on the table. The only diversion we are making this year is that we are having Cornish Hens in place of turkey. It's something I've wanted to do for awhile now, as I love the idea of everyone having their own little bird on their plate, so we're giving it a try! I've never had them before, but Bill loves them and according to him, they are much easier to deal with than a turkey, so, we shall see, I hope I don't regret it.

Our meal this year will be on Wednesday night, due to the fact that two out of three of us work retail. Bill actually managed to be off Wednesday and Thursday, but our Kate has to be at work at 2:30 Thanksgiving day, which would have rushed things. So our big meal will be the night before, and then on Thursday, since we won't have leftovers from the cornish hens, and you MUST have leftover Turkey!, we'll bake a small turkey breast for our meal on the big day, along with leftovers from the night before.

And so, here is a list of what you will find on our table this year;

Cornish Hens
Pilgrim Sauce
(see recipe below)
Deviled Eggs
Olives / Green Onions
Water / Sweet Tea / Wine

Chocolate Pie
Pumpkin Pie

Growing up, I never cared for canned cranberry sauce.  But for many years that opinion was based purely upon sight.  I don't care for anything "jellied", unless it's spread on toast, and just the sight of that jiggling, tubular red sauce made me dizzy! I was pretty sure it was plastic, and regardless of how "wonderful" others claimed it tasted, I wasn't taking any chances.

But then a few years ago by some twist of fate, a bit of it ended up on my plate, and in one small bite I was hooked! The only problem was, while I did love the taste, the texture still left a lot to be desired.

Enter, Pilgrim Sauce!  I came across this recipe in one of my Gooseberry Patch Christmas books shortly after that fateful encounter, and decided to give it a try.  Oh my goodness!  I could eat this stuff year round, it is just that good! It is a staple on my Thanksgiving menu now! It is so good with a slice of turkey! But my favorite way to eat it is the next day, in a turkey wrap!

This is a recipe I found on Pinterest. Once I had discovered the joy of fresh cranberry sauce, finding ways to use up the leftovers was important so that none of that goodness went to waste! The thing I love about these wraps is that I am not big on leftovers, so if I can find a way to create some variety using common ingredients, I'm all for it!  This recipe uses both leftover turkey and cranberry sauce and the combination of the almonds, celery, mayo and spinach wrap is just delicious!

I'm including the recipe for both of these today, but if you already have a tried and true recipe for cranberry sauce, or even if you like the canned stuff, just use what you have for the wraps!  Either way, you are in for a treat and it will help you use up some leftovers!

1 can frozen cranberry juice, thawed.
(I had a hard time finding this for several years, and I have used substituted cranberry juice in its place and it worked fine!)
1/3 cup sugar
12 oz. package of fresh cranberries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 Tbsp. orange marmalade
2 Tbsp. orange juice
2 tsp. orange zest
1/4 tsp. allspice 

Combine cranberry juice and sugar in saucepan. Boil, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Add cranberries and cook for about 7 minutes until fresh berries pop and dried berries soften. Remove from heat.  Stir in marmalade, orange juice, orange zest and allspice. Chill until ready to serve.

3 cups Turkey , cooked and shredded (or chicken)
1/2 cup almonds , whole or sliced
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 - 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt), to taste
1/2 cup cranberry sauce (or dried cranberries)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 - 4 large tortillas

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon filling into tortillas and roll into a wrap.

This year to go along with our turkey wrap, I'm going to make up this broccoli salad.  One of the ladies at my first ever Friendsgiving that I attended last week brought this, and I tell you, I could have eaten my weight in it!

6 cups of broccoli, cut into small florets
1/2 of a red onion, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled (I use this method for making bacon, SO easy!)
1/4 c. sunflower seeds
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a very large bowl, mix the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper until blended. Add broccoli, red onion and cranberries into the bowl and mix until coated. Add crumbled bacon and sunflower seeds and mix well.  Leave in the refrigerator for at least an hour, preferably two.

I also plan to set aside a small amount of the crumbled bacon, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds and sprinkle a little over the top before serving, just for some added color.

If you love cranberry sauce like I do now, you are sure to love these recipes!

Until then,

Friday, November 15, 2019

101 Things in 1001 Days: #4 Read 200 Books

I am including this post as a means of keeping track of the books I read during the next 1001 days, which began on November 11, 2019.

The fourth goal I listed was to read 200 books during that time frame, which ends on September 21, 2023. You can learn more about this and my other goals, here. My guess is I will read more than 200, but because there are 100 other goals on that list that I hope to accomplish, I wanted to make it do-able.

Naturally I'll be adding to the list, and though I don't know that I will review every book I read, if I do write one, I'll likewise link the posts here. If you're interested in following along on my reading journey, you can also find a link to this post in my right side bar directly below the graphic and link for 101 Things in 1001 Days. That being said, here are the books I've read thus far;

November 2019

1. Mother Mason
by Bess Street Aldrich
Read my review, here.

2. The Little Ways of Ruthie Leming
by Rod Dreher

3. Miracles on Maple Hill - 
by Virginia Sorensen

January 2020
4. The Practice of the Presence of God
by Brother Lawrence

Because I will never outgrow beautifully illustrated children's book, I am listing the ones I have read during this span of time, but not counting them as part of my 200 books.

January 2020
From Dawn 'Til Dusk  - 
- beautiful book about a young girl's life on a Vermont farm.  Takes you through the tasks and days of each season, highlighting what made each one of them special.
by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock  Illustrated by Mary Azarian

Autumblings (Amazon affiliate link, see disclosure below)
Poems and painting by Douglas Florian

Countdown to Fall - 
by Fran Hawk, Illustrated by Sherry Neidigh

Full of Fall
by April Pulley Sayre

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn
by Kenard Pak

Fall Leaves
by Loretta Holland

In the Middle of Fall
by Kevin Henkes

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Monday, November 11, 2019

101 Things in 1001 Days

"Souls are shaped in the common moments of life, the daily stuff of memories"

- Sally Clarkson

Have you heard of 101 Things in 1001 Days? I was first introduced to the idea from a friend who had a similar list on her blog. I even half-heartedly created my own list, though I only had about thirty things listed. It's not even that coming up with 101 things I want to do is hard, if I really thought about it, I could probably come up with five hundred. But for me, I want the list to be meaningful, practical, but stretching myself a little and daring to dream that some of these (dreams) would even be possible. My previous list also reflected goals and dreams from a very different time in my life, and I am, simply put, not the same person now that I was then.

And so, with today marking the beginning of my 58th trip around the sun, I am going to at least begin my list. I will also say that I calculated the time frame on a five day week and also added in holidays and special days, so it's really a bit longer. In reading through other people's lists I learned that some people calculate it using a true seven day week, and other's take weekends/holidays off. At first that sounded kind of silly, because there really isn't a set order (at least for me), that the goals/dreams will be accomplished, meaning the there is the possibility that #90 on my list is accomplished before #1. But after thinking it through, I realized that calculating it on a five day week gives you some breathing room, and I like that idea! I also loved the fact that it stretched the end date to the near the Autumn Equinox, which is one my favorite days of the year!

And so without further delay, here are the first 11 things on my list. Today being 11/11, it seemed fitting. Maybe my first goal should read, "Begin my 101 things list!). I'll be adding more as I thoughtfully consider what I want to include, and updating as needed. My plan is to also share about the individual goals and document when I accomplish them and can check them off the list, so if you'd like to follow along with me on this journey, I'm grateful for the company!  Some things will most likely only happen once, a single life experience, while others, such as skills I hope to learn, will most likely become a regular part of my life.

 1. Learn to knit (well enough to make a pair of socks)
I've got the knit stitch down, but I am finding purl troubling.  

 2. Learn to successfully bake and frost a two layer cake and decorate it. 
I am a wonderful cook, but aside from cookies, which are even a gamble at times, baking has never been my area of expertise. Yet I long to make cakes like this, or this! I mean, come on, that second one doesn't even have that much icing! I don't know if it's possible, but it's a goal.

 3. Learn to make bread from scratch (not using a bread maker)

 4. Read 200 Books

 5. See The Nutcracker during the Christmas season.

 6. Learn to paint with watercolors.

7. Read / Study the Bible cover to cover.
So, confession. I've read every book in the Bible except Numbers (it bores me to tears), and Revelation. My hang up with Revelation is due to a hell fire and brimstone preacher who quoted it so often and with such emotion (bordering on anger), that it scared me to death. The first time I was baptized and made a public profession of faith I was a child, and I did it because I was terrified of the very thought of going to hell. Not the worst motivation, I suppose, but it's not the reason for accepting Christ as your savior.  So it's time to push past my childhood fears and tackle Revelation, and trudge through Numbers, as well. This goal may take me more than 1001 days, because when I say study, I mean digging for the meat. I'm going to take my time. So with this goal, I mean to at least begin. My target date is January 2020.

 8.  Capture a picture of geese in flight. (Hopefully more than one!)
Nod to my daddy!

 9. Learn to identify birds by sight and sound. 
I haven't determined how many, I may not set a number.  I know several by sight, but very few by sound.

 10. Learn to identify trees.
This is beginning to sound like a Charlotte Mason education. :) The girls and I went on countless nature walks when we were homeschooling, and we've spent a good amount of time in woods and forests, living so near the Blue Ridge Mountains.  But I was never very good at teaching them to actually identify what we saw. I appreciated them for their beauty, but now I want to truly know what I am observing. One of my homeschool regrets.

 11. Grow a pretty pot of marigolds and figure out how to get my chrysanthemums to keep blooming.
Every year we buy these beautiful post of mums, all abloom. Then the first blooms die and dry up, and even though there are countless bulbs left on the plant, typically they never bloom again after that. They are one of my favorite flowers!  I have to master this.

And so it's a start. A few of these I will set to work on achieving right away.  I'll continue practicing
my knitting, reading (as always, just counting the books from this point on), identifying birds as the winter birds (my favorites) are making their way to the feeders now.  Others, in light of the busy holiday season ahead, I'll most likely put off for awhile.  I have plenty to keep me busy in the mean time. I'll also probably come up with new things I want to add quickly, so look for an update soon, if you're interested.  I even created a little button (as seen on the right), and placed it at the bottom of my right side bar. That way, if you want to keep up with my progress, all you have to do is click on the image! And if you're inspired to create your own list, let me know. I'd love to hear about our goals and dreams.

p.s. A friend put me on to this today, happy listening! I am behind a season, maybe even two. I watched Seasons 1 and 2, and then just never got around to the others. But I heard the next season is the last. Time to catch up.