Holidays, musings

Holding Thanksgiving Dear

Thanksgiving

I stopped by Pier One yesterday hoping to pick up some little something for the Thanksgiving table or for a treat for the kids.  To my amazement, there wasn’t a thing in the store relating to Thanksgiving.  It was totally about Christmas.

Now I like Christmas as much as anyone, but does it have to start so early?  Decorations are up all over and already Christmas music is playing on Sirius and a local radio station.  I remember a time when none of that happened until after today.  Does that mean I’m old or is this early welcome a fairly new phenomenon with Thanksgiving being an almost forgotten day wedged between Halloween and Christmas?

Whatever, I’m holding on to Thanksgiving.  I like it because it’s relatively stress free and a day that the hubby and I so enjoy.  Most years our family gathers at our house which is a gift as this is the only holiday we lay claim to.  For years everyone has chosen a special thing to bring which makes the preparation oh so easy for me.  We always stuff ourselves, but that doesn’t keep us from looking forward to leftovers the next day.

As important as turkey and all the trimmings are, what is really special about this day is what each of us has for which to be thankful.  Even when life isn’t perfect, there’s good in each day be it sunshine or rain, laughter or tears.  I try every day to be thankful, but today my heart is even more full because my small family is in one place.  That doesn’t happen very often.

In addition to the obvious gifts, I am also thankful for each of you, known and unknown, who take the time to read my words and from time to time offer an appreciative or encouraging comment.  Enjoy your day to the fullest and join me in holding Thanksgiving dear.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Food, Holidays

Keeping It Going

Just as the dishes and the dryer hose pumpkins are a staple at Thanksgiving, so is cornbread dressing made just like, well almost like, Mom used to make. For that matter, I think she made it the same as my grandmother, so I like the idea that this dressing has been around for a long time.

I’m not sure how Mother made her cornbread, so I rely on this recipe in my trusty Southern Living cookbook.  Can you tell it has been around for years and is much used?

Country Cornbread 

1 1/2 c. cornmeal

3/4 c. flour

2 t. baking powder

1 t. salt

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 c. milk

6 T. shortening

Preheat oven to 400. Combine the dry ingredients with eggs and  milk.  Spoon shortening into a 10″ skillet (I use an iron one) and heat in the oven until the shortening is melted and the skillet hot.   Pour the cornbread mix into the skillet and bake for about 20-25 minutes.

Now for the dressing which combines a few simple ingredients.  I usually make it a day ahead of time so the flavors are well blended.  

Though the main ingredient is the cornbread, Mother always crumbled a few leftover biscuits into the mix.  If I don’t have biscuits, I toast a few slices of bread and then make cubes or crumbs.  That seems to work just fine.

Cornbread Dressing

1 round of cornbread plus biscuits or bread cubes

1 lb. sausage

1 c. each celery and onion

3 eggs

1 t. poultry seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

1 c. Craisins (that’s my touch)

3-4 c. chicken stock

Brown sausage with celery and onion.  Add to crumbled breads. Mix in remaining ingredients being sure to add enough stock to  make the dressing nice and moist.  Spoon into a large casserole dish.  Bake at 350 until the dressing is heated through and the top is a bit crispy.

Though much of the dressing disappears at the Thanksgiving table, there’s always enough left over to put it on turkey sandwiches the next day.  I’ve even made soup out of the remains.  It was quite good, but dang, I can’t remember how I did it!

OK, enough words.  It’s time to get on with making the dressing. If you have a favorite dish for Thanksgiving, do tell.

is so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

 

Holidays, Tablescapes

It’s Time!

Four days until Thanksgiving means it’s time to get my act together.

The first thing, my favorite, is setting the table which means bringing out the dryer hose pumpkins and the Della Robbia dishes. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving at this house without them!

The challenge is thinking of some new way to use them each year. Hmmm, how about mixing them with some almost real pumpkins, a few fall leaves and some green apples?

As I add each piece to the table, I am overwhelmed by memories.

Some memories are of people who are no longer with us and whose chairs have been filled by new family members.

Other memories are of years when our family was a little out of sync. Those may not be the most pleasant, but they, too, are part of our Thanksgiving story.

As every item is brought out, I think of where it came from and who brought a special little treasure to add to the table.

Most of all I think about all that my family has to be thankful for which is reason enough to put all else behind us.

As I hold on to those few things that are repeated year after year, I find myself hoping that when daughters take over this holiday they might hold on to them, too.

With the table done and reflections safely stored, it’s time to move to the next step, thinking about what is needed from the grocery for the familiar favorites that will be on the table.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Joining

Digging’ It and Dishin’ It

 

Holidays

To You with Thanks

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are many blessings in my life, and today I will give thanks for all, including you who are such faithful followers of Lulu’s Musings.  Some of you I’ve been lucky enough to meet face to face, but most of you are unknown except for what I learn about you through your blogs.  It’s amazing what connections are made online.

As I gather with my family around the table today, I lift my glass to you with the hope that you have a wonderful day no matter where you are.

Thank you for being a part of my life.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Thanksgiving, Thoughts

Tips for a Stress Free Thanksgiving

thanksgiving-sentiment-appetizer-plate-set-of-4-o

Thanksgiving need not be stressful, and to keep that from happening here’s what I’m thinking will be helpful.

Set your table several days in advance.  That’s a fun job that could help you get in the right frame of mind.

Plan your menu and make a shopping list.

Don’t wait until the last minute to go to the grocery store.  Go early morning or late evening to avoid some of the craziness.

Prepare as many dishes as possible in advance so that on Thanksgiving day they only have to be baked or warmed.  If guests are coming, don’t be shy about asking them to bring a favorite dish.  They are probably happy not to be preparing the entire meal!

In the days preceding, put aside any anxiety, uneasiness or distress you have and focus on that for which you are grateful.  There’s probably much more than you think.

At the Thanksgiving table, avoid any conversation about politics or the outcome of the election.  Enough is enough!

Most of all don’t worry about everything being perfect but focus on the privilege of spending time with family and friends who mean so much.

AND don’t forget to take the turkey out to thaw!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving all of you.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Holiday Decor, Holidays, Tablescapes

Getting Ready

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor the hubby and me, Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday.  Maybe that’s because it’s the only one where the family still gathers at our house, and each year we hope that all of our small brood will be at the table.

img_8283Most things stay the same from the table setting to the menu. Out come the dryer hose pumpkins that have been a centerpiece mainstay for oh so many years.  

img_8280The trick is to create a little different look each time they appear.  At some point, I may have to start repeating!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No question the Della Robbia ironstone will come out of the cabinet for its annual appearance.  It is the first set of dishes I bought so they have real sentimental value, and given that only one piece has been broken they are indestructible.  For sure the color way is reminiscent of the 70’s, but for Thanksgiving it is perfect.

Like with the pumpkins, the challenge is to change things up each year, and that is getting harder.  It’s likely that that no one notices whether anything is different,  but for me its’s  what makes setting the table fun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMost years a little something new is added.  It may be a placemat

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAor glasses or napkin rings.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome months ago I purchased this inexpensive flatware thinking the colors and shape were fun.  It never occurred to me that it would be a great match for the Thanksgiving dishes, but here it is. Carson of Downton Abbey probably wouldn’t approve of the arrangement, but it adds a bit of jauntiness.

The something new this year are the place holders that I recently found in a cute shop in Franklin, Tennessee.  You can bet they will be part of tables to come.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

With the table ready, I’d best get thinking about a grocery store list!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Joining

Tablescape Thursday

musings, Random

Taking Time Out

OriginalPhoto-468983450.166784With so much energy focused on Halloween and Christmas, Thanksgiving is an almost forgotten holiday wedged between the two.   Perhaps that’s a good thing because there is a calmness around Thanksgiving that doesn’t exist with most other holidays.

Though I try every day to be thankful, it is on this day I sit quietly and focus on all the gifts in my life.  They are many, some so small they sometimes get overlooked.  Some are full of joy, others are tinged with sadness, but in its own way each is a gift.

One gift I don’t want to overlook is each of you who take the time to read and sometimes comment on these musings.  I  started writing thinking it would be a good way to keep up with friends but thanks to the power of the internet,  a whole new audience has become part of my life.  Thank you.

Wherever you are, I wish you a wonderful day and urge you to take time to be grateful not just today but every day.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind