From My Carolina Home

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Busy Busy

Today is going to be a day of fun.  It is prep day for Thanksgiving, and I plan to get in a bit of sewing too. I know not everyone has the day off to do some advance cooking, but those of us that do can get a head start.  Usually I would only have a half day off, so this is a luxury!  Today I’ll be making several things, starting with some Apple Cinnamon scones. DH cannot get enough cinnamon, so I’ll bake for his holiday breakfast today.

Scones

Then while the oven is hot, I’ll cube up all these bread ends and bits saved in the freezer for the dressing. I really do like to make my own from a variety of breads we have eaten over the past few months. There are ends of loaves of sourdough, oatmeal, multi-grain and hearty white breads. I can always add a bit of the bagged dried bread cubes if I don’t have enough. These came out of the freezer to thaw out before I cut them up and toast them.

Stuffing

I’ll add leeks, onions and mushrooms sauteed in olive oil, along with sage, oregano, thyme, marjoram, garlic, chicken broth, and whatever else in the spice cabinet strikes my fancy at that moment. Sometimes I add sausage to it, and I do have some in the frig. I can’t decide whether to do that, or make sausage balls for snacking during the day. Or just make sausage for breakfast. Maybe breakfast. Anyway, after that, I’ll bake off the sourdough rolls so all they will need tomorrow is warming up. Then the little bitty pie I got for DH needs to be baked today, too.

Later in the afternoon, out will come the turkey, to be cleaned and put into the brine overnight.  If you have never done this, it is easy and really makes a Moist Succulent Turkey.

Brining Turkey - 1

After all that, I expect the frig to look something like this again, LOL!!

Brining Turkey - 6

It is supposed to be grey again today, the smoke is really bad. Yesterday it was so thick from a new wildfire in McDowell county (arson!!), that none of the valley was visible. The closed garage smelled like wood smoke, and so did the sun room. I had forgotten to close a window out there. I am hoping that the front coming in will bring rain, but the chance is small. But a grey day is perfect for sewing, so I’ll attack more of these half square triangles for Scrap Dance Waltz. After Sunday marking, I paired them all up with their scrappy squares so I could sew yesterday.

Sewing Scrap Dance Waltz HSTs ~ From My Carolina Home

I got all of the HSTs sewn, chain piecing for speed.

Sewing Scrap Dance Waltz HSTs ~ From My Carolina Home

Some have even been squared up! There are 348 HST units here. I won’t square all of them at once, some will need to wait for a bit so I can get started on the blocks. I still need to cut the remaining 2-1/2 inch squares of both the scrappy reds and background so I’ll meet my monthly goal.

Sewing Scrap Dance Waltz HSTs ~ From My Carolina Home

But I should get enough done today to get at least a few Block A’s sewn over the long weekend so I can do the process post next Wednesday.

How are you spending your day, this day before Thanksgiving?

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Thanksgiving 101

Ah, Thanksgiving, a day devoted to a great meal shared with family and friends.   It is by far my favorite holiday, with the gorgeous color leaves outside, crisp autumn air, parades and football, a wonderful meal shared with people I love and the anticipation of the holiday season ahead.  Well, that is what it is now.

Thanksgiving Decor 5

But, years ago Thanksgiving was the source of much anxiety, as my then new husband and I struggled to come to agreement on the menu that would appease both my family and his. Is there anyone out there that has not had The Great Stuffing Debate?   What kind of stuffing (or dressing) white bread or cornbread, mushrooms or oysters, celery or leeks, or some other dilemma? Can we have broccoli instead of green beans? Then there are the Cranberry Wars – jellied versus whole fruit. Be prepared to deal with the angst if you mess with dessert, although we often did.

My family from the South used cornbread, and his mother born in New Jersey used white bread. Personally, I don’t like the cornbread version, so that was an easy compromise for me.   I also hate celery, and my mother-in-law just had to get used to that, but we made it work. I found the perfect stuffing everyone could agree on in a 1995 Bon Appetit magazine – Sourdough Stuffing with Bacon, Mushrooms and Leeks – and have served it for years now. Here’s a link to the recipe – http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Bread-Stuffing-with-Mushrooms-and-Bacon-880

Thanksgiving Decor 7

My mother and I loved to cook together, and often used the pages of a food magazine to inspire us to create other side dishes and desserts. She and I laughed every year about an article we read where the author was whining about having to cook this huge holiday meal on four burners and one oven! Whaaaatt, you mean like the rest of us?!! There have been some memorable stories of holiday disasters, like the year my mother put all the potato peelings down the disposal at once and stopped up the sink in the middle of dinner preparation. A frantic call, and a big plumber’s bill were our entertainment for the day. We made different vegetable dishes and frequently did something different for dessert. One year it was Pumpkin Crème Brulee, another was Pumpkin Roll Cake with Carmel Sauce and a Toffee Filling out of Bon Appetit magazine – yum!! Here’s a link for the Pumpkin Roll Cake recipe – http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pumpkin-Roll-Cake-with-Toffee-Cream-Filling-and-Caramel-Sauce-911

Thanksgiving Decor 6

There was another Thanksgiving many years ago at my mother’s house where she couldn’t get everyone to the table because dinner was ready too early. It was still second quarter of the game and it was before anyone had a VCR. She got madder and the turkey got colder while the rest of us were yelling at the TV. The issue was solved with some aluminum foil, a 200-degree oven, and opening the wine.

Thanksgiving Decor 4

Then there was the holiday where I had done the shopping about a week before. I had a comprehensive list and got everything but the required jellied cranberry sauce because the shelf was empty. It just isn’t Thanksgiving unless that lump of jellied sauce is on my grandmother’s Depression glass cranberry dish with the indentations from the can showing. I forgot about it until that morning and became frantic!! The stores were closing in less than half an hour when I realized I didn’t have it. My husband barely made it in time and luckily there were cans on the shelf. Whew!! Crisis averted.

I also enjoy reading other people’s stories on the holiday. One particularly memorable story I read years ago concerned another young wife wanting to impress her in-laws with her gravy. She wanted it absolutely lump free, but was having trouble getting it that way. In a moment of inspiration, she grabbed the strainer to strain out the lumps. You can see this coming, can’t you?   Yep, she put the strainer in the sink, and poured the gravy through it and down the drain.

Thanksgiving Decor 3

Now, to the foodie book on Thanksgiving. This book is a small, paperback volume that is packed full of stories and tips on this most American (and Canadian!) holiday. There are lots of choices on how to cook a turkey, suggestions on stuffings and dressings, inventive side dishes, soups, appetizers, breads and desserts. You will find basic directions on a perfect pumpkin pie as well as a recipe for the aforementioned Pumpkin Crème Brulee, or to really mix it up, Cranberry Cheesecake.  There is something here for both the beginner cook and experienced foodie.

Th 101

Want to try something a little different for the holiday? How about Turkey Breast Roulade with Wild Mushroom Stuffing and Marsala Sauce? Here’s a link to the recipe from the Thanksgiving 101 book – http://rickrodgers.com/rick_rodgers/rr/recipes/main-courses/turkey-breast-roulade-with-wild-mushroom-stuffing-and-marsala-sauce.html

Now for the Giveaway!  Please share your Thanksgiving story by leaving it in the comments by November 15th.  You can also leave a link to a story on your blog, either from a current post or one from years past.   Your story will enter you to win a copy of Thanksgiving 101!!!   Tell us about your Great Stuffing Debate, or Cranberry Wars, or the time your family did something funny or heartwarming.  The winner will receive the book in time to enjoy for Thanksgiving this year.  International entries welcome, just tell us a story about family and food.  Our judge is quite discerning, and loves a good tale.  (Giveaway was 2014)

psychodog

Here’s hoping your holiday is stress free, full of love and laughter, shared with family and friends.

 

 

Sincerely, Paula  BunsLinkParty

Finish It Up Friday