~ appetizers ~
Meatballs
Cheese chunks, Cashews, Salami

~ beverages ~
Pop – Water – Sweet Tea
24 cans Coke & 4 liters of Pop

~ soup ~
Beef Barley Soup

~ main ~
Turkey & Dressing
Glazed Ham

~ sides ~
Mashed Potatoes
Turkey & Brown Gravies
Sweet Potato Casserole
Green Bean Casserole
Corn Pudding
Jellied Cranberry Sauce
Deviled Eggs

~ bread/rolls ~
Dinner Rolls
Pull Apart Bread

~ desserts ~
Pumpkin Pie w/ Whip Cream
Cherry Pie w/ Vanilla Ice Cream
Cheesecake
Chocolate & White Cupcakes

~ snacks ~
Chili Cheese Frito’s
Cheese Pringles
Doritos
Potato Chips & Dip
Crackers
Tangerines

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Sweet Potato Casserole

Mix the following ingredients well and pour into buttered pan:

  • 4 cups mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 stick Parkay (melted)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Topping:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup Parkay (melted)
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts pieces

Crumble topping evenly over sweet potato mixture. Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes uncovered.

Enjoy!!

Thanksgiving defined as: A public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness; also, a day set apart for religious services, specially to acknowledge the goodness of God, either in any remarkable deliverance from calamities or danger, or in the ordinary dispensation of his bounties. ~ Webster & me!

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Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

~ appetizers ~
Meatballs
Relish Tray

~ beverages ~
Pop – Water – Sweet Tea – Coffee

~ soup ~
Beef Barley Soup

~ main ~
Turkey & Dressing

~ sides ~
Mashed Potatoes
Turkey & Brown Gravies
Baked Beans
Sweet Potato Casserole
Green Bean Casserole
Jiffy Corn Casserole
Cranberry Relish & Jellied Cranberry Sauce
Deviled Eggs

~ bread/rolls ~
Dinner Rolls
Pull Apart Bread

~ desserts ~
Pumpkin Pie w/ Whip Cream
Pumpkin Spice Cake
Cheesecake
Mom’s Ambrosia

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Cranberry Relish

2 cans whole berry cranberry sauce

1 can mandarin oranges in water, drained

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 6oz package chopped pecans

Optional: Fresh lemon zest.

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All that we behold is full of blessings. ~William Wordsworth

dressingThe Holiday’s are fast approaching.  I realize that it’s early, but I was going thru all of my Holiday planners, starting to book dates, trying to dot my i’s & cross my t’s. I was looking at some old recipes and realized that I had never put a recipe for my mom’s dressing on the family blog. I’ve never written it down before, so I quickly free-handed it from memory. Truth be known, I could make it in my sleep. I’ve made it every Holiday dinner that I’ve ever cooked a turkey. To be honest, some batches have failed when I used too much broth or allowed to much fat into it; it can fry. Not good. If you have any questions,  just comment below.

Tear 1 loaf of white bread into pieces, tossing them into a large bowl. Chop 1 med onion & dice 1 stalk of celery on top. Add 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning, 2 tablespoons of ground sage, & some black pepper. Then dump enough broth off of the baking Turkey to moisten the dressing, folding as you go. Not too much. As soon as its holding together. Turn it out into a sprayed 9x13x2. Toss a few bread crumbs on top. Lightly sprinkle them with sage. Place into a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. You can garnish it with a few sage leaves, but it’s not necessary.

Good stuff! So easy! I only wish she was here to share it with us, but I’m thankful that she took the time to teach me to make it.

My most memorable meal is every Thanksgiving. I love the food: the turkey and dressing, glazed ham, the candied yams or sweet potato casserole – sometimes both, some mashed potatoes and gravy, a little Green-bean casserole, a spoonful of baked beans, a big bowl of Potato or Beef Barley Soup with some buttered pull apart bread, my corn casserole or Jiffy’s corn pudding, my mom’s rice pudding without raisins, jellied cranberry Sauce or cranberry relish, a few deviled eggs, a dinner roll, my Mom’s Ambrosia Fruit Salad that no one eats but me and of course, a big slice of pumpkin pie with a big dollop of whipped cream… Yum! ~ Sheila Jean Adkins Metcalf

 

As I’m preparing for the upcoming Holiday’s and trying not to stress out about all the changes the house and our personal lives will endure over the next few months, I find that flexibility & organization are the key to my sanity at this time of the year. I have all of my Christmas gifts bought and mostly wrapped. Well, if you can call putting them all in Sally’s shopper bags, wrapped. I find it the easiest way for me to do our “Christmas Eve Eve Party.”

Our lives have undergone so many changes over the past few years, the kids marriages with families of their own but, I still want them all together for Christmas, preferably under my roof.  The only way to achieve this is to be flexible so we’ve created our own Holiday aka Christmas Eve Eve. It was originally met with great contention by my oldest son, but he too, has come around. Its hard to juggle the In-laws and Outlaws at the Holiday’s so less stress makes us much happier people.

It also makes me think of my mom, past Thanksgiving’s at Mom’s & Grandma Dorothy’s house(s.) I’m sure everyone remembers the story I’ve told many times, about our dinner table breaking in half on year, it almost hitting my oldest sisters, sister-in-laws 2 year old daughter that was sitting under our table. They used to use the table-leg to hold the back of a child’s dress or shirt down, that way they couldn’t move. Instant babysitter. Not to worry, they had toys or a coloring book to keep them busy. Rarely ever fussed, because they were in the same room as the grown-ups. Now they just use play pens.

I’ll drive by Grandma’s house now and again, and I have to laugh. It seems so tiny, but never did as a child. She always made room. Her house was always clean and freshly decorated for each impending Holiday. To this day, I still have no idea where she kept all of those decorations. Anyway, back to dinner. Her table was freshly set for each person to sit down, always her fine china, minimal food on the table, mostly sliced bread and butter, gravy, things like that, but the kitchen was covered. She’d (or our mom’s) would make your plate in the kitchen and then either you or she would walk it to the table.

Her house was small, but her heart was big, the dining room table was turned sideways in the room, to allow for 8 people or more comfortably, we couldn’t all eat at the same time, so she asked us to come in about an hour apart, that way when people got up, you could sit and talk while you ate & ate, no one was ever rushed. We also had no idea whom we’d be eating with. I always enjoyed eating with my Uncle Brock. He was so funny, he’d mock her as she was talking, making jokes and taking the food or dessert off our plates that he knew we weren’t going to eat(gooseberry pie – yuck), so we could get up from the table(as was the custom back then). Then he’d laugh as she fussed at him for wasting food. Later, he’d wink at us, letting us know that he was okay with taking the heat.

It was never too crowded. She always made room. Ladies sat in the kitchen, gossiping as usual. Grandpa would be in the living room watching TV, either Football or Horsing Racing aka taking a nap. Can’t remember what most of us kids did, we just filtered back and forth, watching Grandma cook and or hand-wash all of her dishes, she didn’t have a dishwasher.  This went on all day. I loved to watch her boil dumplings, she’d use a fresh chicken or turkey with its eggs still inside and they’d float to the top. She’d scoop them up and offer them to us kids as we yelled, “Gross!” But the truth is, I loved it, it was so good. Its the goofy things that you remember the most.

So as I’m trying to decide what to make or not to make this year, I try to remember its only about being together. Nothing else matters, if the gravies brown or who likes what kind of cake, every one will get fed. Spend time together and hopefully, when I’m gone they will carry on these traditions for as long as the Lord tarries. And, know that I did everything in my power to show them the same love that their Great-Grandparents showed me. That it the tradition.

So I’m going to share this years menu with you, and my mom’s recipe for Ambrosia Fruit Salad. To be honest, no one here likes it but me. I make it every year, just because my mom did; it was her favorite. Thank you Mom, for all of your inspiration and unwittingly all of the memories you’ve helped me make with my children, and grandchildren and hopefully, maybe even their grandchildren. I’ll try and keep your memory alive, as I share, all of the things that we talked about and did together while we cooked. I still think of the stories you told me about Grandma Elvie and how she decorated her deviled eggs, every time, I make them.

The “Small Things,” are truly the best memories.

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

~ appetizers ~
Meatballs
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
Relish Tray

~ beverages ~
Pop – Water – Sweet Tea
24 cans Coke

~ soup ~
Beef Barley Soup

~ main ~
Turkey & Dressing
Glazed Ham

~ sides ~
Mashed Potatoes
Turkey & Brown Gravies
Baked Beans
Sweet Potato Casserole
Green Bean Casserole
Corn Pudding
Jellied Cranberry Sauce
Deviled Eggs

~ bread/rolls ~
Dinner Rolls
Pull Apart Bread

~ desserts ~
Pumpkin Pie w/ Whip Cream
Blackberry Cobbler
Cherry Cheesecake
Chocolate & White Cupcakes
Mom’s Ambrosia Fruit Salad

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Ambrosia Fruit Salad

INGREDIENTS

2 cans or 1 lg can of fruit cocktail, well drained
1 sm can of mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 cup shredded coconut
8 oz tub whipped topping, thawed (save container to store leftovers or put half the dessert back in and pop into the fridge to send home with someone. Trust me, it never all gets eaten.)
*maraschino cherries, drained and halved as a garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

In a medium size bowl , toss in the first three ingredients. Fold in the cool whip. Place a few sliced maraschino cherries on top as a garnish.
You can add pecans or walnuts if you like – I usually toss a few on top of mine, just because, but I never put them in my dessert. Some people add a few mini marshmallows if you like those in it, mom did on occasion, but not usually. The cherries were always my favorite. I’d pick them out and try to get the most. sh

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Ah! on Thanksgiving day….
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before.
What moistens the lips and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich pumpkin pie?
~John Greenleaf Whittier

PUMPKIN CRUNCH

Ingredients
• 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
• 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
• 3 eggs
• 1 1/2 cups white sugar
• 1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (may sub pumpkin pie spice)
• ½ teaspoon vanilla
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
• 1 cup chopped pecans
• 1 cup butter, melted
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease one 9×13 inch baking pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Mix well, and spread into the prepared pan.
3. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over the top of the pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle chopped pecans evenly over the cake mix, then drizzle with melted butter.
4. Bake for 60 minutes, or until done. Top with whipped cream when ready to serve.
May be served hot but is often better after a night in the refrigerator. Serves 18.

Only the knife knows what goes on in the heart of a pumpkin. ~ Simone Schwarz-Bart

Wow! The Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone, but the concept of giving thanks should stay with us all year long. What is one thing about this past Thanksgiving, or even the past year, that you’re thankful for? Given the circumstances of life, I’m thankful for my health and the dedication of my family. For this past month, I’m thankful for the chance to spend time with family and friends. What about you?

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FUN FACT: The song “Jingle Bells” was first written for Thanksgiving, but later became one of the most popular Christmas songs.

Ingredients

3 very ripe bananas
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped pecans (opt)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon water
2 cups flour

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter & flour a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.

Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. In another bowl, mix together the flour, water, baking soda and salt; stir.

Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.

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I wanted to mention that my older sister Shirley always bakes her breads in clean soup cans.  Grease & flour them as you would the other way and fill them two thirds full. Place them on a cookie sheet to bake. Should bake in about 30 minutes, just keep checking on them.

She changes the way she does things every year. So if asked, she give you ten different ways to make the same thing. Sh… don’t tell her that I said that.

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Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

  • Decide on a centerpiece, contact florist to order, or make one yourself.
  • Purchase any needed supplies, such as table coverings, napkins, cups, etc.
  • Plan your cooking timeline, so you know which dishes need to be cooked when on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Take your non-perishable items shopping list to the grocery store and buy those items that won’t spoil.
  • Make breads and rolls — freeze.
  • Select the beverage/drinks to go with your meal.
  • Involve your kids in helping to organize games for the younger guests.
  • As you receive RSVPs, create place cards for each setting.
  • Make Holiday hair & nail appointments.

To be desperate is to discover strength. We die of comfort and by conflict live. ~ May Sarton