I spatchcocked the turkey this year for our Thanksgiving dinner. It roasted evenly and came out of the oven juicy and deep golden brown. I think I will always do a turkey this way. One cut up onion, two ribs of celery and one cut up apple were my aromatics. Seasoned, softened butter and olive oil were slathered over Mr. Tom Turkey. Salt and pepper, of course.
The table was set with pretty dishes. Remember to use them throughout the year, not just for holidays. Any night of the week can be special, when Grandma’s best is brought out.
Friday meant laundry duty. I washed up all the dirty kitchen towels and table linens. Switching Fall linens for Christmas ones, the linen chest was opened and closed several times.
On the porch, Herman donned a red shirt and hat and beard. He’s incognito as Kris Kringle. I made his beard from a scrap of fabric and cuttings from a string mop.
Peppers planted last Spring had a poor showing, during the growing season. Frankly, I purposely ignored them, trying to teach them a lesson for not giving me peppers on my time schedule. Today I saw that they were loaded with fruit. Peppers were blanched then put in the freezer and a pot of jelly processed. Their colors are just right for the Christmas season.
I may have gone one shade of green too dark, with the food cloring. This looks really Grinch Green. Hope it tastes good.
For an afternoon pick-me-up or an after supper dessert, an Affogato is delicious. Simply, it’s just coffee doused ice cream.
I have said before that I didn’t drink coffee till I turned fifty. And I guess, the first version of an Affogato that I ever had was at the Wharf, when I dumped my complimentary strawberry frozen dessert in my tiny cup of coffee in lieu of creamer.
About a year ago. I stopped by a local coffee shop and saw Affogato on the menu and asked what it was. The server explained and I ordered one. Yum! Reminded me of the Wharf.
I have been making them lately. Different ice creams, different flavored coffees- all good. Todays was Blue Bunny Neopolitan with Community Coffee French Vanilla and because it’s my world, a Hershey Miniature candy bar. Why not, right?
I name all my scarecrows Herman. It just seems to fit.
Made of cast-offs and stuffed with balloons, Herman donned his WallyWorldHalloweenHat and helped set up the tea party in field at Flowers Proper. He waited for his young guests to arrive in an old farmhouse kitchen chair, that had been pulled into the morning sun. (It was chilly this morning.)
With a sublime smile, he greeted his guests and invited them to sit down for light refreshments. Later they would fill their little blue pails with butterfly kissed zinnias.
Towards the end of the garden party, Herman drew the men closer and spoke words of wisdom. Herman was the perfect host.
Soon it was time for his friends to leave. And so, he packed up his garden party gear and headed to the house.
Did you see the dark clouds in the back horizon? Life gets hectic and rough. We all need an outlet; a loving pet who’s as much as a family member as human biped or a fantasy tea party in the field. It’s good to be distracted by simple things.
Trite, but true: life is short so, use the pretty dishes. Just an ordinary Saturday breakfast, first one of the waining summer to speak of cooler weather to come, made me want something with apples. Here’s what I did.
Apple Granola Muffins
1/2 a box of Duncan Hines Classic yellow cake mix
1/2 cup of biscuit mix
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 cup Cascadia Farms Apple Cereal
2 cored, chopped Gala apples with skins on
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup of corn oil
3/4 cup of apple juice
What to do:
Set oven temperature to 350° and line your muffin cup pan.
Mix in a big bowl all dry ingredients. Fold in chopped apples and walnuts. Make a well in the center, add egg, oil and apple juice. Mix till combined.
Big scoops divided between each lined muffin cup. Bake till tops are nicely browned and bounce back when touched.
We ate from pretty dishes that belonged to my grandmother. Do you use the pretty dishes sitting in a dark cupboard? Bring them out into the light.The world outside is ugly. Your home should be a welcoming haven. Using the pretty dishes is a good start.
This Labor Day Weekend I took my family on a trip to the Alabama Coast. Two of our family activities cost pennies. Well, a tank of gas is more than pennies, but you get the idea.
We skipped the tourist traps for a more family connected activities.
Hunting sand crabs after the sun sets has been a family tradition, when we take a beach trip. Flashlights were passed out along with the assignments of net and bucket handlers. For the preschoolers, this was their first time catching sand crabs along the waters edge.
The second practically free detour was searching for Bamahenge in Elberta, Alabama. Lots of quirky fiberglass statuary near the Barber Marina, including a replica of Stonehenge, 4 big dinosaurs, knights, and Neptune’s Fountain.
Payday is three days away, so what to cook for supper, using ingredients on hand? Mac-n-Cheese. None of that boxed stuff. And look, I eyeballed this recipe. Cooking is an art. Baking is a science. Feel free at the stove to add whatever you Iike.
2 cups shredded cheese- I had Swiss and Dubliner, combined
1- 5 oz can evaporated milk
2 slices crisp bacon
3 slices Brioche, toasted and cubed
2- 1/2 sticks of salted butter
3 qt pot of salted water
Enough elbow macaroni to feed 3 people
What to do:
Bring water to a boil and dump in the elbow macaroni. Cook till tender.
While that’s boiling, combine 1/2 cp shredded cheese, bacon and toasted Brioche cubes. Butter a casserol dish.
In a 2 quarter pot, pour in the can of evaporated milk and heat till its just about to boil. Add half a stick of butter and melt. Then add in the rest of the cheese. Whisk together for your cheese sauce. Drain the cooked macaroni and pour the cheese sauce over the elbows. Combine well and put in buttered casserol dish. Top with the cheese and bacon and Brioche mixture. Melt the remaining 1/2 stick of butter and dribble all over the top of mac-n-cheese. Bake at 350° till the crust is crispy and browned. Won’t take long.