Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Wednesday Medley (with a side of French Toast)

Hello and Happy Wednesday to you!
It has been a whirlwind of a week for sure...
...and losing my completely finished post last night has made it even more so!
I have no idea what happened and I have been trying to recover it with no avail.
I wrote a big long story about our crazy Thanksgiving dinner but now realize
y'all didn't really want to read all that mess!
So...let me try this again.
I missed being able to link up to the Wednesday Medley last week with all that was going on.
So let's get right to the questions from Terri, our friend from Florida...
...just go to her blog, copy the questions and paste them to your blog and answer them!
1.  On November 28th, 1995, President Bill Clinton ended the 55 MPH nationwide speed limit that began in 1974 as an energy saving measure during the Mid-East oil embargo.  If you are old enough to remember this (I sure am) did it make you happy?  Do you have a heavy foot when driving or does 55 MPH sound good to you?
Oh yes, I remember it well and I can also still remember the voice of my high school Driver's Ed. teacher echoing through my brain, "Let's go 70", the moment we pulled onto the highway. It never did make it back up to 70 mph in my area...they brought it up to 65 where it still stands today. And no, going 55 on the highway never made me happy. I tend to travel about 5 miles above the limit, no matter what it is and pretty much follow the flow of traffic. Do I have a heavy foot? Wellll.....that depends on what you call heavy. 😉
2.  You are home alone on a rainy/snowy Sunday afternoon.  What Christmas movie will you watch? 

This movie came out last year and I can't say that I gave it much thought until recently. I have had it on my Amazon Prime watch list, just waiting for the right opportunity, which will hopefully be this rainy Saturday evening. And look who plays Charles Dickens... that beautiful actor Dan Stevens, a.k.a. Matthew Crawley from Downton! I understand Dickens had some issues when he was trying to come up with "A Christmas Carol", my favorite Christmas story, and this is what it's all about. I am hoping it's as good as it looks!

3.  What is something you have tried that you will never try again?

Cooking a 25 pound turkey in an electric roaster. My intent was to cook two smaller turkeys but could not find 12 pounders anywhere so I had to get the largest one I could find that would fit. It was not an easy task wrestling with that puppy in the sink beforehand, let alone after it was cooked. I wasn't thinking about the fact that the borrowed roaster was missing the rack to lift it out with. should have seen me....never again.

4.  Today is National French Toast Day!!  Will you have some?  Do you like French Toast?
 Do I like French toast? Are you kidding? But, I won't be delighting in any today. Have you ever had the casserole version?? Oh my!

5.  The Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center will be lighted today, as will the one at the White House in Washington, D.C.  Do you have your tree up and is it lighted?  Have you ever been in New York City or Washington, D.C. to see the trees all lit up during the holidays?

No Christmas decorations are up yet but hopefully this weekend I will get a good start if not completed. Yesterday, my sweet hubby did bring it all in from the garage though so I am one step closer! I have never been to NYC for anything and the only time I was in DC, the cherry trees were in bloom.

6.  Tell us something random about this week of yours.
We topped off the Thanksgiving week by celebrating Dacey's (our oldest grandson) birthday on Sunday. He is not a teenager anymore...the boy turned 20! How can this be?? Of course, I was a VERY YOUNG grandma...haha! Aaron (his dad) smoked a huge pork shoulder in his refrigerator... seriously, he did! Pictures don't lie!

So this is Dacey when he was just a few weeks old, tucked down inside the Christmas stocking that I made him all those years ago. He is big into working out and when he saw my mini-trampoline, he said he would like to have guess who got him one? He is in the process of losing a few pounds for the USAF fitness test...he already passed the written test with flying colors! We are so proud of this smart kid!

So this is my abbreviated version of the post that got lost.
I'm still scratching my head as to how that happened...
...but after all, it's Blogger, right?
Enjoy the remainder of your week!


Friday, November 16, 2018

Mom's Thanksgiving Dressing

Thanksgiving Day is almost here!

In less than a week, we'll all be sitting around with full bellies, 
trying to stay awake after the tryptophan kicks in.
Several of you have asked me if I would share my mom's dressing recipe.
As promised, I will do my best.

There never was an actual recipe...nothing written down anyway...
I learned by watching and helping her for many years...and then doing the taste test.
I will try my best to give you an idea since I don't really measure the ingredients.
I make two good sized pans because someone in the family is a real pig has to have their own.

You will need:

  • 2-4 loaves white bread (more or less depending how much you want to make)
  • 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 small onion. chopped
  • butter
  • turkey neck, giblets, broth from cooking them
  • 2 large containers chicken broth
  • 2 large eggs (maybe 3, depending on amount you're making)
  • salt, pepper, poultry or other seasonings to taste
I start out by toasting the bread at least the night before. I wish I had a 16 slice toaster (as if they made such a thing) since this is the time consuming part. I let the toast cool off before ripping to pieces. 

So if you think about it, you get to put a lot of yourself into the dressing since you've touched every. single. piece. of bread. 😉 Maybe that's why it became the star of the show...because Mom's hands touched every piece. So then you will need to find a big ol' pan or dish to hold all of this toasted goodness. As you can see in the photos, I used the foil turkey roasting pan before using it for the turkey!

This year I am cooking two smaller turkeys in an electric roasting pan. This will be a first for me...wish me luck! So...back to the dressing...

In a large saucepan, saute celery and onion in butter until soft. Add a couple of quarts of water to the saucepan and bring to a boil, add raw turkey neck and giblets and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is cooked, remove from heat. Now, Jim loves the giblets (gag) so I save them for him for a little pre-dinner snack and I fish out the neck and let it cool. After cooled, I pull off all the meat I can get...and there really is quite a bit, believe it or not. Back into cooled cooked broth it goes for now.

So now comes the fun part...putting it all together. In a large mixing bowl start by adding part of the bread followed by all cooked broth with meat. This is where much of the guesswork comes in. Add more bread followed by store-bought broth, repeat until all of the bread is mixed with broth and it a soupy, sloppy (sorry) consistency. Not enough broth will make the dressing too dry and too much...well, you see where I'm going with this. Taste along the way and add seasonings to your liking. After that, beat the 2-3 eggs in a small bowl and add to dressing mixture, stirring well until all combined. Place mixture in greased baking pan(s) or casserole dish(es). Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until brown and it releases from sides a bit. I always do the "knife test" to make sure it is done in the middle. And that's it!

Sorry the photos are not the best...they are copied from Facebook posts.
But if you decide to try it, I hope you enjoy it!
We all have so many things to be thankful for, don't we?
Well, I am also very thankful for YOU GUYS, my blogging buddies!
Thank you so much for your encouragement and just making my life so much richer.

May God richly bless you ALL this Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Mishmash Medley

Hey y'all and Happy Wednesday!

We had a wonderful trip to Tennessee and made it back safely.
It is such a blessing when all of the grands can get together, which doesn't happen that often.
Aaron's boys, Dacey and Dylan were able to go with us and everyone had a great time...
...even though their ages range from nearly 20 down to nearly 10, it just doesn't matter.
The weather was less than perfect but that never stands in the way... was either rainy or bone chilling cold with winds that went right through you.
As usual I brought my camera but it never left the case the whole time.
There are no new pretty pictures this time so I will share from the archives.

Just picture this scene with rain coming down. 😊

And although this is last year's model too, I baked another just like it! 
The rain and cold did not affect our ability to watch Parker play his indoor soccer game
or attend his wrestling match the next day where he got a 2nd place medal in his weight class.

 He has the kindest heart and is always laughing...

...unless he is posing for team pictures.
He is one tough little wrestler and looks like a different kid here, doesn't he?
So it's back to the routine around here, including joining Terri for the...

Hop on over to her blog, copy and paste the questions, and link'll be fun!
1. With the holidays coming, what is your most essential appliance to help you prepare for the celebrations?

Well, I would definitely be lost without my oven/stove. Without it, we eat raw turkey...and there would be no dressing. That would be a disaster and there just might be a death in my family. 😐

2. What is your favorite (clean) word?

I don't necessarily have a favorite "clean" word (and I don't have a favorite "dirty" word either) .... but my favorite word that means clean would be pristine.

3. Are you a good judge of character?

Most of the time I think I am...although I have been wrong. The world is full of imposters but God is still teaching me that I am not anyone's judge.

4. What is the last thing you took a picture of? Can you share it with us?

I took this photo of my computer screen yesterday since I could not figure out how to print it from Google Maps. This is the street view of the property where we are building the farmhouse which I edited to illustrate the new path the driveway and bridge will take. Initially we thought it best to build the bridge over the creek right off the road (blue line) and the driveway along the fence line...until we met with the bridge guy this past weekend. A bridge over the deep ravine where the creek flows along the road would be quite costly. He suggested the driveway enter through the farm gate on the other end (yellow line) and to build the bridge over the shallow part of the creek as it flows through the tree line and continue up to the building site. This will save us $$$$ believe it or not. I have always wanted to live "down the lane" and we all agree it will make for a much more picturesque setting.

5. Tomorrow, November 15, is Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. How do you intend to celebrate?

I celebrated this day back in October when when Hurricane Michael paid us a visit. Warm refrigerators are much easier to clean out! With that said, I will also be deliberately making room for all the Thanksgiving food I will be purchasing over the next week. I am still in denial a bit about it being a week away. 😏

6. Tell us something random about your week!

I always get thrown off course a bit after a trip out of town and I'm still trying to get back on track. Hubby is off the rest of this week until Friday and I am patiently waiting for him to go back so I can get started on the holiday preparations. Is it just me or is it difficult for anyone else to "work" around your better half??

So that's it for this week's medley.
I have had a few of you request my mom's recipe for her turkey dressing.
There is nothing fancy about it...just a plain old fashioned dressing.
So I do hope to get that posted within the next couple of days for those who have asked... is not something that I have written down...I just make it the same way every year,
no real I will do the best I can!

Until then....

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Mid-week Medley

Happy Wednesday and welcome to the Medley!

It seems like I always begin with talking about the weather, don't I?
Well I certainly don't want to shock anyone so let's talk about the weather, shall we?!

This past weekend was absolutely gorgeous and I have pictures to prove it.

I went for a hike on Friday and it was just a perfect fall day... was a bit overcast (which is the best for photo taking)
but still the brilliant foliage popped against the gray-ish skies.

I didn't notice the lady bug until I got the photos off my camera.

And there is nothing to compare to the solace of hiking a quiet trail in the woods in the fall.

My mums are hanging on for dear life even though their blooms are waning a bit.
It seems like everything is fading fast and with yesterday's wind and rain,
the leaves are falling like crazy.
I plan to savor every moment before it's I better not blink!
So were here for Terri's Wednesday Medley...let's get right to it.
Just copy the questions from her blog, paste them on yours and join n the fun!

1. What is your claim to fame?
If you would ask my #1 son this question, his answer would probably be my ability to duplicate his Grandma Billheimer's (my mom) Thanksgiving dressing. He gets his very own pan to take home every year. It's the little things....
2. What is something you like to do the old-fashioned way?
I think the older I get, the more I think about this. Even though I am a fan of many modern conveniences, there is a part of me that fantasizes about what it would have been like to grow up in the olden days. I thoroughly enjoy having a dishwasher but there are times when I just want to feel the warm, sudsy dish water on my hands. And that dressing I was talking about in the last question...well, you won't find me buying a bag of pre-cut bread cubes at the store for it. I toast about 3-4 loaves of bread the night before Thanksgiving and in the morning, tear the bread apart with my fingers...just like my mama did.

3. What did you think you would grow out of but haven’t?

There are many things I haven't grown out of yet, some that I'm not so proud of, but I guess my first response would be that I have never lost my instinctive desire for mischief (in a good way, of course) and my love to laugh. I probably don't need to tell you that there are some folks out there who think having fun stops when we get old become more mature. Jesus is still teaching me how to behave but I'm pretty sure He wants the laughter to continue.
4. What is the dumbest thing you’ve done that actually turned out pretty well?
I have done so many dumb things in my life and there is no way to narrow it down to just one. Needless to say, after I publish this post to the Wednesday Medley, all kinds of things will pop into my head. So, since I just can't think of something small like a decorating or cooking mistake that turned out not so bad, I guess I will get serious. In my younger days, when I was running from Jesus, I did so many stupid things...some that could have been really dangerous. But through His grace and mercy, He was always there to love me and catch me when I fell...until I finally fell into His arms. All those dumb things are now just a part of my testimony.
5. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to? 
Well...I guess I kind of did change my least the spelling of it. I changed the Debbie to Debby when I was in high school, just to be different since there were so many of us.

6. What is something random you can tell us about this week?
We will be heading very early on Thursday morning to Tennessee for the annual father/son/grandsons hunt. We always look forward to this time every year. Next year at this time, God willing, we won't be making this trip because we'll already be living snug as a bug in a rug in our little camper in the meadow. We shall see! 😉

Enjoy the rest of your week!
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