Turkey Day

“I gotta’ go get a nap in,” stated Jabber* as she waddled down the hallway towards the bedroom.  “Too much turkey and all the other stuff just, well, stuffed me.”

Not unusual for Jabber at all.  She tends to overdo when given the opportunity, which during the holidays, is rather often.  Then again, she would like to overdo most of the time which is why she waddles………..

That and she’s 111.  At least she CAN waddle, which is one of the things for which she is ever so grateful on this day.

“Oh be quiet and show ‘em some pictures!”

“K!” I replied in text talk.  (Even at 111 I know text talk.  See how very clever I r?  See there?  There’s another demonstration of it.  But I digress….)

“WHAT IS THAT?” Jabber asked, alarmed.

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‘Tis the return of the Turkey Trotter!  Yep.  He’s BAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKK!

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Yes, there he is at the sink, preparing the turkey to be roasted for Thanksgiving dinner…….complete with his turkey hat, which sings by the way—“Turkey in the Straw”

image  We tied him up—no, not the Turkey Trotter, the Turkey……..and sprinkled him all over with Paprika (Hungarian Paprika, I might add) and salt and pepper and herbs and a bit of olive oil.

“What is important about it being Hungarian?” Jabber asked.  “Is it ‘cause you’re hungry or what?”

Dunno…….

Here he is patting and massaging said turkey, prior to the roasting:

This seems to be some sort of ancient ritual…..

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And then he did a dance with the turkey:

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After the dance, he put the turkey in the oven and this is how turkey came out:

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The serious work now began:  a bit more basting and then, of course, right before dinner, carving…….

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Soon, everyone was in the kitchen helping prepare the food—almost everyone!

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Granddaughter created a turkey vegetable tray:

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The adults ate in the dining room.  Yes, even the Turkey Trotter:

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The Pilgrims and the Indians came for dinner, too:

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And the traditional kids’ table in the kitchen:

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We enjoyed being together, sharing family laughter and fun and the food was fantastic!

And the Turkey Trotter disappeared—at least until Christmas. 

(He might be out there, amongst you, as I write this, shopping all the Black Friday specials.  If you run across him, don’t be frightened.  Ask him to play his turkey hat for you.  And, if you have a spare, rare, uncooked turkey with you (one never knows, now, does one?), he could also do a little dance for you.)

Hope you and yours had as much fun as we did.

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*For those of you wondering who this “Jabber” is, she’s my imagination.  Goes by the full name of Jabberwocky.  Go look it up!

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

One turkey done and carved and in the fridge, one to go—and one ham.  I got a jump start on Thanksgiving.  How fortunate we are to have such options—to have turkey and ham and a nice kitchen in which to cook them.

Frankly, I couldn’t figure out how to get all of them cooked at the same time, so……….while I was finishing up decorating, I cooked a turkey.  He turned out really nicely, I’m happy to report.

Waiting for the Gobblers….errrr……Grandkids to arrive with their parents from the cold North for the weekend.  The Gobblers haven’t been here for a while, so I hope they find the holiday decorations and the food to their liking. 

Security had a sneak preview of the turkey and reported it very good.  And very gone.  There will be more tomorrow for her, I’m sure.  She isn’t, however.

I bet the rest of you are doing something similar, likely sort of tired (like me), but grateful for family and friends and for all the blessings we enjoy.  Life is fleeting and time does pass quickly—so enjoy today and tomorrow!

Happy Thanksgiving all!

 

Household tip!

‘Tis the Season for your indoors to smell lovely, all cinnamony and warm—here is a great tip on how to do this!
“Odor Removal

To absorb stale, smoky odors, place a bowl of apple cider vinegar in an out of the way place. To add a fragrance to the room and remove odors, put 1/2 cup of vinegar, two cloves, and one teaspoon of cinnamon into a small glass jar. Place it in the microwave for one minute and then place in the room. It will absorb odors instead of covering up the smell like commercial air fresheners do.”

I just tried this (just now, really!)  Be careful–make sure the concoction doesn’t boil over in the microwave–might try a larger container so it has room to expand.  The kitchen does smell good!

From:  Dollar Stretcher Tips newsletter

Here are some more tips on how to have good smelling home, inexpensive and chemical free: 

http://www.stretcher.com/stories/13/13apr08e.cfm

As we all know, commercial candles, air fresheners, etc. may contain harmful ingredients—especially those that you plug into your outlets.  NOT GOOD!

Warning

  • The Endowment for Medical Research has suggested “air fresheners” should be called “air pollutants.” Many brands contain known toxic chemicals. A 2002 EPA study testing plug-in air fresheners found that the fragrance chemicals in these products react with common indoor air pollutants to produce serious health hazards. Air freshener chemicals have been implicated in cancer, neurological damage, reproductive and developmental disorders. They can also aggravate or trigger asthma attacks.

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/about_5421665_dangers-plugin-air-fresheners.html#ixzz2ll1YL1fT

Try using a natural, inexpensive air freshener instead—it’s better for your health, and your wallet.


Saturday

Saturday morning, the Ark was begun, Charlotte underwent  reconstructive surgery, and later in the day, a Christmas tree was assembled at the YMCA.

Startled, Jabberwocky quickly turned to look at me.  “You are building an ARK?  Is it going to rain?” she asked, “And you did ‘reconstructive’ surgery?  On Charlotte?  Did Charlotte agree and does Noah know you are building an ark?”

Yes, constructing an Ark.  You will see later.  No rain, hopefully, in our future, but the animals are getting restless assembling upstairs—some of them are quite loud!  I’ve really got to get them loaded onto the Ark Christmas Tree before my family gets here!

And yes, Charlotte did agree and I had some assistance from Girlfriend and Hubby with the reconstructive surgery.  It takes a village and all that……………..she is in recovery now and at some point, soon, will be able to receive visitors.  I’ll take some pictures, then.

Now, on to the Christmas Tree:

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Cowboy themed Christmas tree.  The faux tickets for the concert for which this tree was designed to promote are not yet done, but will be added. 

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Grapevine wreath, copper ribbon, rope, cowboy boots, ornaments with a Southwestern theme, bandanas are on this tree. 

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Jabber and Racer Daughter who decorated the tree.  Racer Daughter looks enthused about it?

On Poverty

As we enter the “Season of Celebrations and Thanksgiving” in which many of us have plenty to eat, perhaps gifts to exchange, maybe some new clothes to wear, we need to remember those who do not have enough of anything.  

I read this on Huffington Post this morning.  You might like to read it as well, truly say a Prayer of Thanksgiving, and be grateful for all that you have.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/linda-tirado/why-poor-peoples-bad-decisions-make-perfect-sense_b_4326233.html

Her own blog is here:

http://killer-martinis.squarespace.com/

Help her or someone else if you can.

Meatloaf Muffins

 

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A hurry-up supper made ahead.  Cook meatloaf in muffin tins.  

Mixed up the meatloaf and place in muffin tins, cover with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator.  Will keep a day or so.  I make these early in the morning and cook later in day.

Use your favorite meatloaf recipe.  I had about 1.5 pounds of ground beef with which to make meatloaf.  This resulted in 12 muffin-shaped meatloaves, and one small regular-shaped meatloaf.

Spray muffin tins and place almost full of meatloaf mixture, topping off with some catsup.  These will take about 40 minutes to bake at 350.  Check them to make sure you don’t overcook or undercook.

You can make these ahead, cook and then freeze—they’ll defrost rapidly as they are small.  Nice for a quick lunch or supper.  Kids like the shape and one is plenty for smaller children.

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Above:  corn muffins,  muffin-shaped meatloaf, mashed potatoes, salad, slice of pineapple.

Birthday Girls!

In which we eat some pie which isn’t and have a grand time…….

Both of them, 39!image

Girlfriend and Sosew, Birthday Girls

“I see an empty plate and some ‘to-go’ boxes—what happened?  You guys not able to STUFF yourselves with everything?”

No, weren’t!  Went to the Stuffy Puffin, no, that’s not right, it was the Puffy Stuffin’, no, no, that’s not righter either—oh, I remember!  It was the Puffy Muffin!  That’s where we went!  And they do have delicious food.

Being too hungry, we forgot to get a picture of the food.  But it sure was good.

image  Cupcake and Girlfriend

 

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Vanna and Thumper

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The Brocanting Brigade!  (L to R):  Vanna, Thumper, Jabber, Cupcake, Girlfriend, Sosew

“For ‘Sert, Vanna got everybody a Boston Cream Pie which, on the way home, Girlfriend observed wasn’t a pie at all.  It was cake.  Why’d they do that?  Name it a pie ‘stead of a cake, I wonder?” said Jabber who was caught up in the excitement of it all.  She REALLY loved that pie cake, …….oh….. the lunch, all of it!

Happy birthday good friends!  And many more pies AND cakes to you both!

Down to the crunch

“What are you eating now,” asked Jabber, who does not understand what I mean. 

Not eating anything at the moment, but soon we’ll be having turkey and ham and dressing and mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes and cranberry relish and macaroni and cheese and salad and green bean casserole and……

“When!” she demanded, drooling……

In about a week.

Between now and then, I’ve got to finish putting up Christmas trees, decorating the house, shopping, making pies, and lots of stuff.

This because I want all the Christmas decorations up before my family rolls in for Thanksgiving. 

What? 

You think I’m pushing it?  This is too early to put up Holiday decorations? 

How many trees, you ask…….one or two, you say?

Ummmmm, well, no, not exactly…….

I only have about 15 trees (give or take, depending upon how you count—you’ll see later) to put up, so what am I worried about.   No, not small table top trees, either.  More of the 7 1/2 foot variety.

Well, let me tell you, Weeders, after Thanksgiving I’ve got 6 days to get ready for an open house.  And clean up from Thanksgiving.  And then cook and all that………

Not pushing it whatsoever!  CRUNCH TIME!

I’ll update when I can, just in case you don’t have 15 trees to decorate.  You can live vicariously through me.  Smile

 

Making Party Invitations

Making invitations is a craft project begun in June or July for our open house.  As always, Jabberwocky*  has to come up with an idea—sometimes difficult for her—but always a fun experiment.

(*Jabberwocky is my imagination.)

As usual, the effort to use items acquired at yard sales is important as well as designing something which will (hopefully) bring cheer to the recipients.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve acquired over 50 demitasse cups and spoons at yard sales—as well as many craft supplies.  All of these items can be found online or at retail stores, too, but they will be more expensive. 

Each invitation is different, but the idea is similar.  The final product looks like this:

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In the beginning, I decided to make a paper teacup card, with a faux teabag inside the card detailing the information of who, what, where, when. 

Using a teacup pattern (I had one—look in craft stores to find one), draw and cut it out on lightweight cardboard paper.  This is your pattern for the invitations:

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image  The top portion fits over the bottom (with the saucer).  The top will be the cover for your invitations and the bottom will be the inside.

You will need some of these (I find them at yard sales or you can buy in a craft store—use your coupons!):

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Blank cards and envelopes.

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Assorted craft paper—I chose to coordinate my invitation paper, but you could make them all the same if you like.

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Draw around the base teacup pattern on the wrong side of the craft paper:

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Cut out with an Exacto knife:

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At the bottom of the craft paper on the ‘saucer’ part, you may wish to write something—I chose to write “Cup of Cheer”.

Do the same for the top portion (cover) of your invitation and cut the pattern out.

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On the top portion, you may choose to write something.  I chose to print “Holiday Party”.

Lay one on top of the other after they are cut out and align, making adjustments so that they fit perfectly together.

Draw your pattern on the cardstock card—the whole teacup and saucer.  Do this with the card folded, with the fold at the top of the teacup.  Cut through both front and back of the card to make a teacup form. 

OPEN the card and lay it out flat.  Carefully draw around the craft paper cup portion on the ‘front’ of your cardstock—align and use your Exacto knife to get it to fit so that the cardstock edges do not show.  You are simply cutting off the ‘saucer’ portion.

Align the craft paper for the teacup AND saucer on the other half of your cardstock.  Cut around any edges which are showing.  Place all pieces together and align.  Do any cutting now to get the edges even.

On the teacup and saucer portion of the CRAFT paper, on back side, use spray adhesive (or glue or whatever you would like) and then paste it onto the cardstock.  This is the inside of your invitation. 

The front portion can be done in the same manner or you may wish to use adhesive ‘dots’ which give a bit of dimension to the front of the teacup—it will look like this when you are finished with this part of the process:

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Next, print out your information on a sheet of paper on your printer.  These are the directions for making the faux teabag:

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Using size 10 font, center on page, coming down approximately 2 inches, type in single space, “You are cordially invited to a Holiday Party”, day, date, time, address and your name.

See above picture for an idea of how it should look when printed.

To make the teabags, fold in on both sides so that the width of the printing shows entirely and is approximately the width of REAL teabag (I looked at one for visual guidance).  You will need to trim the sides so that they overlap a little on the back.  Next, after you have cut off the excess at the edges, pleat the bottom portion to form a fold—again, look at a teabag to get an idea of how this is done. 

Finally, fold the portions you have already made and cut the top portion down a bit.  Look at the back of a teabag.  The corners on either side are folded at an angle and then the top portion is folded over them to seal the ‘teabag’. 

PLAY WITH THIS A WHILE!  You will get the ‘hang’ of it.

Next, get a piece of string or heavy thread and run through the top of the teabag twice—this will secure it.  Then run it through the top of your invitation—now the bag is inside the cup and saucer invitation.  I next secured the string to a piece of square craft paper and cut the string. 

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Then add a ribbon if you like:

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I next addressed a tag—get them at an office supply store.

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I had a Christmas Tree stamp which I used on the opposite side of the tag.

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Locate some small boxes at the dollar store or yard sales or both!  These will hold your small demitasse cups and spoons. 

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Folding tissue paper inside the box, insert your teacup and spoon and close.  (Hint:  I used plastic wrap around both before placing in box as this will secure the items and help prevent breakage.)

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Place your invitation inside the envelope and the names of the recipients on the outside of the envelope. 

Wrap everything in clear cellophane, tie with a ribbon and attach your address tag.

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Hand deliver to recipients about 3 weeks prior to your party.

The Party Begins with

The Invitations!

We have an open house each year for our friends and family, generally early in December.  This year the invitations were hand delivered (yesterday) to most of the invitees.   Here they are:

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“Where’s the invite part?” asked Jabberwocky, who seemingly doesn’t recall making these! 

Inside!  The invitation itself is inside the envelope which is wrapped with the package………..

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image  A faux teabag inside has the party invitation information.

Inside the package is:

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A demitasse cup and small spoon—for a Cup Of Cheer gift for recipients.

Next post details how the invitations were made.

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