Tom and Georgia

Tom and Georgia
50 years of marriage this year September 2017

Monday, November 15, 2010

THANKSGIVING TIPS/ HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE BIG DAY

THIS IS A REALLY NEAT BUNCH OF TIPS AND HELPS TO MAKE GETTING READY FOR THE BIG DAY A LITTLE EASIER.   IT GOES FROM THE FIRST WEEK OF NOVEMBER, BUT SINCE THIS IS PAST, IT WILL STILL GIVE YOU SOME HELP, I'M SURE. 

Getting the house all ready for company

To keep track of whose cup is whose write each person’s name in ink on wide rubber bands and place them around each person’s cup. This helps avoid each person using more than one cup and it aids in ending the spread of germs. Take the rubber bands off when doing the dishes and they’re ready to be used again!

*When kneading bread or making cookies on your kitchen table, place masking tape over the seams of the table. This will prevent ingredients from getting lost between the table’s leaves and make cleanup a breeze.

*Kitchen sponges come out clean when thrown into the washing machine along with your other kitchen rags. Dry the sponges in the dryer.

*Most pie recipes instruct you to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil when it begins to brown. Before you begin baking form a foil ring around the cold pie edge, then when the edges begin to brown simply set the already formed ring in place.

*To polish silver, add one tablespoon of ammonia to your silver polish. You’ll get a super shine, plus it prolongs the shine well into the new year.

*Use a pencil eraser to take black heel marks off your linoleum.

*Murphy’s Oil Soap is a great stain remover for almost any stain. Spray on garment, rub, and then wash as usual.

*To remove paper stuck on wood moisten the paper with olive oil and then, rub it off.

*Clean piano keys with a piece of silk moistened with rubbing alcohol.

WEEK ONE OF NOVEMBER:

*Begin holiday organization.

*Invite your guests for Thanksgiving dinner. A cheery phone invitation or a written invitation is always welcome.

*If you’re ordering a fresh turkey, do it now; if you’re buying a frozen turkey you have time, but don’t wait until the last minute. Start watching those sale ads now.

WEEK TWO OF NOVEMBER:

*Make up Thanksgiving dinner menu. At the same time compile your grocery list. You can pick up the dry goods and staples for your meal now. It’s easier on the budget and makes shopping faster later. Check off items on the marketing list as you purchase them. 

*Plan your Thanksgiving table setting and centerpiece early. Check your silverware, plates, and serving dishes to be sure you have enough for the number of guests you are inviting. 

*Name cards can also be completed ahead of time. As a family sit down and find verses with a thanksgiving theme. Take a blank 3” x 5” index card, fold it in half, and stand it on the table. On the front write the name of the person who will sit at that place and inside write a Thanksgiving scripture. When everyone is seated, each person then reads his verse.

WEEK THREE OF NOVEMBER:

*Make any last-minute arrangements for Thanksgiving. If you’ll be going out of town, ask a neighbor to collect your mail and newspapers. If you are cooking, finalize your menu and entertainment plans.

WEEK FOUR OF NOVEMBER:

*Special holiday events will be happening Thanksgiving week. Decide which event you want to attend as a family, then schedule one special event for each child individually.

FOUR DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING:

*Start defrosting a large (15 to 20 lbs.) frozen turkey in the coldest part of your refrigerator.

TWO DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING:

*Prepare the serving pieces, plates, flatware, glasses, etc.

*If using cloth napkins or tablecloths, iron them now.

*Make the cranberry sauce; a couple of days in the refrigerator will give the flavors time to develop.

*Cut and cube bread for the stuffing now, and set the cubes out in a single layer on a baking sheet to dry.

ONE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING:

*Pick up the fresh turkey and purchase perishables.

*Prepare the stuffing. Refrigerate overnight.

*Make the giblet stock for gravy.

*Assemble and bake pies.

*Peel the potatoes; refrigerate in a pot of cold water.

*Make side dishes that require baking and reheat them tomorrow; or assemble them today and cook them right before dinner tomorrow.

*Set the table tonight or first thing in the morning.

THANKSGIVING DAY:

*Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and cook as desired. (Some people...like me...even prefer to slow cook the turkey overnight.)

*Make mashed potatoes and bake or reheat side dishes.

*Prepare coffee, but do not brew until about twenty minutes before it is to be served.

*Prepare iced tea and other beverages early and refrigerate.

Edible Cornucopia Favors for Thanksgiving


Very simple and fun. Kids will enjoy helping.

1. Melt chocolate chips in microwave oven or double boiling pan.
2. Dip the wide opening of a sugar (dark) ice cream cone about halfway into the melted chocolate chips, set on wax paper to cool.
3. Fill with candy (Maybe some candy corn or mallow creme pumpkins for instance?)
4. Also put a little paper inside, asking guests to think of what they are thankful for. Then have volunteers share.

APPLE CANDLE HOLDERS

Take large apples and core out enough to hold a votive candle. Squeeze lemon juice around the cutout area and then insert the candle. The apples can be set on your holiday table in front of each person’s place or down the center of the table with autumn leaves, pods, grapes, pears, corn, eggplant, and even squash and nuts. When the candles are lit, you’ll have a beautiful harvest display. 

If you don’t have votive candles, use tall tapers or whatever you have available. 

(This idea can be used for Christmas with red and green apples.)

ORANGE SHELLS

Here’s a simple, decorative way to serve your sweet potatoes or yams. Cut oranges in half and remove fruit and pulp. Add the fruit to your holiday punch or let the children enjoy it as an extra treat. Prepare cooked sweet potatoes or yams and spoon into the orange shells. For an extra touch, flute top edges of orange shells with a knife and top with miniature marshmallows. Place in oven until the marshmallow melts. Nestle oranges around turkey on platter. 

THANKSGIVING MENU AND RECIPES


MENU

Turkey
Fluffy Bread Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes (Gravy)
Corn
Green Bean Casserole
Broccoli Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole
Cranberry Sauce
Deviled Eggs
Vegetable Tray
Relish Tray
Rolls and butter
Assorted Pies 
Apple and Pumpkin Pies (plus whatever anyone brings)

ROAST TURKEY 

This basic recipe is perfect for a first-timer. Over time, you can try various herbs or spices rubbed on with the salt and pepper, or butter mixtures placed under the skin. 
Est. preparation time: 20 minutes
Est. cooking time: 3 hrs. 
Est. standing time: 15 minutes
Ingredients:
12 pounds whole turkey (The Sawhook turkey is usually as close as possible to 25 pounds, but this recipe  is for a normal-sized family.)
I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray 
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°F 

Wash and dry turkey inside and out. Spray turkey with butter spray. 
Cut a long length of aluminum foil, enough to wrap loosely around the turkey. Foil should be loosely wrapped over turkey. If it is too tight... your turkey will be steamed and not brown as well. Put turkey in oven and roast for 15 minutes. Turn heat down to 350°F and cook until done. 
Use following chart to gauge time: 8-10 pounds: 2-2/12 hours; 10-14 pounds: 2 1/2-3 hours; 14-20 pounds: 3 1/2-4 hour. 
During roasting, the bird should be basted occasionally. (Most turkeys are pre-basted, but it doesn't hurt to do it. It gives the skin a shinier, crunchier texture.)  Finally, remove foil for final browning. 
The turkey is done when you stick a fork in and clear juice (as opposed to pink) runs out. A meat thermometer inserted into the part of the bird without touching the bone will read 180°F. Do not overcook. Remove turkey from oven and let sit 15-30 minutes before serving so that juices will be reabsorbed by the flesh. 
Carve the turkey and transfer to a serving tray.

FLUFFY BREAD STUFFING

1 and 1/2 loaves of white bread
Top third of entire bunch, celery (including leaves) chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot or 6 baby carrots, chopped
1 stick margarine
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. garlic salt (can you tell I like garlic salt??)
1 can cream of mushroom soup, mixed with 1/2 can of water or chicken broth
3 eggs

Tear bread into small pieces into a large bowl. 

Sauté the celery, onion and carrot in a frying pan with margarine until tender. 

Meanwhile, sprinkle pepper, poultry seasoning and garlic salt over bread and lightly toss to mix.

 Add vegetables, mushroom soup mixture and eggs to the bowl of bread pieces.
Mix until blended.

 Empty mixture into a 1 1/2 or 2 - quart well-greased casserole dish or 13 x 9 baking dish. Bake in 350 degree oven for almost an hour. Cover lightly with foil and bake for an additional hour at 300 degrees...Outside will be crunchy,  while the inside is fluffy and moist...


MASHED POTATOES/GRAVY 

5# potatoes (pared and cut into cubes)
1/4 pound (1 stick) margarine
Milk (as needed)
Salt
Pepper 
Put potatoes in large pot and cover the potatoes with water. Bring to a boil and then turn down to medium until they are tender to the touch with a fork (almost falls apart). Turn off heat. Let sit for a few minutes, then drain the potatoes into a colander inside a large bowl (to save the potato water for gravy). Put the potatoes back into the pot and add salt and pepper to taste during the whipping of the potatoes.. Using an electric mixer, begin breaking up the larger pieces and add margarine and continue to mix and whip until nice and smooth. You will then determine how much or how little milk needs to be added at this time. Taste and see if the salt and pepper is adequate as well. 
Just to be make sure you have a delicious tasting mashed potatoes, put a nice sized spoonful of margarine on top. Place the lid on and keep the potatoes on warm until served. Make sure this is not too hot and that the potatoes do NOT stick. 
Before serving them, use a large forked serving spoon and fluff up.


                   TURKEY GRAVY

In a medium sized mixing bowl, put 1/2 cup of regular flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and a cup of milk. Using a whisk, begin mixing it together... it should be rather gooey... if it's not, add some more milk. In a large frying pan, place whatever drippings you have from the turkey  and  bring it  to a boil. Slowly add the gooey flour mixture to the broth and with the whisk, start stirring and stirring. If there's more flour mixture than broth, then this is the time to use the potato water. Continue adding and stirring until the gravy is nice and thick and creamy, at which time you may turn it down to warm. Add whatever pepper you would like and mix and cover and let sit.


BROCCOLI CASSEROLE 

20 ounce frozen bag of broccoli pieces, thawed and drained
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 pound creamy-style cottage cheese (can use fat free)
4 eggs, beaten
1 c. mushrooms (optional)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper 
In buttered 2 1/2 quart casserole, stir all the ingredients. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 35 minutes (until lightly set). Let cool 10 minutes before serving.


            SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

3 cups canned, mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup butter, melted

Topping
1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

In a large mixing bowl, combine the mashed sweet potatoes, sugar, milk, vanilla and melted butter. Mix these ingredients thoroughly and then put it into a casserole dish.
Mix all the topping ingredients in a large bowl. Spread the crumbled topping mixture over the top of the sweet potato mixture and bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes.


DEVILED EGGS

Ingredients:
1 dozen eggs (hard boiled, cooled, and peeled)
Light mayonnaise
Yellow mustard
Ranch dressing
Garlic Salt
Pepper

Slice the eggs in half lengthwise. Put the cooked yolks into a bowl and place the white halves on a plate. After all the eggs have been cut and separated, mash and mix up the yolks until they are as fine and smooth as possible. To this add about 4 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise, a hefty squirt of yellow mustard, and two tablespoons of ranch dressing. With a mixer, blend these all together until smooth and creamy. Add just enough garlic salt and pepper to taste.

With a teaspoon drop enough mixture into the center of the whites to make it look full and rounded (not flat). For an added touch, (if you like, you may add a shake of paprika or some finely sliced green olives). If not, just leave them plain, cover with plastic and refrigerate until needed.


QUICK PUMPKIN PIE  (without crust)

1 can pumpkin (16 oz.)
3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cans evaporated milk
1/2 cup flour
(This recipe makes 2 large or 3 small pies) 
Mix all ingredients with a mixer and pour into the pie pans in which you have melted 1/4 stick of margarine. 
Bake 30 minutes in a 325 degree oven or until they are set. (stick a knife into the center and if comes up clean... it's ready.) 
A quick and delicious pumpkin pie.


PUMPKIN PIE
(Libby Recipe)

1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground cloves
4 large eggs
1 can (20 oz.) pumpkin
2 cans (12 oz.) evaporated milk
2 unbaked 9-inche deep dish pie shells (or the homemade one listed below)

Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves in a small bowl.  Beat eggs in another bowl.  Stir in pumpkin and sugar/spice mixture.  Gradually stir in evaporated milk.   Pour into shells.

Bake in a preheated 425 degree F. oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce temperature to 350 degrees.  Bake for 40-50 minutes on until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool on a rack for two hours.   Serve immediately or refrigerate.  


APPLE PIE

6 cups peeled, sliced apples (Macintosh)
1 Tbs. lemon juice
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbs. all purpose flour
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
2 Tbs. butter
Double crust pastry

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Combine apples and lemon juice in mixing bowl.  Combine sugars, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and mix well.  Pour sugar mixture over apples and stir to coat.  Spoon fill into a the pastry-lined pie pan. Dot with butter.  Transfer top crust to the top of the pie, trimming off excess.  Fold edges under to seal and flute the rim.  Cut slits for the steam to escape.   Bake in preheated oven  for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for additional 45 minutes.   (The pie crust below is AWESOME)


NO-FAIL CREAM CHEESE PIE CRUST

3 cups flour
1 cup margarine or butter
1 - 8 oz. cream cheese, softened

Put aside the margarine (butter) and cream cheese to soften.  In a medium-sized bowl, put    the  flour and add the margarine and cream cheese.  Cut this into the flour until blended, then mix well with your hands (as you would bread dough).

This dough WILL NOT stick to your hands.   Separate into three balls and cover with plastic wrap so it  won't dry out.  Press down and roll out into the size you need for crust.  You won't even need to flour the board.   Place crust into pie pan and trip edges.  Put favorite filling into and bake according to directions.

It's the most tender, good tasting crust you've ever made and so simple.  This recipe yields three crusts.  If you only want to use two of them, you can either refrigerate it for 2 weeks or freeze in a sealed container.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from Georgia's Kitchen and MORE...


"O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever." Psalm 107:1 

Well...this is a beautiful cornucopia...otherwise known as a Horn Of Plenty.  I put it here specifically to share with you the ABUNDANCE of God's goodness, mercy, provision, love, and wealth that has been bestowed upon us this year. 

This is a page of praise and thanksgiving to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.. To Him, alone and always be the honor and glory for who I am, what I have, and what I will become.  Rejoice with me on this journey of Psalm and song and 
may we always be mindful of His overwhelming goodness to His own.


Give thanks with a grateful heart.
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ His Son
(Repeat 3 times)
And now let the weak say I am strong.
Let the poor say I am rich because of what the Lord has done for us.
(Repeat twice)
Give thanks with a grateful heart.
Give thanks to the Holy One.
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ His son
(Repeat twice)
Give thanks 
Give thanks
Give thanks with a  grateful heart.



Let's join in with a wonderful strain of another song in remembrance of this holiday.



COME, YE THANKFUL PEOPLE, COME

Come ye thankful people, come...Raise the song of harvest home!
All is safely gathered in, Ere the winter storms begin;
God, our Maker, doth provide..For our wants to be supplied:
Come to God's own temple, come, Raise the song of harvest home.

We ourselves are God's own field, Fruit unto His praise to yield:
Wheat and tares together sown, Unto joy or sorrow grown;
First the blade, and then the ear, Then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest! Grant that we. Wholesome grain and pure may be.



"O, give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.  Sing unto him sing psalms unto him; 
talk ye of all his wondrous works.  Glory ye in his holy name; let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD."  Psalm 105: 1 - 3




Memories of Thanksgivings Past..

Thanksgiving is always a very special time at our home. The smells eminating from the kitchen remind every one that the growls in their  tummy will soon be alleviated and the Pepto Bismol will have to be incorporated.   There's always a crew to celebrate with us.  Our own family and some friends which we enjoyed over the years.  We usually alternated between homes, but as our family continued to grow we would have to change our plans and everyone and anyone who would be able to make it would come.  

With the kids married, they usually alternate between their spouse's parents and us. We crowd into the kitchen, dining room and even put up tables in the living room and sometimes the family room (or Steeler room as we call it.)   Wall to wall people and food.  What a combination!!  The Lord has truly blessed and we can't thank Him enough for the abundance we have in so many marvelous ways.  




Growing up, our children often were separated from grandparents and aunts, uncles, and cousins.  They saw them once a year and sometimes less because of distance.  That's why our family has a wonderful bond and we love to be together. It's just so precious to see that as we have raised them, they have grown and married and become sweet, dear friends.  Most importantly, they love the Lord Jesus. They all attend churches and serve Him and now the grandchildren are now coming to know Jesus as their Saviour. What greater gift could a parent ask for??  Yes, we've been blessed beyond measure. 

Every year, as well, our local church family holds it's annual Thanksgiving Dinner the Sunday before Thanksgiving... for all our members, friends, and others in the community who may not have a place for Thanksgiving.
 It's a great time to share and for outreach to others. 



Let's sing again!!



We Gather Together

We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing
He chastens and hastens His will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing,
Sing praises to His name, He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining, 
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning,
Thou, Lord, wast at our side, the glory be Thine!

We all do extol Thee, Thou leader in battle,
And pray that Thou still our defender wilt be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy name be ever praised; O Lord make us free!



I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord. The humble shall hear of it and be glad.  O magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered  me from all my fear." Psalm 34:1 -4



So what are your favorite Thanksgiving foods??  My family just loves my stuffing or dressing (as some folks call it).  When we had our first 
Thanksgiving together, Tom and I were 15 hours away from home and had no phone.  I couldn't call Mom for her stuffing recipe.  I searched and found one in a recipe book I received as a wedding gift, and it's been our favorite ever since.  It's called...Fluffy Bread Stuffing. If you want the recipe, I will be putting my Thanksgiving Recipes on soon. Try it out for your family.  I guarantee it will be a hit.



"I will extol Thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.  Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable." Psalm 145: 1 - 3



For The Beauty Of The Earth

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies;
Christ our God, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the wonder of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light;
Christ our God, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.


Let's not forget while we celebrate this special holiday in America..that it was the sacrifice of many others who risked their lives to cross the ocean from England to get the religious freedom they were seeking.   Many DID die and suffered great persecution, but as they gathered their  strength and courage in this new land that God had given them, they worshipped and  honored the Lord of their lives by giving thanks and setting aside a time to do so.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM OUR HOUSE TO YOURS!!



The greatest gift of freedom ever given to man in the person of Jesus Christ. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only  begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should NOT perish BUT have EVERLASTING LIFE." 
John 3:16
Hallelujah! What a Savior!!


Thanksgiving Links