Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dear Mom...

This is for my Mom!
The day BEFORE Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days.
I have the best memories of growing up and my Mom being home from work on this day.
You cooked and fixed the best food, sage dressing...there was always an extra pan of it, and I would pretend to help in the kitchen just so I could walk through and grab a square (I loved that you could pick it up and eat it on the go, that's the best). Rice and gravy, we always had rice instead of potatoes. I love the story you told me that since you grew up eating potatoes that Papa grew in the garden everyday... so rice was "special". Sweet potato and pecan pie... and most especially macaroni pie.
But this day was so much better than even Thanksgiving day itself.... I loved being with all my family, but it was better to have "you" all to myself. So this day holds my favorite memories.
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After we talked on the phone in the morning, I tried really hard to take pictures so I could take you on a walk through my favorite day to share it with you, even though we couldn't be together.
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I was flailing on what to do first... remember the pile of dishes, the errands, the dirty house, what to cook ahead?
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I decided on a shower. That was a good plan, I felt so much better after my shower, and I smelled like a flower.
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Then I went out to try and get the coupon deal on the dog treats and run by the store for those last minute things I had forgotten.
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It was beautiful outside, sunny, blue skies...

but very very cold...

Then back to the house...

next, I finally finished up all those pots and pans!
Thanks for the encouragement. I just can't cook in a dirty kitchen, I don't know why I always put the big stuff off until it's a mountain.
I wasn't alone... your grand puppies are always underfoot and anxious to help and they keep me really good company, and are the best taste testers. But because it is so cold, as soon as I let the sunshine in through the front window... well, it's their favorite place in the whole world to lay and look out.

Except for Rudy... he is in his usual place under a blanket.
I decided to make the pumpkin bars, and found out something that I have taken for granted all these years. Ground up spices! I was out of ground cinnamon, but I had this grinder (I got it free with a coupon a way long time ago thinking it would be fun to have ground cinnamon on top of hot cocoa), so I had to grind my own for this recipe... my arms were actually sore by the time I got enough to make a teaspoon full, and it took forever!! Just think of those Pilgrims having to grind up all of those spices. We are so spoiled. Even with the confusion of the measurements I told you about, these pumpkin bars turned out good enough to cut up and put on cute green plates, with a pretty silk orange ribbon (remember all the ribbon you wound up for me cleaning out my craft room?) to take over to my neighbor lady that is sooo nice to us. She had raked our leaves and I really needed to go tell her thank you! And let her know how much we appreciate her.
When I checked on the turkey who was supposed to be thawing in the garage, he was still frozen! Yikes! So I did the water in the sink trick... then Lynn called and suggested he would thaw even faster if I took all the wrapping off.
I really wanted to have dinner ready for the boys when they got home from work. I never remember going hungry, even when you had your hands full making all these thanksgiving dishes.
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So I took your advice and went for the Mac n cheese crock pot recipe.
Trying to tend to too many things at once... I over cooked the macaroni :(
But decided to use it anyway... I couldn't let it go to waste.
And it only barley burnt on the very bottom.
But somehow something went very wrong... even if the mac wouldn't have been over cooked, the cheese curdled or something on me.
The boys ate a small helping, and my strong silent mysterious man, kept saying he was sure you can't use cheddar cheese in mac n cheese, you have to use Velveeta (ahhhhh#$%&#&#) but I don't believe that was the trouble, even though he has a food science degree from the 2 SECONDS he spends in the kitchen a year :) (major sarcasm... I don't take advice well when I screw up things in the kitchen).
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But the puppies are really enjoying it over their food for a thanksgiving day treat, so all is not totally lost.
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The cherries thickened up nicely with cornstarch just like you said, but I tried to read up on how to do the lattice work on the Internet, and it would have worked nicely had the dough not start to immediately melt when I put it on top of the hot pie filling.
And if I would have actually used a pie tin, instead of... idk what this is for? but it works well for cornbread. So the cherry pie tastes good (because it was half gone before the turkey went in the oven at 5am this morning) but it doesn't look very pretty on top and is in some freakish deep pan.

I got the brine for the turkey cooked up without dumping it on the ground... cooled and the turkey was thawed and soaking before 10pm.
The apple crisp, that I made with caramel "pear" pie filling turned perfect. But I am guessing I will get some complaints for not having apple.
It's all good, I am getting really tough skin in the kitchen department.
So far so good... the turkey is cooking.
The teenager is off to play football at the annual turkey bowl at the church.
And I will run over and get some pics for you and then come home and cuddle up to watch the Parade. Before I finish putting together some other dishes.
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Thanks Mom for all the wonderful "day before Thanksgiving" memories. I think it is really why I just miss you guys on Thanksgiving, but I don't go into a complete meltdown. I hope I am making those same beautiful memories with Jacob and he doesn't remember all my food flops!
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Love and Hugs, your darling dimpled daughter from Dumdeedle!

2 comments:

PaD said...

You pie and pumpkin bars and everything looked delicious. Tell Jim his mom uses cheddar cheese in the macaroni and cheese. I don't know what happened either. Maybe it was the brand of cheese. Low fat or something? Anyway, it looks great. I miss having everyone around at Thanksgiving. Life is really quiet when you're old like me and dad. Love ya all. Mom and Dad D

PaD said...

woops, I should have spell checked it. Your pie would have been correct.

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