Marinated Carrots

This is a delicious side dish – kind of salad like, as it is served cold.

5 cups cooked carrots, sliced in rounds
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 can tomato soup, undiluted
1 cup sugar
1 teas. prepared mustard
1 teas. pepper
1 teas. salt
1 teas. Worcestershire Sauce

Mix ingredients and pour over carrots. Let stand overnight.
Before serving add:

3/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup salad oil

Mix well.

carrots 3

Gearing Up

It’s that time of year (as I was reminded last night with all the holiday shopping commercials!) to be thinking about eating and giving, eating and giving.

In the last couple of weeks I have been thinking a lot about the holiday meals – so many choices!

First, Dave and I are preparing for our little Thanksgiving Dinner at home. Dave has already bought the turkey – he always does so early. He may be afraid if he doesn’t get the turkey I may switch it up on him and have pot roast or something. Don’t worry honey – holidays meals aren’t like the living room. Some things in life need to remain the same. Like turkey on Thanksgiving.

With the fall harvest so abundant I have spent the last few weeks making sweet breads – first zucchini bread, then pumpkin raisin, pumpkin nut bread. Then I found the frozen bananas and this week made cream cheese banana bread. Those will all work for holiday meals AND as additions to some holiday gift baskets.

zucchini bread

There is one thing that internet and video technology is seriously lacking and that is the ability to smell what you can see on the screen. There is nothing like the smells of holiday cooking.

Holiday recipes have been popping up on facebook lately like flowers in springtime. I have found a couple I am going to try this holiday season – like this one for a Mashed Potato Casserole. Doesn’t that look and sound delicious? I will let you know how it turns out.

I love cranberry relish and will be sure to make some of that, but another traditional dish that’s a must have is Yummy Carrots!

carrots 3

We’ve been making these carrots in my family for ages and I think you’ll be surprised when you see the recipe. I’ll share that with you on Saturday. Just know they are so worth it – a delicious side dish that is sure to become a family favorite.

I still have to decide on what will be the main vegetables. We still have a lot of acorn squash lying around. . .and of course I love green bean casserole. . .but this year I’m thinking about baked brussel sprouts. They are one of my all time favorite veggies and so easy to cook.

The big dilemma for me is this November is what to cook for dessert. I have a lot of favorites – dessert is usually my favorite part of any meal. I still have some pumpkin to use in something, so pumpkin pie seems like a good choice. My specialty is cheesecake, so maybe a pumpkin cheesecake? Then again, chocolate desserts are always good so maybe a baked chocolate pudding cake? Such a dilemma. I may have to make more than one.

So, what’s missing? Stuffing – no brainer – keep it traditional. Gravy, of course! Hot toddies? Probably.

And of course, with time off from work, and time to spare while things are cooking for the Thanksgiving meal I can begin planning the Christmas dinner. We recently got a freezer full of Organic Grass Fed Beef from Maine, and our pig is at the butcher’s this week, and my granddaughter got a deer, so it looks like there will be plenty of meat choices. I usually cook a couple of different meats – a roast and salmon, or venison back strap and a pork loin, or ham and venison pie. While there are only 2 or 3 or 4 of us for Thanksgiving there will be 20 – 30 for Christmas dinner.

While I’m thinking more about that big meal, I will be cooking the usual gift giving foods: peanut brittle, portinos, cookies. . .

I think I enjoy the planning and preparation for the holidays as much as the days themselves. Especially Christmas. I love the colors, the lights, the carols, the food, the feel of the holidays. Speaking of which, at the risk of offending some of you because you think it’s too early, I am going to get in the mood with one of my favorite renditions of one of my favorite holiday songs. If you’re offended, just don’t listen. If you love holiday music as much as I do, just keep hitting PLAY.
:)

Writing Prompt #132

blog wordle

Today’s prompt is simple.

It is three images of everyday items.

Take a look and consider what pops into your head as you look at the images individually or together.

Then WRITE IT DOWN!

colored pencilsboxlemon

It Isn’t Over

Last Sunday night I happened to be watching the CBS news show, 60 Minutes and an interview with actor Mandy Patinkin.

In the interview Patinkin happened to mention a line from Carousel:

“As long as there is one person on earth who remembers you, it isn’t over.”

Patinkin brought this up when telling about a way he relaxes himself. He takes walks and repeats, to himself, the names of all the people he has known who have passed.

Sit with that a moment. Repeating the names of all you know who have passed.

I loved this idea. For me it could be a kind of walking meditation. A way to take my mind off the day to day busyness, remember those who are no longer physically here, and feel thankful for all that life has to offer.

I began to think of the list of people I would remember – there aren’t so many, thankfully.

Of course I began with immediate family – my dad, my sister. And then my grandparents on both sides, and extended family – an aunt, an uncle, a cousin.

And there have been a few friends over the years; and some acquaintances. Teachers and classmates.

As I sit and say their names aloud fond memories come to mind. Memories of the many ways these people were important in my life, and through remembering they remain important to me.

I think this is a valuable exercise to do because it can put the complications we create in our lives into perspective. When I think of my younger sister, Diane, who passed at the age of 26 I still wonder why I am here and she is not. And I think it may be because my work here is not done – I still have things to do. Perhaps her work, during her lifetime, had been complete and it was necessary for her to move on – to new work – a new way of being.

And that makes me think I should not waste a moment of the time I am here and I should not dismiss anything that I experience while I am here. This active remembering of those who have passed is a reminder that no matter how long we live – 20 years, 30, 50, 100 – our life here is relatively short, and we should strive to gain as much understanding as we can while here.

This is good stuff because when I am feeling overwhelmed at my job, or with my circumstances I can be reminded that all of it has a purpose. I don’t need to know right now what that purpose is, but I should trust that the universe is looking out for me and each experience has meaning. When all those experiences come together in the right way, it too, will be my time to pass. However long that is, I will be content.

And I will count myself blessed to have had seven years with my dad, who surely has influenced all the days of my life; and 26 years with my sister who still inspires me; and 33 years with my Gramma who continues to guide me daily.

And of course, I thank Mandy Patinkin for coming into my life via CBS News this week to help me call to mind the value of all the people in my life – past, present, and future.

Best of the Week X

Actually, this post should be titled Best of the Day because all pictures were taken yesterday, November 14, 2014 on my way to work.

The first snow on the ground each year creates such excitement.

Enjoy!
Nov 14-2

Nov-3

Nov-5

Nov-9 copy

Nov-10