Thanksgiving was much different this year but we all tried real hard to have good and happy memories of LaDonna. David even went out and purchased a turkey fryer !! We had so much fun! We created new and delicious tastes to inject into the two turkeys. The one we liked best was equal parts of melted butter, pure maple syrup and white wine. Then on the outside we rubbed cajun spices. After that we put fresh cut potatoes and with all those spices in the oil it flavored the fries! While the oil was still hot David fried a pork roast to have the next day. We certainly got our money’s worth out of that peanut oil we used! LaDonna would have been proud the guys didn’t set her house on fire!
My sister, Rose Carol who lives in Santa Barbara, fixed her brussel sprouts by steaming them for about 15 minutes then adding them to her skillet where she had sautéed garlic, pine nuts and chopped onions. Stir together to mix flavors then top with fresh Parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon. Everything tastes better with cheese and bacon !!
My very good friend, Thelma Taylor from Orlando, Florida,
made this dump cake the other day and it was so tasty and easy you could fix it for breakfast. In a 9×13 sprayed with oil dish dump a can of cherry pie filling, on top of this add a 20 oz can of pineapple tidbits, then comes the cup of chopped nuts, add a layer of yellow cake mix and dab butter in several places on top. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or till brown on top! Yummy!
My niece, Ashley Tomlinson, lives in San Francisco where they do salads fresh and healthy. A very light dressing for this salad put in blender 1/4 cup cashews, 2 peeled oranges and 1/3 cup white vinegar and mix. We from the south may want to add just a little sugar! Ya, hear?
Another niece, Jessica Brevard and her friend Chelsea found these on Pintrest and had fun making them….and we all enjoyed eating them !!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL !!!!!!!
Years ago I had the opportunity to work for a property management company that sent me all over the southeast. On one of my trips to New Orleans a friend of mine, Dianne Corn, went with me. She’s a true Southern Belle with the accent to match. How lucky for me to have a friend willing to go with me. She was happy to help me market the property during the day so we could go out and explore the real New Orleans at night. Since my work would begin on Monday morning, we decided to leave on Friday evening after work to get a head start on our adventure. It was an easy seven hour drive so…. no sweat!!! Being in a hurry to get there and not planning ahead of time we arrived to the Gulf Shores area after midnight. Nothing special was happening on this particular week-end that we knew of but every hotel we went to was full. It was getting later and later and we were getting more and more tired so being young and probably very foolish we decided to park our car on the water side and fall asleep in our car to the sounds of the ocean rolling in. We fell asleep right away but woke up in the morning wet from the night’s dew and the humidity that was already making both our heads of hair very curly!! We drove on into New Orleans since it was still too early to find a hotel where we were. We were so happy to find the sweetest hotel called St. Ann’s just a few blocks from the French Quarter. Luckily they had a room for us to stay for the next few days but it wouldn’t be available for a few more hours. We were so excited to start exploring so we used the lobby restroom and did the best we could to make ourselves presentable for the day. We actually thought our hair looked pretty good with all the new found curls we’d found! Off we went to have breakfast at Brennan’s who’s specialty is Eggs Benedict, but so is my sister’s and I’m not convinced their’s was as good as hers. That can be another blog for later if she will share her secrets. After eating, antiquing was fun, mostly by looking through the windows. We walked and talked and spied through every courtyard fence we could. By now the heat was at its worse so we retired to our hotel and enjoyed swimming in our own little court yard and rested for the upcoming evening events. New Orleans takes on such a different face at nighttime. The music was jazz and you could here the piano and saxophone sounds over the rest of the instruments anywhere you stood and we knew we weren’t in Kansas anymore! We stopped by the Court of Two Sisters for their famous grasshopper drinks and onto a sweet hidden away little restaurant where we shared red beans and rice and shrimp gumbo with the best French bread ever! When we got out our map to see where we wanted to go next it was dark and hard to see, but all of a sudden we had a lot of light to read by and were looking over the map when a waiter came by and poured water on us to put out the fire from where the map was too close to the candle that was sitting on our table. Leaving there we were wide awake and decided to stop by Pat O’Brien’s and do as the regular’s do and enjoy a Mint Julep before bed. The next day we tried more new restaurants and new menu selections. How do you decide between Shrimp Po’Boy and Louisiana Jambalaya, Cajun “Dirty” Rice or Crawfish Étouffée ? But we still think the best we ate was our first dinner there and wanted to share these recipes with you. You could always put on some jazz music and throw Mardi Gras beads on the table. Shrimp File’ Gumbo This is a good dish for you to get out your old “heirloom” black iron skillet and use it now that they are saying it’s good for us. Put in 1/2 cup vegetable oil and add 1/2 all purpose flour, sauté till brown Add 1 large onion and 1 medium green pepper, 2 stalks celery all chopped, 6 green onions, thinly sliced, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 6 cups water, 2 cups shrimp stock or bottled clam juice, add 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley and 1 teaspoon cayenne Cook for 30 minutes Add 3 lb shrimp & 1 1/2 file’ powder Cook uncovered 5 minutes more Serve over rice with salt and pepper.
Red Beans and Rice Put 12 oz of dried red beans in crock pot and cover over beans about 1 inch Cook all night with a ham bone The next morning take out the bone and put in a new large pot. Add 1 lg onion, 1 medium green pepper and 1 stalk celery, all chopped Add 2 bay leaves, 1/2 t pepper,1/2 t dried thyme Cook on medium heat for 30 minutes Add 12 oz smoked sausage, cook another 5 minutes Serve on hot rice and top with chopped fresh parsley and green onions and all the hot sauce you want.
Look what I found at the little fresh market close to me?? I didn’t even know they grew that way! All these little sprouts hanging from a single stalk. Even the man selling them said he used to think they were tiny cabbages and felt sorry for the poor farmers that couldn’t wait for the them to grow because they needed the money so badly. Well, I never even liked them myself no matter how many times Mom tried to get me to. My only connection was that my Dad bought a cane made from the stalk when he was in Hawaii one time. It was varnished and with all the knots on it, it was beautiful and made for him many interesting conversations. Since I had never eaten them fresh, it was my duty. I cut the little sprouts off, cooked them in a small amount of salted water for 15 minutes and they were delicious. Mom would be so proud. I added some butter with salt and pepper. Hollandaise sauce, white cream sauce or melted cheese adds a good taste also. I have the stalk hanging to dry so who knows what I will do with it next. Maybe you will see me at craft fairs selling Brussel sprout canes!!
My sister I are two and a half years apart in age so we grew up very close. That wasn’t necessarily true at first though. When our mother became pregnant with her I was told I was getting a playmate and when this tiny little thing came along, mom always delivered her babies a month or more early which made all of us even smaller than usual, I wanted to send her back. How could she ever be someone I could play with? She couldn’t feed herself or run around or do anything I liked to do! But as time passed and she grew she indeed became my best friend. We spent summer evenings outside on lawn chairs looking at the stars until we fell asleep. We would get to go stay with our maternal grandparents on their farm in West Virginia for weeks at a time and since we had each other we didn’t get homesick. We would sing together as a family for churches all around our area since our parents were so musical they had many requests and enjoyed sharing their talents that way. We would also spend many hours with paper dolls in our bedroom on Sunday afternoons. When one would get the mumps or chicken pox the other would join in and share the misery. It didn’t matter where our parents would take us because we had each other to be with and that made everything fun. So when my sister fell in love and married a man who lived in California we neither one gave any thoughts about the distance. With phone calls, letters and trips we continued our sisterhood just like it always was. In fact she has introduced to all of us many things like fruits we’d never heard of or seen! Chinese dishes that looked very strange and all the wonderful places we’ve seen in the west is all due to her wanting to share with us the new and wonderful things she’d experienced. For one of our Christmas’s she gave all of us crepe makers and flew in to show us how to use them. You can buy crepes frozen now and it makes this a fun and easy dessert and I even fix them for breakfast sometimes!
You will need the crepes. Lay them flat and fill half the crepe with any combination of fresh fruit. My sister says the secret ingredient comes next and that’s to put a little brown sugar on the fruit. Spray with whipped cream and fold over, add a little more cream on top and finish with a little extra fruit for looks!
For several years after I moved to the south I worked at craft fairs. It was a fun thing to do on the weekends and making a little extra cash was good too. We would get up early so we’d be there to fix breakfast for the other crafters and artists. One morning they must have been hungrier than usual and we were running out of sausage and biscuits. Being from the north I happened to have bagels with me so I spread cream cheese on them with raisins, nuts and dates on top. Put them under the oven for a few minutes and yummy!!
My dear friends, Dr. Bob and Evelyn Barnard, turned a lovely Southern Colonial home in Wilmore, Kentucky into an even lovelier Bed and Breakfast. It was a family affair. Bob had been a chaplain in the army and they lived in Europe for two of their tours When he retired and they moved back to Kentucky their oldest daughter Kimberly, thought it would be a perfect time for them to use the beautiful antiques they had collected over there. She was in law school and felt she could help manage the business. Their other daughter, Krista and her husband Todd Padgett were there to help with their talents also. So with broom in one hand and a hammer in the other they went about what looked like tearing up more than fixing up at first. Up came carpets and down went hardwood floors. Up came old bathroom fixtures and down went new ones. Down came the old dusty, heavy drapes replaced by beautifully handmade ones, a gift to them by friends, Clara Bleier, Georgia Hall and Barbara Crouse. As a family they did most of the work themselves, hiring contractors only to build the large sunroom with its own bathroom and the brick back porch with a hot tub. The front of the house had four white columns and rose gardens all around. Evie’s specialty is gardening and the heat never bothers her either! Her roses grow very well and a special thing about them is they are cuttings from her own home place in Georgia. So you can see why “rose” is in the B&B name. Each room is decorated differently yet they have in common all the antique furniture from Europe they carefully repaired for others to enjoy , the English lace that covers the windows and of course there are touches of roses in each room. Either in a china cup and saucer or hand blown glass roses sitting on night stands. When the roses are in bloom she cuts them and puts them in the rooms. Her roses still have that wonderful fragrance since they haven’t been cross bred. Even with all this charm though maybe the best part of staying there are the delicious breakfasts they provide each morning. I have a couple for you to try and the best thing is that most of the work can be done the night before. They also served endless hot coffee or tea !
APPLE FRENCH TOAST
Preheat oven 400 degrees F
Spray 9×13 pan with oil
Slice one large loaf FRENCH bread in
1/2 inch pieces and place in pan single layer and prick with folk
Beat 8 eggs with 3 cups milk and 1 T
Vanilla and 1/4 cup sugar
Slice 5 tart apples in inch pieces
Pour half the egg mixture onto the
Place the apples on top the bread
Pour the rest of the egg mixture on
Top the apples
Mix 1/2 cup sugar with 2 T cinnamon
Sprinkle on top and dot with 2 T butter
Bake 40 minutes or till done
PEACH FRENCH TOAST
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Spray 9×13 pan with oil
Slice one French bread loaf into 1 1/2
Inch slices, spread both sides with
Cream cheese and place in pan
And prick both sides of bread
Open large can peaches and drain
Place peaches on top of bread with
Mix 8 eggs and 3 cups of milk with 2 T
Maple syrup and 1/2 cup sugar
Pour on the egg mixture and bake 35
To 40 minutes.
Serve both with the syrup of your choice. Heating the syrup adds a nice touch.
My brother, Jonathan, has always loved plants. It started when he was very young and would go into the woods behind our house and stay for hours. He would come back with all sorts of things from berries to mushrooms. As the years passed his knowledge grew from reading everything he could get his hands on about fruits and vegetables. He grew cantaloupes from drying his own seeds and heirloom tomatoes he would special order. The whole neighborhood wanted his tomatoes since they tasted so unusually flavorful and wanted to know his secret. When asked he would talk as if they were human and say things like “Don’t over water the plants that will cause the roots to rot and wait till they bow their heads and ask.” Or “It helps the roots to become stronger when they have to grow deep in search of water.” Having a green thumb didn’t run in the family . I’m lucky though because I still get to enjoy his! Here is a picture of just one of his tomato plants.
Brandon Yaussy, one of my nephews, loves the Caprese Salad so this is for you!
Make layers in any design you like. Sprinkle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Put in refrigerator till ready to serve.
For several years my brother Jonathan and I were the primary caregivers for our mother. In June, 2013, she passed away at 91 years old. It was expected but still very painful. Her mind was so active. She kept up with current events, politics, and helped with meal planning and preparations. She kept our family Christ focused with devotions, prayers, and very wise counsel. In her Seneca Indian heritage she would have been chief if that had been allowed! In her family she was the first one to achieve a college education. Her goal was to help her siblings and cousins to obtain the same opportunity for a Christian college education. This involved not only monetary sacrifice but often times sharing a room in her home.
As I matured, Mama became an even stronger role model to me. In handling her estate, I discovered the charities and missions she supported throughout her life. This new knowledge created a desire in me to see first hand where her money had been invested on missions fields.
In September, still mourning for Mama and draped in her jewelry, I left Atlanta, GA for Paris on my European mission trip with Equestrian Chaplaincy International (ECI).
Bob and Evie Barnard met me at the Paris airport along with our French hostess and missionary friend,Simone. Pascal and Simone Vermes have a unique ministry in Paris with European refugees.
The Lord used this ministry to help me focus on others as Mother always did. It’s my understanding that in France, the residents are taxed on what they own so whole estates are often given to the mission to resell for refugee support. Many of these refugees left their countries without official documents, personal belongings, or family. I observed a personal happiness at the mission because they are given jobs at the resale shops for their bed and food. As a group, they have to prepare their food and eat together. They were not just given welfare! Seeing these refugees coping helped with the mending of my own spirit.
Simone took us to this mission many times as Pascal worked there.
I hunted among the donated items for treasures in remembrance of Mama. A special French teapot is now in my guest room at home – a reminder of her and my monetary support for this refugee mission.
Simone spent time teaching me to cook French dishes. Two of them are listed below.
French Chicken in Cream Sauce
Saute’ with seasoned salt and black pepper 2 pounds of thinly sliced chicken.
Saute’ fresh sliced mushrooms.
Stir in 2 or more cups of heavy cream.
Put in a baking dish.
Topped with grated Swiss cheese.
Bake a 350 degrees until hot and bubbly.
Serve with rice and fresh mixed vegetables (saute’d in olive oil with a little butter for taste, salt, pepper, garlic, herbs, etc.)
Chocolate Tart (French Chocolate Cake)
(1 gram = 0.35 oz.)200 Grams (7 oz) of dark chocolate Melt in microwave with 200 grams (7 oz) of butter Add 220 grams (7.7 oz) of brown or white sugar Mix with whisk in bowl Leave on counter for 10 minutes Add 5 eggs – one at a time, mixing in each separately Mix in 1 Tbs of flour with no lumps Place parchment paper in large tort (tart) pan, pour in batter mix Bake at 200 degrees C. (390 F) for 22 minutes – no more!