A Year of Smiles – Day 322: Thanksgiving Countdown

Reason to SMILE and BE THANKFUL #322: PUMPKIN PIE

The only food God intended to be made from pumpkins!

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Just knowing it will be cooling on my mom’s kitchen counter when I arrive at her house on Thanksgiving Day is enough to bring a SMILE to my face.

Mmm. Mmm. Good!

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A Year of Smiles – Day 321: Thanksgiving Countdown

Reason to SMILE and BE THANKFUL #321: THE MENU

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In my family, traditions are sacred. Maybe that’s just part of being a family. We all have our own ways of celebrating the holidays and as we get older and have families of our own, we like to continue those traditions that we hold near and dear. And God forbid we stray from those traditions! You think I’m kidding?

One year, a chunk of my family decided to go to the mountains for Thanksgiving. Those of us who couldn’t afford the trip were left to celebrate on our own. I’ve never felt so abandoned in all of my life! 😉 What in the world was I supposed to do without my family on Thanksgiving! My crew ended up at Cracker Barrel eating with a restaurant full of strangers at a table not nearly big enough to hold our food and no one to share our family stories with. It was sad. I was sad. It was not a Happy Thanksgiving. I do have to admit the food was pretty good (Nothing like mom’s, though!) but I absolutely hated not being able to celebrate Thanksgiving the way it was supposed to be celebrated!

Okay. Maybe I should rephrase my earlier statement. I forbid we stray from traditions. I really like them! 🙂

When it comes to the Thanksgiving menu, it’s no different. The traditional American Thanksgiving meal will do just fine. Turkey, dressing, giblet gravy, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce (I could actually do without the cranberry sauce!), rolls and pecan and pumpkin pies complete the Thanksgiving spread. There are usually a few other dishes depending on what mood some of us are in but for the most part, the meal is quite typical – as it should be. 😉

And every year, the responsibility to prepare each dish is doled out to different family members. Mom takes the big stuff and the rest of us take the side dishes. For the longest time, I was responsible for the rolls and the drinks – nothing that had to be cooked. (If you’ve read any of my posts on cooking, you’d completely understand the wisdom of this choice.) In recent years, however, I’ve been upgraded to the green bean casserole. The added responsibility had nothing to do with improvement in my cooking skills. It was only given to me because my sister, who usually prepared that dish, moved away. (My family has such faith in me! 😉 ) After ten years, I can proudly say that I am now a master at preparing green bean casserole. I can almost make it without looking at the recipe! Hahahaha!

Well, I don’t know about you but our Thanksgiving menu always makes me SMILE. I look forward to the sights, the smells, the tastes and the feeling of misery after stuffing my face with way too much food. Oh, hurry up, Thanksgiving! I can hardly wait!

 

 

A Year of Smiles – Day 320: The Thanksgiving Countdown Begins

Reason to SMILE and BE THANKFUL #320: MOM’S COOKING

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There’s nothing better! Give me a choice between the best dish from the best restaurant anywhere in the world and my mom’s fried pork chops, rice, black-eyed peas and gravy and you better believe I’m choosing my momma’s cookin’! I don’t know how she does it. Any meal she prepares is the best meal in the world as far as I’m concerned. You can’t beat her roast beef, carrots and potatoes, her lemon-pepper chicken or her meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Heck! Even her rice and canned soup is amazing!

Of course, when Thanksgiving rolls around, my taste buds begin their annual protest. No food can satisfy. Nothing tastes good because all they want is Thanksgiving Dinner at mom’s. Now, my mom doesn’t do all the cooking. There’s too many of us to feed and that’s too much to ask. (Although, is it really? Hahahaha! I’m just kidding, Mom! 🙂 ) But I always know who has prepared what and my mom’s dishes are what fills my belly first! (Yes, when it comes to food, I do discriminate!)

You know, I have tried to cook as well as my mom but I never really paid much attention in the kitchen when I was a child. I’ve made her meatloaf, her lemon-pepper chicken and just last night, I made her chili. Guess what. Nothing I prepare tastes anything like the dishes prepared by my mom! Nothing!

That’s the key, isn’t it? It doesn’t matter what the meal is. If it’s prepared by mom, it’s the best food you’ve ever tasted and it always brings a SMILE. Well…

… unless you’re my kids.

It’s a good thing they have their Mamaw!

A Year of Smiles – Day 235

Reason to SMILE #235: COOKING DISASTERS (Might as well SMILE, right?)

I’m trying to hone my cooking skills. Normally, it takes me forever to prepare a meal. If the recipe calls for a preparation time of 30 minutes, it’s guaranteed to take me at least an hour – sometimes longer. 

The evening of the solar eclipse, I decided I’d try to cut down my cooking time by doing two things at once. Cooking rice on the stovetop was one of those things. Now, I must tell you that I’ve always done well with cooking rice. It was one of the first things my mother taught me to cook and I’ve always been able to get it just right until…

I think I’ll stick with preparing one item at a time! I was so upset with myself until I looked into the pot after throwing out the burnt rice and discovered…

… an eclipse!! It has the diamond ring and everything! 😉

My cooking disaster turned into a SMILE and I couldn’t help but share it with my Facebook friends:


Yeah. God’s display in the heavens was so much more impressive, wasn’t it? <giggle, giggle> 😁

A Year of Smiles – Day 163

Reason to SMILE #163: THE 5 SECOND RULE


I was cooking.

Yes, I was cooking.

This has been a year for cooking for me.  I’ve cooked more this year than I’ve ever cooked in my life! It’s strange since the cooking in my house is usually done by someone other than me. But I’ll let you in on a secret.

Are you ready?

Come close because I can’t speak this too loudly…

I really do enjoy cooking!

It’s relaxing and it gives me a sense of accomplishment. Who knew!

I digress.

Tonight, I was bagging a few unneeded cobs of corn to put in the freezer. One slipped from my hand and fell to the kitchen floor. I immediately picked it up and just did catch myself trying to put it in the bag with all the rest. Ewww! I couldn’t help but laugh at myself, though, for the only thing going through my mind at the time was the voice of one of my church kids screaming, “Five second rule!”

It’s times like these when I know I’ve been in children’s ministry entirely too long! But what can I do? It’s my calling and it makes me SMILE – but not when it almost ruins my supper!!