Let’s Do Some Catching Up!

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2015-11-25 14.39.01

Well here we are already onto the last day of November. I had intended on doing at least a couple posts of fabulous Thanksgiving foods for you, but somehow November slipped right by at lightening speed.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Probably the best part for me selfishly, was that I didn’t have to host it.

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My job was to bring the pies and I provided the stuffing and turkey which was roasted at my mom’s house.

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The turkey was a disappointment this year, unfortunately. We have purchased it from the same organic farm for many years without issue so we were shocked that this one did not live up to the expectation. The breasts were very thin, there was little meat on the legs and thighs, and despite it looking like a meaty bird in this picture, it was not. There was also a large layer of fat (ugh) all across the bottom of the bird. Very weird. And quite disappointing considering the cost of an organic 14 pound turkey. I’ve sent them a note with my concerns, so we’ll see how they respond.

The best part of the turkey was the skin. I whizzed up sea salt, fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage in the Nutribullet for a delicious and aromatic rub.

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I made a pumpkin pie and a streusel topped apple pie. They got rave reviews and I made the best coconut milk whipped cream I think I’ve ever made.

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I believe the secret was using the seeds of several vodka soaked vanilla beans and no vanilla extract. It was delicious!

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Prior to Thanksgiving we had a terrible windstorm with almost hurricane level 80 mph winds! It left well over 100,000 people without power for several days, including us.

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We were very lucky though as we didn’t have a tree fall on our house or crush our cars like many people. We also had generators to charge phones, have a little light, and run the refrigerator so we didn’t lose food. Our gas fireplace heated the house very well.

When I was a child I loved eating by candlelight so doing it during a power outage was not a problem.

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We have a gas stove so that made cooking relatively easy with a lamp from the living room for extra light.

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We lost our power for 3 days but many went without for more than 8 days! Crews from all over the country came to our city to help, neighbors came together, and overall even though there was a lot of damage to many neighborhoods, it all went very well.  As soon as the power came back on I hit the kitchen.

Of course!

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I felt like I was in cooking withdrawal for some reason. Those are thin slices of ginger mixed in with the garlic, onions, and mushrooms. Roasted ginger is absolutely delicious!

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Abigail thought it was a special treat for her.

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I made a huge salad, roasted veggies, made a big pot of chicken soup, and home made bread.

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Thanksgiving prep was so easy that two days prior to Thanksgiving when I would normally be up to my earlobes in kitchen and cleaning duties if I had been hosting, I was able to decorate the inside of the house for Christmas.

Then, the day after Thanksgiving, I actually had energy and we were able to enjoy our family tradition of cutting our own tree.

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The Christmas holiday is my absolute favorite time of year and I have lots and lots of decorations. I like to savor the holiday so decorating “early” isn’t a problem for me. You can even hear Christmas music prior to Thanksgiving if you come for a visit.

No Scrooges allowed.

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The ladies at the tree farm make gorgeous swags and wreaths. This one will be perfect for our front door.

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We have two trees again this year. You may remember that we had a little “issue” with the live tree last year... This year, I set my sites on a smaller, more manageable tree. Hopefully it will behave itself and the Russians won’t have to come help me clean up shattered ornaments again.

It even fit nicely in the back of the truck.

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Yesterday was spent decorating both trees. It always seems like such a grand idea to have two trees until it comes time to decorate them, and then of course, take them down. But the in between part is what makes it so special.

This is Tree #1 which is in the sitting room off the kitchen.

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I particularly love early, dark mornings, when I walk downstairs and the house is lit with trees. So gorgeous and peaceful!

This is Tree #2 in the family room.

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I hope all of you are doing well and are enjoying the holiday season!

Thank you so much for the kind words, blog support, and prayers for my health that you all so freely give here on the blog, on Facebook, via personal message, and on Instagram. I appreciate all of you so much. I’m praying December will be a good health month and peaceful for all of us, and that I will be able to bring you lots of fabulous recipe ideas for your holidays.

I will share my Thanksgiving recipes with you tomorrow!

Blessings to you ~ April

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