Thanksgiving Week

We all have a lot to be thankful for, but many of us seem to only think of these things at this time of year. Why is that? I don’t know, but maybe has something to do with how busy we are, or think we are. Easy to overlook the little things when we are running ragged trying to get through our lives.

I believe my life has slowed down significantly in the last several years, and for that I’m thankful. I love my family, I’m thankful for my husband and three awesome sons. I tolerate my job, which helps pay for our life, and for that I’m thankful. The house we were able to purchase last year is a dream come true, and I’m thankful for that each and every day.

Let’s all take a moment and be thankful. Yes, Thanksgiving is about the food, the family, the travel to see relatives…but also about the beginnings of this amazing country we all call home. I agree, there are things that need change in America, but I’m not going to list those here because we wouldn’t agree on them all anyway. If we support each other, embrace our differences, and treat each other with kindness, I believe we might just find even more things to be Thankful for.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!

Grandma Leona’s Stuffing

What’s the difference between stuffing and dressing?  I don’t know, but I certainly cannot have Thanksgiving dinner without Grandma Leona’s Sausage Stuffing with my turkey.

I made a batch of it this morning. This is the real deal folks, homemade bread stuffing. The process started two days ago when I took a loaf of bread out of the bag and arranged it in my giant stainless steel bowl to dry out.  This is the point when the holidays begin to feel real to me…and my husband begins his eye-rolling exercises because I become a ten-year-old as I dive head first into preparations and decorating.

Making this famous stuffing really is not difficult.  It starts when I nervously get my scary sharp kitchen scissors to cut the bread into cubes. (Nervous because once I nipped the end of my little finger with these while trimming a rose stem…six stitches!) Then I sprinkle all the spices on the bread cubes…lots of sage, ground black pepper, garlic powder, and salt.  I beat an egg and pour over the cubes.  I love cooking diced onion in butter, it smells delicious to me.  That gets mixed with the sausage after its browned, and mixed into the bread cubes. Moisten it all with chicken broth and make sure it is mixed well.

This is where my version parts ways with Grandma’s.  Instead of jamming all this goodness into the turkey, I warm it in the crock pot.  I keep it from drying out by drizzling chicken broth over it while it heats through.  Hey…I think I just figured out the stuffing versus dressing thing!

All this has me feeling nostalgic.  We had wonderful feasts when I was a kid.  Grandma and my Mom would tag team it, creating the most amazing meals.  Strange maybe, but one of my most vivid memories is of Grandma’s gravy boat.  It’s part of her set of Franciscan China in the Apple pattern.  This year, I am setting the table with Grandma’s dishes, that cute gravy boat included!

I learned to create those awesome meals for my husband and sons.  I like to think Grandma would be proud of me!