Friday, November 27, 2009

A Hardy Survivor

Hey, Y'all,
When I was headed down to the receptacle for our newspaper (which we get on Friday, Saturday and Sunday), I saw with surprise that one of my roses was still blooming. We have had some pretty cold nights recently, and it was a pleasant surprise, indeed. There were also some rosebuds, and not knowing how much longer they would last, I cut the rose and one of the larger and more open buds. I brought them in and placed them in a vase. As you can see from the picture, they are gracing our kitchen/dining room table. It was not long before I was sitting at the table with Gramps, having breakfast. Before I finished eating, I could smell the lovely scent of the rose. What a treat and a blessing! I looked at that rose and thought about what it took for that rose to survive the cold and the wind that blew constantly upon it. Isn't it wonderful that the God who gives us the grace and the hardiness to survive life's storms, also gives the same hardiness to the plants that he created to give beauty to our lives? Thank you, Lord!

Yesterday, we had dinner with Scott, Laurie, Mitch, Olivia and Gabriel, our neighbors. They brought with them the turkey (nicely roasted), mashed potatoes, squash, giblet gravy, jello with cranberries, and we already had here the green beans, rolls, dressing, pumpkin pies, and apple cobbler. Before we ate, Gramps and I recited the 100th Psalm, and then Scott led us in a prayer of Thanksgiving. Then we all dug in and had a great filling meal. We had set up the food in a buffet style on our kitchen counters because our table is not very large, and we are in really close communion around a table with 3 seats added to the four that originally came with the table. Not really crowded, just close. There is always room for more at our table.

After the lunch, (which we ate around 2:30), we cleared up the table, and loaded the dishwasher, took the table cloth off, and the guys (Scott and Gramps) retired to the living room to watch football. Laurie, the kids, and I sat down around the table to play games. We played a round of 'In a Pickle', and then played 'Apples to Apples'. By the time we were through with that game (which I won, by the way), it was time for them to leave. After splitting up the food so that we both families had some of each, they all gave me hugs and left. It had been a wonderful time for all of us.

A note on the Apple cobbler: what I did to flavor the filling, I used about a cup of orange/mango juice, a cup of flour, a half cup of sugar, some ground cloves, some ginger, (don't exactly know how much of them), mixed it all together, then added the thinly sliced apples (6 large granny smith, and 2 large gala that had been heated about 5 minutes in water on the stove after the slicing), which had been drained, and coated them with the mixture, and then poured it all into a pastry-lined 9x13 baking pan. I put some pats of butter on top in a few places. I topped it with strips of pastry and then baked it about an hour at 350 degrees. I didn't really time it, but just kind of kept my eyes on it while I worked on other stuff. It was delicious, by the way, and we will be having some more of it sometime today.

The dressing I made from cornbread that I baked early in the day (no, I didn't go back to bed yesterday morning), and from some slices of white bread that I dried in the oven at 170 degrees for a few minutes until it became hard. I crumbled both the breads and then chopped several pieces of celery and about 1/3 of a large vidalia onion, heating the onion and celery in a pan with a half stick of butter. I then added that to a bowl with 2 cans of swanson chicken broth and a cup of water, a cup of chopped english walnuts, a half/cup of dried cranberries, and some spices (dried parsley, rubbed sage, ground rosemary, ground thyme) all mixed together. Then I mixed everything together and pressed it into the pans and baked it at 350 degrees covered with aluminum foil and after about 30 minutes, I took off the foil and baked it another 15 or 20 minutes to brown some on top. I am an adventurous cook, I am afraid and rarely follow a recipe strictly. I guess that is how new recipes happen, hmmm?

Well, after the early awakening time yesterday, I went to bed around 8;30 and immediately crashed. I only woke up when I heard Gramps moving around in his bed in preparation to getting up to go for his early morning visit to the john. I got up and straightened his bed covers while he was in there. Then when he came back to the bedroom, I helped him cover up and then made my visit. I came back in and slept then until after 7 a.m. Yeay!

And folks, that is about it for today. It's been nice visiting with you. Thanks for reading my blog and much love to each of you. God is good all the time. Bye for now.

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