Thursday, November 26, 2009

Our Thanksgiving Menu

We are finished with the meal, and the house is cleaned up. We had some friends with 5 children over, and two other women visiting. It was a wonderfully peaceful day! I am so glad for the people God has placed in our "family" when we are so far from our real families.

We had a great time preparing for the day, though. The three middle girls went out and picked leaves and berries for decorations. I felt quite like Martha Stewart for making the arrangements.

I wanted to share what we ate, since it was SO good!

Tantilizing, Terrific, Tasty Thanksgiving Turkey (My not so secret recipe... shared below.)

These drippings make the best gravy ever... oh so very yummy.

Of course, we had cranberry sauce (Made by Sara), rolls (plain warm and serve), mashed potatoes (Peeled by Angela and Anna, made by one of the women visiting) and dressing. (From a box. Well, from 4 boxes.)

Then we had:

Carrot Salad (Peeled by Emma, Made by Angela)

Green Beans (I made these)

Sweet Potato Casserole (Peeled by Angela, made by me)

And for dessert:

Pecan Pie (My first time making it... Eric claims it was pretty good but I need to practice more. I think he just wants to eat more!)

Apple Pie (Made by Anna and Emma)

Pumpkin Pie (Made from fresh pumpkin baked by Josiah)


Pumpkin Spice Cake (again, made by Josiah).


Now before you are all impressed and thinking of how we have it all together, I must tell you of our disasters and difficulties. For nothing in my house works easily. Ever.

We were planning dinner at 1 (or so), so I put the turkey in at around 8:30. 2 hours later it was done!!! Yikes!!!


We discovered that we love the taste of fresh ground spices. We have a coffee grinder set aside for that specific purpose. So when I went and broke the budget at Wal-Mart the other day, I bought whole cinnamon sticks and allspice to use in the cakes.

Fast forward to yesterday, and all the sudden we cannot find the coffee grinder for it. Turns out the motor had been burned out the last time it was used, and it was thrown away. I didn't get that memo. So after tearing apart the kitchen, Josiah set to scraping the cinnamon sticks on the fine grater part of the cheese grater.

Just so you know, you have to scrape a long time to get a teaspoon of cinnamon. I finally had him stop and we just added extra ginger and nutmeg. It was a little bland, though.

To top it off, after scraping a lot of the afternoon, Josiah was mixing up the cake. He decided to put some cranberry sauce dripping off his lip, and try to get me to believe that Angela punched him in the mouth. I didn't. But while he was gone, Mercy decided to help spice up the cake. She dumped a WHOLE BOX of Old Spice Seasoning in it.


We fed it to the chickens, and started over. Serves Josiah right for trying to blame the innocent. ;)

No names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Here's my recipe for the greatest turkey you will ever taste. Go ahead and try it sometime. You'll love it.

Tantilizing, Terrific, Tasty Thanksgiving Turkey

1/4 c. dry mustard
2T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. Cider Vinegar
2 1/2 T. Olive Oil
1 t. salt
pinch of black pepper

Mix together to form a paste.
Rub all over inside and out of the turkey the day before cooking.

On Roasting Day place inside turkey:
1 onion
1-2 stalks celery
Few Sprigs parsley

Lay slices of bacon across breast.
Tuck Chunks of butter (one stick) in crevices between legs and body.

Add 1-2 c. water to the bottom of roaster.
Roast covered at 300*.
Baste at least once.

Baking Timetable:
7-10 lbs. - 30 min./ lb.
10-15 lbs. - 20 min./ lb.
15-18 lbs. - 18 min./ lb.
18-20 lbs. - 15 min./ lb.
20-23 lbs. - 13 min./ lb.


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Our lives are so blessed. I'd love you to drop me a comment and let me know how your day went!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My children...

Someone around here is raising some pretty sarcastic kids. I'm thinking it's my husband.

Yesterday I had Josiah with me to help with the Wal-Mart run. (Anyone else think that prices have risen again?!) Anyway. I was telling him about an idea I had run by Eric. I concluded with saying, "But he thought it was a Hair Brained Scheme. And he was probably right." (I am well known for my Hair Brained Schemes.)

Josiah said, "It's not like you are talking about re-arranging furniture or anything."

This scheme was MUCH bigger than re-arranging furniture. But he got my brain thinking about furniture, and the ever present dilemma of how to fit our growing family into the same awkward space. It's not easy.

So, being the good military kid I am, since moving is not an option, I announced that I needed my kids to help me prepare for Thanksgiving (we'll have 22 people here).

Silence descended.

Me: "C'mon, Angela, you won't mind helping me move furniture will you?"

She looked a bit like a deer in headlights.

Josiah: "Your silence is VERY reassuring."

Anna: "Sarcasm- back at ya!"

(Kudos to anyone recognizing the two movies these are quoted from...)

Angela: "Those sofas are pretty heavy!"

Me: "Oh come on. Just until 1:00? Then you can get back to school?"

Josiah: "My arms already hurt."

Anna: "I'm tired."

But being the great kids they are, they all pitched in and we re-arranged. At 2:00 the sofas were all re-arranged and they were heading to their rooms for school.

Hair Brained Scheme accomplished, before Eric came home to tell me I'm nuts.

EP- if you just read that... well, forget it. You'll love it. I promise.

Sun Flare Challenge

We love this series of photos with Sara holding Sam... one of them has this cool sun flare, so I thought I would post it in the I Heart Faces Sun Flare Challenge.


I know it can be tweaked to have better color, but I don't know how to do it. Anyone want to give me tips on how to make it look better? I'd appreciate it.

Go check out the other (really good) photos at: