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Welcoming CommitteeDirector of Happiness
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Thanksgiving Weekend Update 2011


I love it when I am at home for 4 days, and it easily feels like twice that.  For the 1st time ever, it was just the four of us.  No one came into town - and Eva, Norm, Ryan, and Mama went to Florida to see Joey and Norman's brother's family. 

I kinda enjoyed the simplicity of just us.


Gregg and I got up bout 9 am Thanksgiving Day & started cooking, so we could watch the Packers vs Lions at 12:30 and have our Thanksgiving meal afterwards.  Gregg had brined the 2 turkey breasts the day before.  We used the big daddy SMW and "baked" them at a high temp of 325 using our cherry and apple wood.


I prepared the roasted garlic parm mashed taters.

I used 3 heads of our garlic for like 6 taters!!


Gregg and I both helped to get the brussell sprouts gratin ready. 

Gregg went down to the garden to get the brussell sprouts 

and I prepared the homemade bread crumbs that would go on top.

This dish also has crunchy bacon & parm on top as well as the toasted bread crumbs. 

  Gregg made the cranberry orange sauce and the gravy. 


Norman had given us some chestnuts a month or so back, not sure what to do with them; so they sat in a bowl til now.  Gregg poked a small hole in the shell and boiled them and then peeled the shells off and chopped them.  He added them to the stuffing and wow!! 


What a sweetness they added, and a wonderful texture as well.

 I think we will always use them in our stuffing from now on, thanks Norman!! 


I baked some of our delicata squash and

Gregg made a wonderful salad with our fennel and zucchini with olive oil, lemon juice & feta


Friday was beautiful!  Hard to believe that it is the end of November

and it was 75° and sunny outside!!  

 I just about finished weeding the bed we are going to plant garlic in tomorrow. 

We usually plant garlic in December (and harvest in June), but last year it snowed and it snowed and it never went away for a month, so we are going to plant a tad early.  Saturday is gonna be almost 60 and perfect for planting garlic!! 






Saturday, time to plant the garlic!!  Gregg went out earlier while I helped Sawyer with a school project.  He turned the soil while adding ashes from the fireplace,  green sand & rock phosphate.  By the time I made it to the garden, he was finished~ready to plant! 



Saturday we had our Thanksgiving meal again, and glad to not have to cook.

We all ended up going to bed about 10:00 after watching a mini marathon

of the "Big Bang Theory".

Woke at 10 am Sunday morning ......... wow, a 12 hour nap, nice! 

The kids slept in just about as long.

Decided to take the two turkey breast carcasses, laden with the apple and cherry wood infusion, and make a turkey stock.  Gregg found a wonderful recipe for a Ribollita Soup.  From our garden, we used: our early red Italian garlic, Red Russian Kale, Crowder peas, and a jar of 2009 canned maters.  We had all the ingredients except for the potatoes,

so I made the stock Sunday morning. 


almost there, now add add carrots, peas (half are mashed to thicken)

I have toasted some French bread to add soon .............


 let the toasted french bread cubes absorb the flavors and top with a bit of

grated parmesan reggiano, what a nice layer of flavor!

Zach had two bowls and Gregg three,

I have earned my nickname "The Soup Queen"  ....

my belly is more full than after our Thanksgiving meal,

 Now to the loft for some snuggling,

then back to reality tomorrow. 

I hope each and everyone of you had the chance to enjoy family,

makes some memories,

share some wonderful food and relax.




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