Thursday, November 28, 2013

Countdown to Thanksgiving - Thanksgiving Day

Today marks the final day for the Countdown to it is Thanksgiving Day. This year is the first year in 18 years that I haven't hosted Thanksgiving at the farm (minus the two years we were in China over Thanksgiving for Sophia's and Olivia's adoptions).

My Mom wanted to have it her home since being a passenger on the 50-mile trip here is taxing for her, not to mention the challenges she has with mobility and vision in a home that isn't her own.

Needless to say, it didn't quite feel like Thanksgiving because I wasn't up early making my Dad's recipe for dressing, getting a turkey in the oven, and preparing salads, vegetables, and breads.

However, it was a welcome break in the sense that I could relax and not make a meal for 15 people. My sister, her sons, and Mom did that instead this year. It ended up being a really great Thanksgiving - lots of laughter and conversation. The girls and their four younger cousins sat together for dinner, and had so much fun talking and playing with one another.

Family picture on Thanksgiving.

So, we did our final activities for this year's countdown.

Activity for the Day: 

The focus of today was to help someone without being asked. Sophia and Olivia played with their cousins - essentially babysitting them for our entire time at my Mom's home.

I helped my Mom and sister with dinner preparations once I arrived at my Mom's home.

Thanksgiving Fact: 

Mashed potatoes, pumpkin pies, popcorn, milk, corn on the cob, and cranberries were not foods present on the first Thanksgiving's feast table.

Lobster, rabbit, chicken, fish, squashes, beans, chestnuts, hickory nuts, onions, leeks, dried fruits, maple syrup and honey, radishes, cabbage, carrots, eggs, and goat cheese are thought to have made up the first Thanksgiving feast.

Gratitude Quote: 

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanksgiving Joke: 

Knock, knock.
(Who's there?)
(Dewey who?)
Dewey have to wait long to eat?


Make something to bring to the Thanksgiving meal. Since all the major components were taken care of by my Mom, I made two quick breads (banana and pumpkin spice). The banana bread is once I make each year and is from my Dad's mom. The pumpkin spice bread is a new recipe.

Banana Bread.

Banana Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, well-beaten
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 bananas, mashed (I used 4 very ripe bananas)
1/3 cup chopped pecans (I didn't add these)

Cream butter and sugar in bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs; mix well. Sift in flour and baking soda. Stir in bananas and pecans. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Yield: 12 servings.

Pumpkin Spice Bread.

Pumpkin Spice Bread

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 egg
1 can pumpkin (2 cups)
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
nuts and or raisins may be added (I didn't add either)

Cream together sugar, oil, and egg. Add pumpkin. Stir in flour, soda, salt, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. bake 20 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 12 muffins and 1 loaf pan.

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