Food on Fridays...Thanksgiving Tidbits and a China Cabinet Tour :)

I love Ann Kroeker's Food on Friday carnival!  With the completely random way my mind seems to work these days, her "any post remotely related to food is welcome" invitation makes me feel right at home. :)

For various reasons, we've made a tradition the past few years of having Thanksgiving dinner at the Cracker Barrel.  I know that one day we'll get back to cooking the traditional huge feast at home, but it's been nice the past few years to let someone else do the cooking and clean-up and just enjoy time with family.  (Not to mention the fact that I am the only one in my family who truly enjoys traditional Thanksgiving fare, so it's handy for everyone to get what they like. :))

I did do a bit of "Thanksgiving" cooking, though...my MIL's yummy pumpkin bars, and an egg cup "recipe"
which I first heard of from a message board friend, but have since seen variations of in several places.  We had these for breakfast before we went downtown to help serve food to the homeless yesterday morning.   (Recipes to follow.)

(My apologies for the blurry photo...we were in a bit of a hurry, and this was the best I could get. :))

We actually pulled out the "good china" for our quick breakfast yesterday morning.  A year or more ago, a friend gave us a china cabinet.  I immediately put it to use for books and "school stuff", dashing Billy's plans of actually having *china* in it.  After acquiring a couple of additional secondhand/hand-me-down bookcases for the books, I finally decided that Billy was right, and it was time to pull out all my grandmother's dishes and use the china cabinet for its intended purpose.

We are all *loving* having the dishes not only on display, but available to actually use.

When we got married, we didn't register for china, as I already had china from my grandmother.  We registered for everyday ware in a pattern my Papaw Brown had actually started buying for me when I was a little girl, Pfaltzgraff Yorktowne.   I don't have many of the serving pieces, but I love the ones I have.  :)

The blue dishes were my dad's cousin Anna Beth's.  Anna Beth was a huge influence on my life and one of my most-admired relatives.  I love these dishes because they were hers...and also just because, well, I like them. :)   They are Iroquois Casual.   Granny Kitty also had a set of Iroquois Casual in Nutmeg.  My mom has them now, but they are relocating to my house as soon as we can get them moved across town. :)  I'm hoping to pick up thrifted or garage sale pieces of the Iroquois Casual in these and other colors to mix and match with.

The pie plate was Granny Kitty's...no special story behind it, I just thought the colors were pretty with the blue Iroquois. :)

My "china".  Granny Kitty had more china than anyone I know.  She had sets for each one of her grandchildren (all 5 of us), and then some extras as well.  From the time we were small, we knew exactly who was to have each set.  Mine was the Johnson Brothers "Coaching Scenes".  I've always loved it.

"Moss Rose" dessert set, also from Granny Kitty.  I have less than half of it "out" now...there are enough cups and saucers for an entire army to have tea, I think. :)   When Billy and I got married, she gave us the radio cabinet that these were in in the dining room.  We got to take these with it. :)

I have always loved this chocolate pot.  It came to us with the dessert set.

Random piece of Johnson Brothers "Merry Christmas"...the one and only piece I have, and I'm not sure what the story is behind it.  I would love to find some more at a bargain someday!

The lemonade pitcher was a wedding gift.  It doesn't really "go" with the rest, but I had nowhere else to put it, as I was reorganizing the cabinet it used to be in. :)  The chocolate-dipped strawberry ornaments were a gift from a  friend who once upon a time decided I needed to collect strawberries, due to one of those "long story and you kinda had to be there" things.  :)  They are *very* breakable and I would never dare put them on a Christmas tree.  They've been in a box for safe-keeping for years and I decided it was time to get them out where I could enjoy them.  They make me smile. :)

And that concludes our china cabinet tour.

Here are the recipes for the sum total of my Thanksgiving cooking this year...:)

Carol's Pumpkin Bars

2 c. sugar
1 c. oil
2 c. pumpkin
4 eggs
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 c. flour

Mix dry ingredients and set aside.  Mix oil, sugar, pumpkin, and eggs.  Add dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Pour into greased jelly roll pan.  Bake 25 min. at 350.


3 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 stick oleo, softened
1 tbsp. cream
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar (more if needed)

Mix and spread on cooled bars.  (My MIL's note says she doubles the frosting recipe.  I do, too. :)  I think it would be hard to cover the bars with the frosting recipe as written.)  Freezes well.

Egg Cups

(This is another one of those *not really a recipe* recipes :))

Grease muffin tins and preheat oven to 400.  Sprinkle meat, cheese, and/or veggies in bottom of muffin cups.  (See below.)   Whisk together eggs (I used about 10 for 12 regular muffin cups), milk (I think I used about 1/2 to 3/4 cup), and salt, pepper, and desired spices/herbs (I just used salt and pepper yesterday, but I can think of all kinds of combinations that would be good :)) WELL.  (My kids were a bit icked out by the fact that I was in a hurry and didn't get the eggs whisked quite well enough...there were still very discernible pockets of egg white showing, which is a no-no at our house! :))  Pour egg mixture over meat/veggies in muffin cups, and bake for 20 minutes.

You can use any combination of meats/cheese/veggies in these.  I've read all kinds of variations.  Because I was in a hurry, I used Hormel real bacon pieces and shredded cheddar cheese.  I plan to try sausage and/or ham next.  You could also add onions, peppers, etc.  Other variations I've seen include using shredded hash browns in the bottom with the meat/cheese, or lining the muffin cup with a biscuit before adding the other ingredients.   These can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen and then reheated.  I've even heard that some people like them cold.  Not sure about that myself...I don't do cold eggs. :)

For more Food on Fridays, visit Ann Kroeker.


Give Thanks!

Spurgeon says of this Psalm, "A Psalm of Praise; or rather of thanksgiving. This is the only psalm bearing this precise inscription. It is all ablaze with grateful adoration, and has for this reason been a great favourite with the people of God ever since it was written."   (See more Spurgeon commentary on this Psalm here.  Excellent reading for Thanksgiving!) 

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before His presence with singing.

 Know ye that the LORD He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.

 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.

 For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations.

Photo courtesy of slbrwn @ stock.xchng

A National Day of Thanksgiving

Proclamation of Thanksgiving
by the President of the United States of America

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful years and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the Source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the field of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than theretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

In testimony wherof I have herunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
A. Lincoln


Presidential Proclamation

In doing some research with the kids today about the history of Thanksgiving, I was fascinated to find that not only did President Lincoln issue a proclamation in 1863 setting aside the last Thursday in November as a Day of Thanksgiving, but earlier that year he had issued a proclamation setting aside a National Fast Day.

Did I know about this before?  Surely at some point in all my American history reading I read about this proclamation, but if so, it is currently lost in a sea of brain fog.   I read this in amazement today, realizing again how far our country has come.  Would that we had such wise, courageous, and humble leaders today!

Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day
March 30, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation.

And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.

And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.  All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty seventh.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward, Secretary of State.

(Photo courtesy scidmail @ stock.xchng)


In "Other" Words...Truly Thankful

“As we express our gratitude,
we must never forget that the highest appreciation
is not to utter words,
but to live by them.”

~John F. Kennedy

The above quote was chosen for this week's In "Other" Words by Tami at The Next Step.  Please visit her to add your own thoughts or to see what others have shared this week.  

The message of the quote above has been hitting me from all directions this week.

From my Sunday morning sermon notes (on Romans 1:21-24):

"Thanklessness is one of the surest marks of a rebellious and unregenerate heart."

In pointing out that "going through the motions is not thankfulness",  Bro. Kent mentioned this prayer from the old Jimmy Stewart movie, "Shenandoah"...

“Lord, we cleared this land. We plowed it, sowed it, and harvested it. We cooked the harvest. It wouldn’t be here and we wouldn’t be eatin’ it if we hadn’t done it all ourselves. We worked dog-bone hard for every crumb and morsel. But we thank you just the same for this food we’re about to eat. Amen.”

Obviously an intentionally-blatant example of "going through the motions".   They're everywhere.  Just yesterday, a friend sent an email about an apparently well-known actress/comedienne (whom I had never heard of ;-)) who very openly ridiculed Jesus during an Emmy award speech a couple of years ago.  What the actress said was appalling, but what was almost more appalling to me was her description of the intent behind it.  From what I have read about this actress, she makes no pretense about being very anti-Christian.  Her words were grievous, but hardly surprising, considering her beliefs.  However, during the controversy that ensued, she indicated that the comments she made were meant as a satire of celebrities who go on and on thanking Jesus for their awards, especially when they themselves are controversial.  As I read, I couldn't help but understand a bit...to a non-Christian, seeing others whose lives don't show any true fruit of Christianity standing up and "thanking Jesus" for their awards, must seem terribly ridiculous.  Actually, it should seem ridiculous to anyone who stops and thinks about it.  

We encounter more "ordinary" and perhaps less blatant examples of "going through the motions" of giving thanks every day.  People everywhere will this week celebrate "Thanksgiving" without once truly "giving thanks" to the One to whom all thanks is due...the One who created us, gave us life, provided every blessing we experience, and most of all, provided the free gift of salvation through the death and resurrection of His Son.   

Bro. Kent read this verse from Psalm 138 Sunday morning in contrasting true thankfulness with "going through the motions":

"I will give you thanks with all my heart" 

"All my heart".  That is the key, I think, to true thankfulness.  If we are truly thankful with our whole hearts, we will not just be uttering words or going through the motions; our thankfulness will be evident in all that we do. 

This Thanksgiving I want to truly give Him thanks with all my heart.  

Psalm 138
 I will give You thanks with all my heart;
          I will sing praises to You before the gods.

 I will bow down toward Your holy temple
          And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
          For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.

 On the day I called, You answered me;
          You made me bold with strength in my soul.

 All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O L
          When they have heard the words of Your mouth.

 And they will sing of the ways of the L
          For great is the glory of the L

 For though the L
ORD is exalted,
          Yet He regards the lowly,
          But the haughty He knows from afar.

 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
          You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
          And Your right hand will save me.

 The L
ORD will accomplish what concerns me;
          Your lovingkindness, O L
ORD, is everlasting;
          Do not forsake the works of Your hands.


Simple Woman's Daybook..Thanksgiving Week!

November 23, 2009

Outside my window... Sunshine!  I am loving the warmth of this fall so far.

I am thinking... about holiday plans and musical preparations!

I am thankful for... God's love, which never changes...no matter how much our circumstances do.

I am wearing... Gray fleece pullover, black pants, and fuzzy slippers :)

I am remembering... 5 years ago this time, when we were spending our last few precious weeks with my dad.  So many other things going on during that same time...the beginning of a 5-year-roller coaster!  A friend and I were reflecting last night on the *radical* changes so many of us have gone through during those years.  So thankful for the many reminders of God's love and faithfulness along with all the craziness, and for the things He has taught us about Himself through it all.

I am going... to try to keep the momentum going on projects around the house this week.  We got a lot accomplished last week, considering schedule and health issues, and it felt so good to make progress!   Looking forward to more progress this week (including creating a spot to put up the Christmas tree this weekend...:))

I am reading... finishing up The Year of Living Like Jesus, by Ed Dobson (I completely missed the review tour date on this, so I'm scrambling to get a review up in the next day or two...eek!), and Raising Children to Adore God, by Patrick Kavanaugh (I have been reading this on and off forever, and hope to post a bit about it one of these days.)  Also started, again, When All Hell Breaks Loose, You May Be Doing Something Right; Surprising Insights from the Book of Job, by Steve Lawson.  I've read bits and pieces of this at various times in the last couple of years, but am reading cover to cover this time. :)

I am hoping... for nice weather this week, particularly on Thursday.

On my mind... So many friends going through major "storms of life" right now, and friends dealing with various  grief issues this time of year.  Trying to remember always to turn my worry and hurt for them into prayers...I seem to constantly need to re-learn that lesson!

From the learning rooms... Prepping for our Advent Study so that we can start *on time*. :)  Focus on "Gratefulness" this week.

Noticing that... I'm being reminded more and more often these days of my age...former classmates becoming grandparents, being reminded during a church announcement that I no longer am a "mother of small children", and my 41st birthday rapidly approaching.  Not sure why these things are affecting me so much these days, as I have never seen myself as being particularly sensitive or worried about my own aging.  Hmm.

Pondering these words... "Heaven is often silent.  In such times [of suffering], the only answer God gives is a deeper revelation of Himself.  We learn that He is the answer we seek.  Ultimately, we must not trust a plan, but a Person.  In the face of chaos and confusion, we trust a personal God who is sovereign, wise, and good.  In these times, God invites us to learn who He is.  Only in knowing Him do we find the adequate resources to endure and conquer." ~ R.C. Sproul, in the forward to Steven Lawson's When All Hell Breaks Loose.

From the kitchen... Leftovers of Billy's yummy Alfredo Bacon Meatball pizza for lunch today. :)  Need to find my MIL's Pumpkin Bar recipe to make later in the week.  Looking forward to a big pot of chili tomorrow.  Planning to try a couple of new breakfast recipes this week...I'll post afterward if we like them. :)

Around the house... Trying hard to focus on the progress and not how much more needs to be done!  And to "keep on keeping on" with it.

One of my favorite things~ "Anonymous" notes from my Emlyn left on my desk with her sweet little drawings. :)

From my picture journal... 

For the first time since we've had this china cabinet, it actually has china in it (instead of books :)).  Yet another instance of Billy being right (he usually is! :)), and we are all enjoying the change so much.  (Hopefully I'll post the rest of that story soon.)


Simple Woman's Daybook...

November 16, 2009

Outside my window...Dark and cold.  It's almost bedtime as I'm typing this.
I am thinking... about how long it has been since I've posted!  Billy has been prodding me daily to "post something new", and a friend posted an FYI on Facebook today that I hadn't posted since October 29.  Eeek!   Brain fog has hit hard the past few weeks, and I've actually started a few posts that are still in draft. :-/
I am thankful for... mild weather!  It's been so wonderful to make it until the middle of November without needing heat!
From the learning rooms... Barebones basics right now, although we'll be doing some Thanksgiving *stuff* later this week and the first of next.
From the kitchen... Billy's been doing a lot of cooking lately, which has been such a blessing.   He is a great cook, he loves it, and it's always an adventure when he is in the kitchen! :)
I am wearing.... Razorback sweats...the house has gotten pretty chilly this evening.
I am creating... I finally made a new blog header this morning.  I'm still not terribly happy with it, but at least I got *last* Thanksgiving's photos down before this Thanksgiving!  Hopefully I'll have time to tweak it (or overhaul it completely) soon. :)
I am going... to be practicing piano like a madwoman in the next few weeks.  Our children's choir musical is coming up *way* too fast, and I've got lots of work to do. :)
I am reading... The Year of Living Like Jesus, for a book review.  Interesting reading so far.
I am hearing... Billy on the phone with his dad (he paces when he talks...and he keeps trekking through the dining room, where I am :)), and children getting ready for bed.
Around the house... Trying to figure out where in the world we are going to put a Christmas tree in the living room this year. I've got some serious re-arranging to do in there!
One of my favorite things... Seeing my children's excitement and generosity as they get ready for Christmas.  (They are almost finished with their gifts...I haven't started on mine! )
A few plans for the rest of the week:  Choir x2 on Wednesday,  the girls' GA Thanksgiving Dinner on Saturday,  Thanksgiving Dinner at church on Sunday, and a trip to the library at some point.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...  We did a little photo shoot out at the National Historic Site on Saturday.  Hopefully I'll get the rest uploaded soon. :)

To see what others are doing this week, visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook

I ♥ Faces...Autumn Beauty

Billy and the kids indulged me this weekend with some "photo play" time at the National Historic Site downtown.   I was sad that I missed most of the gorgeous fall photo opportunities due to our spending all of October and part of November in chicken pox quarantine, but we did manage to capture just a bit of the beautiful fall this has been.

I was tickled to realize this morning that this week's I ♥ Faces theme is "Autumn Beauty. The criteria are that the photo contain a face, and some autumn color (of any kind, not necessarily foliage).

I'll share more of these in another post, but this one of the girls was one of my favorites that contained a bit of *real* autumn color. :)

To see more I Faces entries, or to participate, visit the I Faces blog.