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
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.
(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. :)
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