HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2020

Like most of you, Thanksgiving for us looks very different this year — Mr. G and I will prepare a feast for two as we stay close to our phones to see faces from far away. Though less than ideal, we have learned that love can be conveyed and community built through our mobile devices while we wait for this scary time to pass.

ABOUT THE FOOD…

There is so much about this holiday we can’t control but I CAN control the food! Sooooo, to add additional comfort to the day, we are going full-on family traditional. Our menu:

TURKEY

For the first time, I bought a bone-in turkey breast. We love turkey and as I look at the size, I’m thinking we might not have the leftovers we want.


DRESSING THE MOM WAY

Most everyone in our family says “Dressing the Mom Way” is their favorite. My recipe is a combination of what I learned from my mom and my mother in law. Actually, my daughter and son have now surpassed me in their cooking abilities!! They are both fantastic and creative cooks! I’m wondering do you call it dressing or stuffing?

I especially love this picture of hands – me and my son stirring up the dressing a couple of years ago! 🥰

CHRISTMAS CRAN

A combination of cranberries, apples, and nuts. Trust me it is yummy. (Recipe here.)

NOODLES

Yes, noodles. (An Indiana thing – to put noodles on your mashed potatoes.)

OVERNIGHT SALAD

My most requested side when we have Thanksgiving with friends. It is a very simple overnight salad: Iceberg lettuce, Cauliflower, Red onion in layers. The next layer is a dressing of mayo (Hellman’s always), Parmesan cheese, sugar, salt and pepper. The very top layer is crispy bacon pieces.

MASHED POTATOES

We will be using Bob Evans mashed potatoes. They are really almost as good as homemade.

GRAVY

(Homemade with broth, butter, flour & spices.)

GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

I did a survey on Instagram asking who was a fan of the much-debated Green Bean Casserole.

Love it or hate it, the green bean casserole has quite the history…

This mixture of canned soup, green beans and fried onions has graced holiday tables since the 1950s.

Campbell’s estimates 40% of the Cream of Mushroom soup sold in the US goes into making green bean casserole.

For more history on green bean casserole, read on here.

HILLIGOSS ROLLS

For those not local  —  Hilligoss is our favorite small family-owned, local bakery. They make thousands of Parker House rolls for the holidays. The best!!!! We call every November 1 to place our order. They bake a limited supply – so pre-order is necessary!

Mr. G with the score! (Yes, he wore a mask but took it off briefly for a quick pic.) Some for now and some for the freezer!

PUMPKIN PIE

Because it is Mr. G’s favorite. Me … I prefer Apple Pie.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU!

Yes, it’s 2020 and even though we won’t have a full table this year and our hearts are tender…  our hearts are also full of love for family and friends. We are grateful for you!

We pray for the day we can gather together again! It will take many, many gatherings before this hole in my heart is filled up and I vow to NEVER EVER take gathering with my loves for granted!!! 🙏🏻🙏🏻

This Thanksgiving and every Thanksgiving we give thanks and put our trust in the One that sustains us in all times – good and bad. He never changes.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34

Wishing you love, good health, and all your yummy favorites!

🦃 🥘🍲🥧🥗  😘

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

Mother’s Day means so many different things to me.

IN THE GARDEN…

Mother’s Day is typically the last frost date in my neck of the woods. Once that date arrives, we can plant tomatoes … and other warm weather plants. 

This week has been a weather tease. Warm. Cool. Cold. (29 degrees predicted) All the seedlings started and the plants I’ve purchased are waiting and waiting for their turn to do their thing. But we must wait a bit more. For a few more days I will be taking them inside the garage and potting shed at night. So, this year Mother’s Day is not going to be the “garden date” that I wanted it to be. 

MY MOTHER…

We lost my mother more than 30 years ago. She was one of a kind. She is so missed. Life was never easy for her, but she adapted and made the best of it. In a nutshell she was Resourceful, Sassy, Hard Working, Loyal, and a real Servant – did I mention Sassy!?!. I wrote an article about her several years ago and it rings true every time I read it and makes me smile! If you would like to read it, read on here.  

MY MOTHER-IN-LAW…

My mother-in-law was born of a Greek immigrant and lived a quiet, simple, beautiful, old world life. She loved her family, her neighbors, her community, bracelets and Jesus. She raised three of the most wonderful men I know. She had to bare losing her beloved husband and youngest son way too soon, but she did so with a dignity that honored them and inspired those around her. I am forever grateful for her life and for the gift of her eldest son.

MY DAUGHTER…

I cannot even imagine a better mother than my daughter. She has a heart of gold and loves to the depths. Her creativity is unmatched. She has given me three of life’s greatest blessings – my grandboys. The love, wisdom and creativity she pours into them is heart-warming, inspiring, and impressive. Happy Mother’s Day sweet girl! xo

ME…

My children are two of my greatest blessings. I don’t know what I did to deserve them, but I am forever grateful that God chose me to be their mother. I have been mommy, mom, and momma and I have loved every stage. They love me, encourage me, inspire me and bring joy to my life. I would simply not be who I am without them. PS: They are both very impressive gardeners! And, you know I love that!!

YOU…

Friends, whether you were blessed with your own children, fur babies or you bless those around you, I wish you a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend.

Bloom Thyme Friday: Welcome to My Herb Garden

This week I had some extra time to just “be” in my herb garden. It is a very special place for me. The fence was the first structure that Mr. G built for me after we moved into our “new” home. That was over 30 years ago. Pardon me while I shed a few tears. Looking back, 30 years seems like a blink… have you noticed that — looking back is like a quick vapor and looking ahead seems like forever. Those 30 years are filled to the brim with memories. Mr. G building the fence with 2 littles in tow. My daughter and son planting seeds; picking herbs we would use in cooking; harvesting lavender and other flowers and herbs that we used in crafts — some we sold as the Ladybug Herb Garden.  (My daughter’s “baby” name was Ladybug.)

I wish I had a list of all the herbs, veggies, cutting flowers and roses (they’re herbs too) that have had a home in this happy, fragrant 16’ x 18’ space.

Let me show you around…

Basil that has gone to seed and making the pollinators happy growing in a tangle with chives and a very prominent black eyed susan that I didn’t plant. It is always a big surprise as to where the black eyed susans will show up each year!

Thyme that makes it’s way into egg salad, chicken salad and bean dishes. And is the perfect ground cover for herb gardens.

Zinnias and Cosmos (Mr. G’s Fav) running amuck in that beautiful way they do in the fall.

Nasturiums — because they are so dependably pretty and fun to add to salads.

Lambs Ears because of it’s color, texture and the fact that every child loves it. Behind the Lambs Ears is the lovely ‘Pretty Polly’ Almond scented geranium.

Okra … that should have been picked last week. Note: I don’t have a full on vegetable garden but add favorite veggies here and there around the garden, on the deck and on the driveway!

Banana peppers … that should have been picked last week. Zinnias were hiding them.
Chard … for smoothies and just for pretty.
Rosemary … because it’s beautiful, fragrant, delicious and has been used for years in a family favorite recipe – rosemary baked potatoes!

Plants that are here but have finished for the season…

Peonies, yarrow, sweet peas, sweet william and larkspur had their moment and have come and gone. The world they lived in was much more tame!   Look, no jungle in late May!

Herbs you don’t see in my “Herb” garden…

Mint… the last plant my mother bought for me was apple mint. That was more than 25 years ago. While I’ll never be without mint for the memory of her and for the fact I use it all the time, it is planted safely in a pot where it’s “roaming” tendencies are kept in check! 😳

Oregano… has been taken out to the veriest back of the property where it can run amuck. It’s yummy but it is like mint in that it desires world domination!

Sage… It is one of my two favorite herbs. I love it for so many reasons — I love the flavor and I love the holiday memories attached to that flavor and that smell and I love how it looks. You don’t see sage in the herb garden because it lives and thrives in another area of the garden where conditions are dryer. While it looks so good with the other herbs, it’s happier elsewhere.  And, it does very well beside it’s neighbor that doesn’t like the herb garden all that well either… Lavender – my other favorite. Who doesn’t love lavender!?! Is there a more relaxing fragrance in all the world? Not for me. I do plant both sage and lavender in the herb garden each year and while they mostly survive for a season, they don’t thrive. So, to have plenty, it is best to have “extras” where they are happier!

And, this brings us to Roses… they greet you as you enter. As it should be.

Thanks for stopping by for my herb garden tour. Now you know that my herb garden, like all the other “rooms” in my garden are a combination of plant types. Most of them tasty and many so aromatic — making it a destination I can get lost in!

Let’s all take a deep breath and inhale the earthy fragrance of herbs. I’m wondering what are your favorites? Is it sage or lavender or….

I bet there’s a story behind your favorite and I’d love to hear it! ❣️

Bloom Thyme Friday: Christmas Trees & Things

I love Christmas trees. I love most evergreens. I particularly love boxwoods. I know. I know. There are two kinds of people in the world — those who love boxwood and those who don’t. But, I do. Can’t remember without looking if I shared with you my boxwood horror this year. For about 6 years we have had a boxwood hedge around our patio. They did not make it through the winter. I thought it was “winter kill” but I now suspect from the look of things, it was blight. They had to be taken out — all 15 of them! Mr. G was my hero as he took them out one by one. He put up with my tears and was very sweet about it. What a guy! 

Back to the original subject, Christmas Trees, I love them. Fresh ones. Filled to the brim with ornaments and twinkle lights!

This year due to so much travel, we decided not to have a tree but we have twinkle lights everywhere!

CHRISTMAS TREE TRIVIA

The first recorded Christmas tree can be found on the keystone sculpture of a private home in Alsace in 1576. German Protestants are often credited with the first circulation of the Christmas Tree, using them to decorate their houses. Protestant Christian reformer Martin Luther is said to have added the first lighted candles to an evergreen tree. The inspired decoration came out of admiration of the snow glistening from the trees on his walk home Christmas Eve. From Meg Bucker’s The History and Meaning of the Christmas Tree  

Wooster, a small country town located in north-central Ohio, claims to have hosted the first Christmas Tree in America in 1847. German immigrant August Imgard might be the first to decorate the tree with candy canes; “Imgard cut a blue spruce tree from a woods outside town, had the Wooster village tinsmith construct a star, and placed the tree in his house, decorating it with paper ornaments, gilded nuts and kuchen.” From Meg Bucker’s The History and Meaning of the Christmas Tree  

Artificial Christmas trees have outsold real ones since 1991.

In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common Christmas tree decorations because according to legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus. In fact, Polish people consider spiders to be symbols of goodness and prosperity at Christmas. (Almost makes me like them. 😳 Almost. )

 

MY 2018 CHRISTMAS TREE…

Lucky for me I still have many boxwoods around the garden. Plenty for making boxwood trees. Such a fun project. When I was a florist I made so many of them and never tired of the project!

 

PROCESS PICS…

BLOOM THYME

David Austin roses in my garden…

This week we lost one of the giants of the rose world – David Austin Snr. Mr. G says I have had a secret crush on him for 30 years. That might be true. When I was putting my first real rose garden together, I was feverishly researching all types of roses (without the benefit of the internet) and happened on the “something and someone new” in the rose world – Mr. Austin. He was a pioneer that followed his heart and used his gifts to bring us the beautiful Engish roses by blending historical roses (for form and fragrance) with modern roses (for repeat blooming and additional colors). I never had the privilege of meeting him, but he was very well represented by Michael Marriott who worked with him for more than 30 years and shares how special he was. 

Thank you Mr. Austin for all the beauty you shared with our world. Well done, Sir.

Whew, that was a long post. If you made it to the end  — Thank You!

Merry Christmas friends. Wishing you a holiday filled with joy, peace, love and plenty of twinkle lights!