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!

🦃 🥘🍲🥧🥗  😘

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: NEW FOR 2021

A busy week pushed Bloom Thyme Friday to Saturday! Even during a pandemic, there are many wonderful opportunities!

This week temps were up – near 80 (Daffodils popped up!) and temps were down – 27.
Rain came (thankfully) and so did frosty mornings!

GO BACK TO SLEEP!

NEW ROSES FOR 2021

One of the fun things I did this week was to attend the Indianapolis Rose Society meeting. During the meeting, I gave a program on 2021 rose introductions.

Wow! Next year we have a great selection of new roses to look forward to. Truly something for everyone from gorgeous high centered Hybrid Teas to colorful, blooming machine shrub roses. Many of them are fragrant too! Whether you are just getting started or have been growing roses for years, take a look at what’s coming our way!

Here is a link to the NEW ROSE PRESENTATION.  Let me know if you have trouble opening the link. 

To whet your appetite, here are a  few of my favorites. I gotta say it was very hard to choose just one for each category.

WEEKS ROSES:

FUN IN THE SUN GRANDIFLORA

  • Medium Size Shrub
  • Flower 3-4″
  • Very Good Disease Resistance
  • Strong Fruity/Spice Fragrance

Find additional information here.

STAR ROSES & PLANTS

SITTING PRETTY GRANDIFLORA

  • Damask Fragrance
  • Disease Resistant
  • Ideal for Containers
  • Zones 4-11

Find additional information here.

JACKSON & PERKINS

Jackson and Perkins have some exclusive releases this year!

CUP OF GOLD CLIMBING ROSE

  • English Rose Look
  • Quick to Establish & Fast Growing
  • Reaches 10-12′
  • Repeats Bloom All Summer

I liked this one so much that I ordered it on the spot while working on the presentation. If you have been following me for a while, you have heard me say repeatedly that I do NOT need any more climbing roses. And I don’t, BUT, do you see how beautiful this one is.
(Here is a list of my other climbers.)

Find additional J & P information here.

PROVEN WINNERS

This is PW new release and it looks like an impact maker!

RINGO ALL-STAR

  • 2-3′ Tall
  • Extremely Low Maintenance
  • No Need to deadhead
  • Continuous Bloomer

Find additional information here.

TRUE BLOOM ROSES

Ping Lim, who brought us the Easy Elegance collection, has a new line of roses — TRUE BLOOM. They had limited distribution last year but did not make it to my area – the midwest.

There are so many beautiful roses in this collection, so be on the lookout for them in your area in 2021.

SPEAKING OF PING…

Ping Lim is a very special person who is dedicated to bringing beauty to our lives! I had the pleasure of chatting with him on the Rose Chat Podcast a few months back. It was wonderful to hear his story of how he fell in love with roses and what he has coming soon!

You can listen here.

This gray, frosty day and all this talk about new roses has me very excited for next June …so let’s go back to June for just a couple of seconds…

Mother of Pearl

The Faun

 

NOW IT’S BACK TO REALITY AND JOY FOR TODAY…

To kick off the season, the Thanksgiving cacti are blooming right on cue!

The red beauty is perched on the rocking horse that Mr. G made for our children when they were wee ones. I love having it in our family room for every season!

Love this color…

Care tips from Good Housekeeping:

HOW TO CARE FOR CHRISTMAS CACTI…

A lack of water and dramatic temperature swings can cause flower buds to drop more rapidly. Maximize your specimen’s blooming period by paying attention to these six key factors:

– Soil: Use a quality soil rich in humus and other nutrients.

– Temperature: Maintain an optimal climate of 65 degrees.

– Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist while your plant is blooming, misting it frequently.

– Light: Place the cactus in an east-facing window for moderate light and some direct sun.

– Fertilization: Apply a high-potassium fertilizer every two weeks once buds form.

– Transplantation: Repot your cactus each year after flowering.

I was in Lowe’s yesterday and they were putting out tons of these cacti. You know where this is going… I bought another one. It is a tiny plant just covered in light pink buds. There is no picture of the open bloom, but I suspect it will be like my ivory colored one. The small plants at Lowes are $3.98 and very healthy!

The care tips above ARE an excellent goal, but I’ll admit I don’t provide all of that for my cacti and they are very forgiving! But, don’t overwater!

If you grow these, here is an illustration to identify the one you have.

MORE JOY FOR THE DAY…

Our very favorite Classic Beef Stew, Rhodes rolls fresh from the oven, and Mr. G’s handsome face.

 

UNTIL NEXT TIME … wishing you JOY!

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: There’s Always the Garden

 

When the world wearies and ceases to satisfy, there’s always the garden.

While this is a quote that is common to most of us, these few words have spoken volumes to me during 2020. And, 2020 just keeps giving us more and more reasons to retreat to the garden … to work  … to think … to just be.

In my world, the weather is doing all it can for us with unseasonably warm temps, bright and beautiful sunny days, and a fall sky that is bluer than I ever remember.

GARDEN WORK…

While we have this window of opportunity, I am buying and planting more bulbs. Many of today’s bulbs will go outside our home office window under Mr. G’s bird feeder.

Today the morning shadows gave us a beautiful sight out that window. 

Mr. G and I love birds. We have a funny story in the family of our dedication to birds …. birdhouses and feeders were on the property long before the house.

Yesterday I noticed that one of our climbing roses that was previously all tied up for winter has sent out more extremely long canes and needs another love touch. That’s on the list for this week too.

I “buried” the two ‘Moonlight in Paris’ roses that were in pots on the deck. I will unearth them in March and see what we have. I have used this method before and my fingers are crossed that it works again. All I need to do is add the mulch!

‘Moonlight in Paris’ in June

TOOL TALK…

I have a new tool!

I showed Mr. G an Instagram video on garden tools from Michael Marriott @michaelrosarian and Rosie Irving @rosieposeyirving on their @growingcooking Instagram page. He loved the part about the Hori Hori knife. Believe it or not, I didn’t have one. Mr. G is all about tools so a week later, Amazon delivered a surprise. I haven’t used it yet but if it’s Rosie’s favorite, I know it is going to change my world. #itlookssharp #sayaprayer If you don’t follow this dynamic duo on Instagram, do so! They will be a very bright spot in your day.

DEALING WITH STRESSFUL TIMES…

I’m curious about what you do in times of stress.

I noticed that in the last few weeks I reverted to some old habits I picked up when Peyton Manning (my all time fav) was playing football. Whether in college or the Pro’s, I felt it my duty to see that he came out of the game alive and hopefully the winner. This is due in part (a big part) to my upbringing. I was raised in a home where the name Manning was often spoken as my dad was an Archie Manning fan. I heard these stories as my dad painstakingly taught me the game of football.

So, what did I do to survive the big games and other stressful times? I know you are excited to know!!!

IRON AND PRAY

Yes, I ironed and I prayed. I practically wore out our clothes with the iron. We never looked so “pressed.” Know this, I do not like to iron but it works for me!

Other ways I destress….

CLEAN GLASS

My glass is looking quite sparkly, don’t you think.

WORK IN THE GARDEN

Weather permitting … this is the best of all. There’s no place like the garden. I think God planned it that way.

There is another phrase that you see around a lot but it still rings true… You can bury a lot of problems digging in the dirt. From the time I was a little girl I knew — dirt is magical.

Friends, I am praying you are healthy, safe, and secure as we deal with all that life is throwing our way. And, that you are able to always find the beauty around you.

CERTAINTY

Here’s what I know for sure…

Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Romans 8:38

Until next time, love to you…

 

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Hope, Faith and Bulbs

HOPE & FAITH ABOUND

Planting bulbs in the fall shows we have faith in the unseen and hope for the future. Add to that a good splash of hope in advertising!

Regardless of their size or shape, bulbs are not attractive or very impressive. But they are small mighty miracles!!! From such humble beginnings, we are promised immense spring beauty just at the time we will need it most. We read the catalog descriptions and labels on the bags and dream of what will come — making getting out in the cold and often damp weather to dig holes and get them in their new home worth it – as an investment in our late winter mental health! We will start looking out the window for their beautiful metamorphosis and, the beginning of the gardening season! 🌷

FERTILIZERS & PESTS

I never fertilize my bulbs at planting time. The main reason is that most of the critters who are overly fond of my garden love organic fertilizer. I do not need to encourage them.

Even without any fertilizer around they still are attracted to the site where the bulbs reside. Squirrels were a big problem last year with the bulbs. In one area they dug and tossed out the daffodil bulbs 3 times before I decided to top-dress the area with some diatomaceous earth. Party over! This year I’m using cayenne pepper and some fencing to ward off unwanted visitors.

We have had a bumper crop of acorns this year in our neighborhood, maybe the cute little acorns will keep the cute little squirrels busy.

TOOLS OF CHOICE

AUGER

Around here we love power tools and this one is fabulous. The best tool for planting larger bulbs with little disturbance to the surrounding area. I purchased mine through Amazon. Link. We also have a long auger that we purchased at Lowes.

DIBBLER

Just received this as a surprise from Mr. G and already I am questioning how I have lived without this tool! It was perfect for planting the garlic and other small bulbs! Gets in tight places without disturbing other plants. Link.

SHOVEL

Many of my daffodils are planted in big groups and if there is plenty of space, the shovel works great!

WHAT I’M PLANTING THIS YEAR

THALIA  NARCISSUS

Monty Don’s (Gardener’s World UK) ‘Thalia’ daffodils had me drooling through episode after episode this spring. Luckily I was able to find them at Brent and Becky’s Bulbs. Take a look here.

Here’s a screenshot from his social media post this spring… Drooling yet?
ICE KING DAFFODILS (Bag from Lowes)
One of my favorites!
PINK MIX (Bag from Lowes)

I love pink and it is always fun to see what we get!

SNOW DROPS (GALANTHUS):  Mount Everest

Our local woods are filled with snowdrops that we were able to enjoy more than ever this spring because of the lockdown. Add to that the pictures my daughter sent from England of fields of these beauties — both convincing me I needed some just outside my window. These came from Brent and Becky’s too… Info here.

ALLIUM

I planted alliums for the first time last year and just loved them! So of course I need more. This year I am adding Perian Blue (Lowes} and more Purple Sensation (American Meadows).

GARLIC

Just like last year, I am planting only one variety of garlic – Brown Rose (From the Garlic Store). Yes, the first year it was for the name and now that we have enjoyed it, I am planting it for the flavor! The garlic is in the ground with a good layer of cayenne pepper to make it less attractive to varmints…

FAMILY STORY

Each year we plant daffodils in memory of our beloved Uncle Tony — Mr. G’s brother who passed from us much too soon from a long, gallantly fought battle with cancer. He was an artist and a gardener and he loved daffodils. In one of my last conversations with him, he talked about his daffodils and was excited to see them bloom. He did not get to see them bloom in his garden on earth that year, but I know he was greeted with daffodils and so much more that spring. After he passed, I bundled daffodil bulbs in burlap and passed out for people to plant in his honor. I was grateful that so many were excited to do just that. I hope they remember this special man when they bloom.

FALL FOOD

With being home more and cooking so much more, we are constantly adapting recipes to better suit two people. We love acorn squash and usually just eat it plain. However, I have been seeing all kinds of recipes for stuffed acorn squash and they look so delicious. This week we had our own version. It turned out so well I thought you might like to try it.

COOKING SQUASH:

Cut and remove seeds from squash. Brush with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on roasting pan. I baked my cut side down but you can do either.

Bake at 425 for 20 -25 minutes or until fork-tender.

FILLLING:

1 cup of cooked Trader Joes Harvest Grains Mix
1 teaspoon dried Thyme (a bit more if it is fresh)
1 teaspoon dried Sage
1/3 cup chopped and toasted pistachio nuts
1 T oil or melted butter
Salt and pepper to taste (we used a lot of pepper)
We also sprinkled on some red chili flakes
Mix all ingredients and add the warm filling to baked squash as soon as it comes out of the oven. So simple and delicious. Very filling and good for you too.

If you try it let me know what you think and if you have another simple fall recipe, share that too in the comments below so we can all enjoy!

Whether you’re planting or cooking today… all the very best.