Thanksgiving Traditions

Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice. Deuteronomy 16:15

For the coming holiday, I thought it would be fun to share some interesting facts about Thanksgiving. For example, although Thanksgiving is often described as an American holiday, its roots can be traced back to the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese. And it doesn’t stop there.

For centuries, Israel has celebrated a harvest festival. It’s a time set aside for rejoicing and giving thanks for God’s blessings throughout the year. The holiday Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles, commemorates the 40 years in the wilderness after the deliverance from Eygpt. Today, Sukkot begins five days after Yom Kippur and last for eight days. During this time, the people build small huts and hang fruits and vegetables inside. These harvest-filled huts reminded me of a cornucopia.

Cornucopia

cornucopia-1789664_1280The cornucopia is a horned shaped basket filled to the brim with grains, vegetables, and fruits. Its roots can also be traced back to the Greeks and Romans. Cornucopia means horn of plenty from the Latin term cornu copiae. To those searching for freedom in the new land, the cornucopia became the symbol of America, the land of plenty.

Turkeys

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Another famous symbol of the holiday is the turkey. Ben Franklin thought the turkey to be a bird of courage, unlike the eagle, a bird of bad morals. (Read the article here.) Whether the turkey is a courageous bird or not, its popularity is linked to the Thanksgiving holiday. And while the sides depend on family favorites, the turkey is always the main attraction. Unless your family doesn’t like turkey. Oh, my! What to do, then?

To Turkey or Not To Turkey

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The truth is traditions surrounding this autumnal feast can vary from house to house. As children, my husband and I both ate turkey. It didn’t matter whether we liked it or not. Our moms were traditionalists. On Thanksgiving, you ate turkey. Period. But when my kids came along, we changed that tradition after we’d cooked the traditional bird every imaginable way known to man. Fried, baked, roasted, or barbecued, they still refused to eat it. Now, we have chicken and dressing along with the “must have” side dishes.

Must Have Side Dishes

  • Cornbread Dressing
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Gravy
  • Pecan Pie
  • Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping
  • Grape Salad (Recipe below.)
  • Sweet Iced Tea

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Grape Salad

  • 4 lbs seedless grapes, halved
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 brick cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Blend brown sugar, softened cream cheese, and condensed milk with mixer until smooth. Combine grapes and pecans. Pour in a lidded bowl. Chill. Serve. Enjoy!

Note: The amount of fruit used is according to individual taste. I prefer fewer grapes for a creamier salad. Pssst…the fruit is just an excuse for me to eat the brown sugar and condensed milk. 🙂

Reflection

No matter how you celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, grab your neighbor’s hand and gives thanks for His bountiful blessings!

Are you a traditionalist? What is on your list for must-have side dishes

Pictures courtesy of Pixabay. Public Domain.

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Letters From Home

 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. Psalms 25:25

Rather than waste time talking about food on the phone when we could be talking about your day, I thought I would send you this via the website, instead.

Monkey Bread

Levi’s Monkey Bread

I’m glad to hear you conquered the Monkey bread recipe. The picture looked good enough to eat. I’m still waiting for my piece to arrive in the mail. You are aware eating the whole thing in two days is not good for you, right?

 And now, you tell me you have a hankering for Chicken and Spaghetti?

Unfortunately, we have a problem. Unlike the Magic Cookie Bars, I can’t mail the chicken. So, I’m sending you the list of ingredients and the instructions. Send me a picture.

You will need:

  • 1 whole boneless chicken breast
  • ½ cup Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 1 jar Paul Newman’s Marinara Sauce minus ¼ cup
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ to ¾ cup oil (Crisco or olive) Use just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan
  • Salt
  • Sargento’s Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Sargento’s sliced Provolone Cheese
  • Spaghetti

Directions:

Add two quarts of water to a 4-quart pot. Bring to boil. Add enough spaghetti for two servings.

Slice chicken breast horizontally as evenly as possible. (Four thin slices)

Salt

*(For you) Eliminate the egg and milk wash for obvious reasons and coat lightly with Olive oil or Crisco

Dredge in bread crumbs

Heat oil on medium-high heat

Fry chicken 3-4 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, drain pasta.

Remove two chicken slices for tomorrow.

Add marinara to the remaining slices and let simmer until bubbling.

Add shredded mozzarella to the marinara and a slice of provolone atop the chicken. Turn off heat. Cover. When the cheese has melted, serve over pasta. Plate the other for your lunch.

 Next day:

  • 2 buns or 4 slices of bread
  • Butter
  • ¼ cup marinara
  • Sargento’s Provolone cheese
  • Leftover chicken breast
  • Mezzetta pepperoncini

 Warm one slice of chicken in oven or microwave. It’s your choice.

Spread butter on your favorite Italian bread, Hamburger bun, Kaiser Roll, etc. Place under the broiler. Remove when toasted. Spread marinara sauce over warm bread. Add provolone, chicken, and pepperoncini.

Bag the second sandwich for lunch.

I hope you enjoy it. I miss you bunches. But I’m excited about this new adventure. Remember every promise God has given will come to pass. Until then, be content with what He has done thus far, knowing He is faithful to perform His Word. Talk with you this afternoon.

Hugs and kisses,

Mama

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Johnson’s Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Hi, everyone!

It’s that time of year. Time to enjoy the outdoors with family. Honestly, I like nothing better than spending time with my family. And they like nothing better than food!

Today, I want to share a simple and easy family recipe for ice cream that I have tinkered with until I came up with this recipe. It’s the base for several different flavors. Today’s flavor is vanilla. Feel free to add as many toppings as you like. 

Johnson’s Homemade Ice Cream

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 Ice cream ingredients

 2 cans condensed milk (any brand)
1 can evaporated milk
4 ½ cups whole milk
2-3 tbsp. vanilla (I go by taste. I don’t measure. I use lots of vanilla!)
1 box ice cream salt (I use pickling salt. I get better results.)
1 large bag ice
 
Materials
 1 ice cream churn

Instructions

Combine condensed milk, cream, milk, and vanilla in the canister. Stir well Place canister into the ice cream churn. Lock into place. Turn on the machine. If you wait, the ice and the salt can freeze the canister in place and it won’t turn. If this happens, you have to work until you get it to turn or start over. Bummer! So, turn on the machine and begin to layer ice and salt in the freezer bucket—1 part salt to 8 parts ice according to the salt-box.

Layering is an art you learn as you go along. I like to add thin layers of ice with more salt. That way, when the churn stops you can dig in without waiting.

If you like hard ice cream, drain the salt and ice when the churn stops, repack and allow to harden 1 hour, or pour ice cream in a freezer container and freeze.

This recipe makes half a canister because we like it fresh, not frozen. So we make enough for one afternoon and eat it all day long! If I were making a full canister, I would just double everything.

And there you have it. Simple. Easy. Delicious. A great way to spend the afternoon with family.

Blessings

Gail