Showing posts with label holiday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holiday. Show all posts

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Holidays- Christmas 2013

kitchen tree sitting on the primitive pie safe with a collection or ornaments from the Stump's along with my girl's favorites collected along the way such as Sugar Bear, Misfit Toys from Rudolph, Sebastian the crab and decorations made from their little hands.
I hear so many folks sad about the lack of people going out and visiting or treeing over the Holidays and I agree there are less than when our generation was younger.  My thoughts are of course that families have grown away from these traditions of popping in to see what you all have been up to over the year, the Christmas spoils, a nibble and a quick drink.  Quality, I feel, is far better than quantity when it comes to any given holiday.  Families are smaller as well as the time we actually have available to go out between Christmas and New Years is much less.  
large glass lidded dish holding a mix of antique and vintage ornaments on the dining table most from my Gramma Stump
Not having brothers and sisters with their offspring or aunts and uncles with their children continues to make for smaller and smaller gatherings.  There was only my brother and I, my Father did not have any siblings and my cousins are so spread out that it has become harder and harder to have those gatherings we all recall from childhood.  I feel that is what we miss... and our sense of nostalgia kicks in.  I find myself listening to the albums my Grandparents would play during this time such as Gene Autry, Burl Ives, Johnny Cash, Elvis or the gambit of compilations from said stars and other popular singers of that genre/era more at this time.

 Our traditions or the way I have recalled said traditions kicks in high to share with my daughters and new traditions are started, adding to the mix.  We would all gather at my Mom's parents, down the street, for presents, dinner and merriment.  When I say ALL I mean all, know matter who was divorced, their ex spouses still came for it was important to gather for US the children.  I don't know when everyone got all self important and started segregating, it is just a crazy thing.  The families are not growing, we need each other.
oak shelves on the way from the kitchen to the living room is where Christmas cards are displayed among tea pots and fondue pots... on the above shelf not shown
Those yearly Christmas cards are treasured, for who has time with those received much loved.

simple newel post and railing arrangement with my eldest daughter's first shoes, a green tea towel and ribbon 

 This wonderful tree was owned and loved by a family in Mount Jewett. A good friend had an antique shop, over 15 or so years back, called Anderson's Sweet Memories, which is where this was purchased. I think it was actually her husband's Father's family tree. We love it! I asked the youngest which tree this year and this was her pick. They took such good care even building a couple stands to store the branches, the Noma spinning light was part of the original set too.

 play of light from the aluminum tree on living room ceiling
a favorite gift this Christmas, a vintage camper light, given during our annual gathering and gift exchange Christmas Eve here at the house from my fab cousin, love it, xoxo
What is your favorite Holiday tradition?  Anytime I am with family is MY favorite, little things mean a lot...again quality not quantity is the BEST.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Holidays- the Thanksgiving meal through my daughter

While on Instagram yesterday evening I saw my daughter's photo she snapped, after constructing and arranging the perfect plating.
Slabs of turkey, butternut squash, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, beans and then ham & turkey gravy poured generously over only the luckiest of Thanksgiving menu fair.  As Tameryn, youngest daughter was plating her choices, Thea was showing her, her ways.  The younger approved of this slathering resulting in her eating more than she usually would, a happy thing for Mom.

daughter Thea's constructed Thanksgiving 
I have not been stuffing the bird for a few years but, baking it in a casserole making for a crunchy top.  This year I used the crock-pot for the stuffing.  It was pretty terrific done this way and definitely a technique I will continue to use, for it clears up the oven.  This method also mimics the turkey cavity making for a moist flavorful stuffing.

Fresh potted kitchen herbs were perfect for this task using sweet marjoram, parsley, thyme and sage.  These herbs thrown in the stuffing mix after sauteing  the unsalted butter, onions and celery... before pouring this and also chicken stock on the dried bread crumbs is wonderful compared to using dried.  I saved some of the bacon dripping from the broccoli salad, the night prior for sauteing also, which added a nice extra to the flavor profile.  

Cream cheese to the mashed potatoes, ham drippings/garlic/brown sugar to the beans, bacon on the turkey again and then pecans, melted unsalted butter and brown sugar tossed with the butternut squash before baking to list some of the additions to food staples on our table.  I went through about 2-lbs of unsalted butter during meal preparation.

and then they cleaned up doing the dishes and putting away for leftovers..... brilliant I say.

Aren't leftovers your favorite part or also the aroma from a good day in the kitchen.  You can't replicate that any other way, LOVE IT!

What is your Thanksgiving plating technique?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Holidays- revisiting last year's Thanksgiving

I keep the menu simple with some of my childhood favorites such as dried corn, coleslaw, candied sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.  This year instead of the cabbage style slaw there will be a broccoli style slaw on the order of this recipe including peanuts or sunflower seeds depending on which I find first.  I am also baking an apple instead of pumpkin pie, I know how terrible but, we have been apple crazy this Fall with going through I don't know how many gallons of cider, crisps and just fresh cut apples of all types.  No candied sweet potatoes with instead baked butternut squash on the dinner table.
My Grandmother Agnes would have lost her cool, for the woman needed to have the same dishes at every holiday not deviating from those sacred entrees, sides and desserts.  One year for 4th of July, before my dh and I were married, I dared to bring over a seafood pasta salad and she went ballistic.  This simple addition caused years of her reprimands, not to mention the Easter ham where I did a spice rub along with the mustard/brown sugar glaze.  My Father also jumped in on this occasion...crrrr-azy around the Easter holiday table that year.
I forgot about the little bacon addition : - )  Sage under the skin, stuffed with onion, celery, an orange, garlic and various herbs stuff last years bird.  
It is my call now, I do what I want with whatever I want in my kitchen these days.  My girls also bring to the table some funstuff for they have freedom to play in the kitchen making some pretty amazing sides.

my daughter stirring gravy, dried corn simmering with turkey resting before the big CARVE
day after game playing with youngest dd snacking on frosting and saltines
Every year we usually put a fresh, newly found and purchased puzzle together Thanksgiving morning while watching the parade, football or perhaps a binge of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter or Star Wars.  We are still in the Doctor Who mode so this year's will be a Whopuzzle with this one coming tomorrow from Amazon.   Amazon Prime is super for those last minute wants or needs!!

What will be on your Thanksgiving table this year?  I posted this query on my facebook wall this morning, if you want to take a gander, please do. 

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving !!!

*** I needed to include a friend's fun find.  Did you realize that this year's Thanksgiving falls on the same day as Hanukkah?  This great fusion make for Thanksgivukkah! Thanks Stacie!! hoot, hoot...funstuff!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

getting ready for the Holidays

This Holiday is coming together.  I am so very lucky to have my Husband, Daughters, family and friends around me to keep me together and motivated.  I lost my Brother on June 20th and today is 6 months since his death.  I am having a very difficult time getting through this and miss him very, very much for he was my only sibling.

Stephan Stump through the years
I feel all alone at times for when my Mom and Dad were divorced it was he and I against the world, Stephan was 3 and I was 8 both of our birthdays were in February with his the 4th and mine the 5th. He was my baby brother.... He loved my daughters as his own and was very much in their lives and involved.

Stephan Stump through the years
He was 41.

Friday, November 25, 2011

What did you have for Thanksgiving Dinner?

 Our menu consisted of roast turkey stuffed with aromatics including carrots, celery, thyme and sage, cornbread/sourdough stuffing, mashed potatoes/gravy, apple and bacon oven roasted brussel sprouts, candied sweet potatoes with berbere' spices, coleslaw w/carrots, celery and sunflower seeds, cranberry and the for dessert gooey butter pumpkin cake & apple pie. 
It 'twas a great day filled with the parade, puzzle piecing, the Westminster Dog Show and cooking :)  Later that night our friends from Indiana stopped by until late, late and then today I finally finished the clean-up, lol. 

I hope everyone had a grand turkey day!!



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