Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thar she blows matey!!!! and a Thanksgiving Day wish

Aarrrrrgh!!  Would I make a good pirate captain?  Well, maybe not...but I'm telling you, we've had enough rain to float a pirate's ship and we've had enough wind to set her asail!!  Hmmhuh...yes momma, we have!!
We have a nice little duck pond in our back yard, and another one in the farm field next door.  Haven't seen many ducks though...pretty sure they've all taken cover somewhere warm and dry.  Smart ducks!

We had a river flowing down the driveway, and all that water came down across our pasture.  To say it's a wee bit soggy is the understatement of the year.  The horses spent the day inside yesterday.  They got to go outside for about an hour and a half while the stalls were being cleaned.  That was long enough for them to decide that outside, was definitely NOT somewhere they wanted to be!!  :)  Smart ponies.

And the wind!!  Impressive!!  We had wind pretty much all day long, with some mighty strong gusts too.  We did maintain power though.  Way to go PGE!  The only real casualty was one of the limbs on the big shade tree in the back yard broke off.  And wouldn't you know?  It was one of the branches where I always hang a couple of my spring/summer flower baskets...oh well, it missed the fence and didn't destroy my raised garden bed.  So, it could have been much worse.  And once again, I'm very thankful that we don't have any big trees near the horse's barn.  Always thankful for that.  That would be one worry that might keep me awake nights.  Always stuff to be thankful for!

And speaking of thankfulness...Thanksgiving is almost upon us once again.  Tomorrow is my Friday this week, and I'm really looking forward to celebrating one of my most favorite of all holidays and...a long weekend!  We're having a few family members and a couple of friends over to our house for dinner.  And, yes that means that I am cooking the grand feast this year!  I always cook, but usually just for the two of us.  So, to get us all in the spirit of Thanksgiving and give you a sampling of what's on the menu this year...here are some pics in case anyone happens to be in the neighborhood and wants to drop by for a slice of pie!

Of course - you're all invited!!  The more, the merrier!!

The star of the show.  The turkey...yum!  Always the experimenter, I'm trying something new again this year. Don't tell my hubby...he's a bit stodgy about such matters.  I'm going to stuff the bird with celery, onion and tangerine slices.  Then I'm going to rub the beautiful birdie all over with butter and seasonings like sage, salt, pepper, rosemary and a little mesquite barbeque spice.  Then I'll add a little juice to give it some more flavor and moisture by mixing chicken broth with champagne.  I'll put some inside with the veggies and then the rest will be added to the pan.  Quite the concoction huh?

Not to be forgotten, the all-important sides.  No salad, just a few veggies and of course gravy.  Oh, the gravy!!

Real mashed potatoes...not those boxes things.  With real butter, a little Gregg's Ranch Dressing, salt and pepper.  Oh, to die for!

Homemade gravy from the turkey pan drippings, some cornstarch for thickening and water.  That's it...perfection in its' simplicity.  But, oh so good!  

And of course we'll have stuffing.  Not stuffed in the bird, so technically I guess it's called dressing.  But either way, it's a must-have.  I just saute onions and celery in a bit of butter, add chicken broth and bread crumbs.  Always a combination of regular, seasoned bread crumbs and cornbread pieces.  No meat in my stuffing, nope not ever!  I like it a little on the dry side, but moist enough to stick together.  Then you smother that bad boy in gravy and enjoy!  Perfection...I know these are not low-calorie recipes here, but hey--it's Thanksgiving.  And everybody knows there are no calories on Thanksgiving!!  Am I right?

 Sweet, tender baby carrots par-boiled in water and a little butter and brown sugar.  After liquid has been reduced, cook until desired tenderness.  Oh momma, these are good!
As you can see, there's a pattern forming here...everything is better with butter.  I'm just sayin'.  
Acorn or Danish squash wedges broiled in the oven with, that's right, you've got it!!  Butter and brown sugar...not too much, just enough.  So good...

Roasted brussel sprouts with a little salt, pepper and olive oil.  When cooked, toss with balsamic vinegar and a smidgen of white sugar.  :)  Don't knock em until you've tried em!  These babies are tender and oh, so tasty!
And never to be forgotten...the delightful, fragrant and oh, so delicious warm-from-the-oven yeast bread rolls and sweet cream butter baby!!!  Good grief, I'm making myself hungry here... plain, buttered, dipped in gravy or spread with a little homemade strawberry preserves.  To die for, I'm telling you!!  Never forget the bread.  Never.
It's the bread of life man.
And it's good.

And then what we've all been waiting for...the pie.  King of desserts everywhere.  Pie.  
Humble in it's beginnings.  Spectacular on the taste buds.  Pie.  Be thankful for pie, people!!!

This is coconut cream.  We're having this pie in remembrance of my momma.  This was her favorite.  

And then just what would Thanksgiving be without the traditional, old stand-by, pumpkin pie with fresh, 
(real of course) whipped cream.  Sometimes tradition isn't all it's cracked up to be; but where pumpkin pie is concerned ? ...it's a good thing.
Oh yeah.  Very, very good.

Happy, happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!
May we all remember to give thanks to Him Whom we owe everything, and from where, all good things come!!  Be thankful!!

Blessings from our home, to yours.
Lorie @ Cingspots

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Foggy mornin's mean no rain

And no rain means a good day in my book.  We've had enough rain so far this fall, we could float a battleship.  Or two.  Everything in our neck of the woods is once again, green.  Green as far as the eye can see...oh, and grey.  Green and grey.  Look up, see grey.  Look down, see green.  Guess it could be worse.

Fall seems so fleeting.  I love looking forward to the cooler fall weather, but all too quickly it turns to the rainy season.  Warm and wet, along with shorter daylight hours and longer, dark evenings.  We've been going to bed earlier just because, well why not?  Thanksgiving is just around the corner and then Christmas after that.  Sheesh!!  Where does the time go?

Harley listening...I'd softly called out to him.
We've been storing up more wood in the woodshed.  We have a little more than 5 cords now, and we're going to call it good.  That's probably more than we'll need, but it's not going to spoil.  We have all the tools, farm equipment, lawn furniture and big horse trailer stored under cover for winter.  We have the new gravel all spread out in the parking areas and walk zones to and from house and barn.  Always trying to outsmart the mud, and reduce tracking inside the house.  It's a never ending job, but we try.  Freezer and pantry storage of summer and fall harvest is finished too.  Now what?  We've been so busy, I feel like a fish out of water.  I'm not sure I know what to do with myself next.  I don't do well being cooped up inside during the wet, dark months.  I need to be active and be outside to feel alive.  Maybe I'll start thinking about re-painting in some rooms of our house.  Hmmm...hubby may want to string me up if I start bringing up new project ideas already.  Maybe I'll think on that for a while and wait until after Thanksgiving to divulge my latest plan.  :)  If I go missing...send out a search party, will you?

Anyway, like I said earlier, we've been having some rather foggy mornings lately.  I took a few shots of the horses before heading off to work this morning.  Just to let you see them in their chocolate-dipped winter wooly outfits.  They are a ragged, but happy lot!

Sweet, sweet Harley

Ladde in all his muddy glory!

Kadie at sunrise
I love these butts!!!

Eagle in the mornin' mist
I collected four huge bags of leaves the other day to spread out on my garden beds.  I just need to rip out what's left of the tomato plants, cover all the soil with the leaves and then cover the whole beds with plastic to sit and compost over the fall and winter.  Next spring when I work up my soil, it should be much more enriched than in past years.  My friend Betty, calls this "uppening" the soil.  I like that.  Oh, and I have one cherry tree that I need to get planted before it gets too cold.  See, I still have stuff to accomplish!  All is right with my world...

Blessings all,
All of us at Cingspots