Sunday, November 20, 2011

giving thanks

Is it just me or do you think planning the holiday menu is half the fun? Well, aside from eating it, that is:) I'm always a bit amazed that it takes so long to cook a big dinner which is then demolished in mere minutes! Good thing I love to cook!

A couple of weeks ago my mom and I sat down together, got out my granny's old recipes as well as our favorites, and made a wish list:) We live pretty simply here in the woods but this year we're cooking for a crowd and I'm a bit staggered by our menu. But we'll have plenty of leftovers for everyone which is always a treat.

I'll admit I struggle with the excess of the holidays oftentimes. Having a brother who's worked among the very poor is a reminder of the many who do without. I remember, too, that the holidays are often difficult for those who are missing loved ones or wish they could rewrite the past. It's a bittersweet time.

The photograph at left is unique, I think, because of the old photographs on the Thanksgiving table. If I could I'd love to sit down with my ancestors this week and share a meal. They'd probably be right at home with some of the dishes that are a family tradition but might turn up their noses at the strawberry pretzel salad;)

I'm thankful Mom and I are both cooking this year. Fortunately, she's bringing the ham, sweet potato casserole, lima bean casserole, crunchy green pea salad, bacon and cauliflower salad, and praline pumpkin pie.

I'm in charge of the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, apple bacon cornbread stuffing, strawberry pretzel salad, green beans, deviled eggs, rolls, cranberry sauce, and chocolate cream and cherry pies. It's also Wyatt's 15th birthday so we're
celebrating that, too!

I'd love to hear how you'll be celebrating this year. Have a special dish? A tradition? If you could invite one of your ancestors for dinner, who would it be?


  1. Laura, your Thanksgiving menu sounds like a dream. You ladies must be fabulous cooks. It would be a great privelege to sit down with our ancestors, wouldn't it!

    My Grandmother's home was always filled with homemade bread and pies, and always books and needlework laying about. I thought it was the closest thing to heaven perhaps, but now I know the One who created me & heaven. All praise to Jesus!

    ~~~Thinking now of your son and his violin (what a beautiful instrument)....when our son comes home for Christmas we will have some violin/cello duets. I'm loving the very thought.

    Our Thanksgiving will be small and Hubby and I. Our menu will be roasted Turkey, homemade cranberry sauce, candied sweet potatoes. Perhaps some kale/craisin salad and/or waldorf jello salad. And some pumpkin pie. I'm trying to convince myself not to make pumpkin fudge...which I get addicted too so easily!

    Warmest wishes to you and yours for a Happy Thanksgiving dear Laura. And Happy Birthday wishes to your Wyatt.

  2. I'm so grateful that, Lord willing and weather permitting, I'll be home this year for Thanksgiving! I really can't wait to see my mom, dad, sister, grandpa, grandma, and uncle - I've missed them so much! I think my mom and I might be helping my grandma with the Thanksgiving dinner preparations. :)

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Laura!! And happy birthday to your son! :)


  3. Maggie Ann,
    Oh, love your comments. And the simplicity of your menu! That's very similar to what we've had the last 17 years or so. It's always just been the 4 of us and soon will just be the 2 of us, too.

    Your homemade cranberry sauce sounds wonderful! It reminds me of the cranberry apple relish I made a few years ago. I've never heard of pumpkin fudge and am already a fan, seeing as how I love both;) My granny always made fudge for the holidays and we miss that very much. We should have some recipe sharing on the blog here! If anyone sees anything they'd like to try I'll be glad to do that.

    Grandmothers make the best memories and yours is no exception. All praise to Jesus, indeed! And to violins and cellos! Heaven's music, truly. Music adds so much life to a house:) I think it's wonderful you and your son play together! I'd give anything to do that with Paul.

    Wyatt thanks you for the birthday wishes:) He said he doesn't feel 15! But then I don't feel my age either! Bless you on this holiday and thanks so much for your gracious comments.

  4. Amber, Oh, so hoping you get home and the weather cooperates! Though it sounds fun to think of you snowed in once you arrive there:) And 3 generations in the kitchen is a wonderful thing. I bet there are some good cooks at your house and plenty of appreciative eaters!

    It's so fun to hear what you are doing. It really helps put us all in the holiday spirit:) Have a blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours, dear Amber! And thanks for being here before you head home!

  5. Yes Laura...planning the Thanksgiving meal is half the fun! This is my favorite holiday of the year.
    Your menu sounds delicious and I had to comment on the strawberry pretzel salad...I make that too! It's my youngest sons favorite dish by far and this year his wife will be making it for him as they start their own traditions back in Colorado...Wishing you an amazing and blessed day....

  6. Debbie, I thought there just HAD to be some smiles over that strawberry pretzel salad:) Certainly a tradition worth keeping! I wasn't a believer till I tasted it last year at our family Christmas reunion in Tennessee (waving at Aunt Janice!) and I quickly went back for seconds as I knew there wouldn't be any... Neat that your son and his wife get to take that recipe with them to CO.

    Like you, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the wonder of Christmas but there's just something about the simplicity of Thanksgiving that wins my heart. Hope this is the best holiday ever for you, too. Bless you and yours!

  7. I traditionally make a banana pudding for Thanksgiving -- I use sour cream in place of a cup of milk, and put half of a bowl of whipped cream in the pudding -- it's awesome! Your strawberry pretzel salad sounds amazing!

    If I could spend thanksgiving with one of my ancestors, I think it would have to be my great granny -- my grandmother's mom. She always told the most interesting stories of life in the twenties and thirties. She made a mean creamed corn, too. :-)

    I wish you and your family a wonderful and memorable Thanksgiving, Laura! God bless you!

  8. What a bountiful feast you all will be sharing with your loved ones! My family won't eat some of the wonderful things you're having. I can only enjoy those recipes at friends' houses or church dinners. But they will eat the Strawberry Pretzel Salad. I'm so glad you reminded me of it, Laura!

    My sister, nieces, and I all share the cooking for our Thanksgiving meal. They always ask me to make the sweet potato casserole and a corn casserole--and then anything else I want. Now my niece's 6-yr-old daughter will join the women by making Turkey shaped cookies for our special day. She's so excited!

    Hope you and your family enjoy Thanksgiving, Laura. Blessings!

  9. Laura,
    Like every year we will be at my grandmas. With a traditional Thanksgiving feast, my dad and the guys will go hunting a couple days before for the turkey.

    This year I am in charge of the desserts this year. It also be nice to see my cousins again. With a large family we range in age from mid twenties all the way to newborn. Never quiet movement. We are also celebrating my moms birthday to since we all are together.


  10. Renee, Oh, you're so blessed to have at least one little one at your celebration:) Kids make everything so special. Those turkey cookies sound right up my alley! And we are big fans of sweet potato casserole. I'm wondering if your corn casserole is like our corn pudding. Yum. I think pot luck sharing is the best as no one gets too worn out! I'd love to look in your busy kitchen that day with so many good cooks...

    I'll be thinking of you when we dive into that strawberry pretzel salad. I think we'd be amazed at how many tables it will grace here in the US both Thanksgiving and Christmas. In fact, I just might have to make it again in a month!

    Thanks so much for being here. Praying His best for you and your day of thanks, Renee!

  11. Carissa, You're having a true Kentucky Thanksgiving:) I'd love to taste that fresh turkey and I hope they get a big one! Reminds me of the days my grandpa would go rabbit hunting in Berea. Haven't tasted that in ages!

    I think being in charge of the desserts would be the most fun. Here we have trouble deciding just which ones to make as we like so many. This year pies won out. Sometimes it's red velvet cake or something like that.

    Hope your day is blessed in every way, Carissa, and it's a beautiful Kentucky fall day!

  12. Gwen! YES, creamed corn!! Thank you for that;) That's a favorite of ours here when our garden is in. I make it sinfully rich with lots of butter and cream and a pinch of sugar in a big skillet. Sigh...

    But your banana pudding sounds amazing, too! Especially with the sour cream and then whipped cream. I grew up on the stuff and so it's a fav. I'll post the straw. pret. salad below if anyone wants to make it though I'm sure it's being googled to death this holiday season:)

    Your comment of who you'd invite really touches me. Your great grandmother sounds so interesting. I'm so glad you were listening to those stories! Like you, I called mine "granny" too. I miss her so much and can't wait to see her again.

    Bless you for being a faithful reader and blessing us with your comments, Gwen. I'm so thankful we've connected here!


    3/4 cup butter or margarine
    2 cups crushed pretzels
    8 oz. cream cheese
    1 cup sugar
    2 cups whipped topping
    2 cups water
    6-oz package strawberry gelatin
    2 (10-oz.) pkgs. frozen strawberries

    CRUST: Melt butter in bottom of 8x12 baking dish. Stir in crushed pretzels and spread evenly in bottom of dish. Bake at 350* for 10 minutes. Cool.

    1st LAYER: Cream cream cheese and sugar together. Add whipped topping. Spread over cooled crust and refrigerate approximately 30 minutes.

    2nd LAYER: Dissolve strawberry gelatin in 2 cups boiling water. Add frozen strawberries and allow to gel some. Pour on top of cream cheese layer and congeal.

    Serves 10


  14. Wow, I have never tasted most of those delicious sounding dishes on your menu, Laura! I don't know how you cope with such big holiday feasts only a month apart. It's hard enough for us just working off the weight from our Christmas eating!

    I'd like to try some of your menu! I love sweet potato, so I'm interested in the casserole :) I'm not even sure I've ever had roast turkey. I might have. A lot of Aussie's have roast turkey on Christmas.

    Jess is going to be having a Thanksgiving meal this year. She has an American friend who has invited her. I'm very keen to hear all about it! The big curiosity is pumpkin pie ... lol ... which might sound strange to everyone else since it appears to be a staple over there. Is it sweet or savoury?

    Now, if I was going to have an ancestor for dinner ... oh so many to choose from. But first choice would be my dad - even though that sounds strange, technically he is an ancestor! I have so many things I need to talk to him about. He's been with the Lord only 4 years but so much has happened in that time.

    Everyone else's menu sounds so interesting as well! I hope everyone has a lovely time with their families and their food :)

  15. Well Thanksgiving has come and gone up here, but I'm enjoying reliving it through my southern neighbours. I can feel your anticipation and excitement through your words. I'm guessing you will be tremendously busy! Enjoy!

  16. Hope you have a very happy thanksgiving! I love the idea of the table setting with the old photos. I'm going to file that back in my brain :) This thanksgiving, as usual, my grandpa is cooking. Yes, he's the best family cook. He was one of 5 boys and the one his mother decided to pass her skills down to. Its served him well through the years, especially in the military and with grandkids who love fried chicken :) I'm looking forward to turkey, dressing and potatoes. His are the best. I fully intend to eat until I have to be rolled out of the house ;)

  17. Helen,
    It's so fun talking to you about Thanksgiving as it reminds me that this is a holiday not celebrated by most other countries. I am so intrigued you've never tasted pumpkin pie - but then I've never tasted Vegemite;) Now that I'm thinking about it, pumpkin pie might be an acquired taste. Since pumpkin is a veggie and not sweet, we have to make the pie with plenty of sugar and spices and milk. I love it personally and my mom makes a praline layered one that is wonderful and truly a dessert. I hope Jess finds it all scrumptious and, as Heather here says, has to roll out of the house afterwards it's so good!

    Like you, I miss my dad who's been gone about 12 years now. Your loss is still so fresh and I'm so sorry. I like thinking we will see them again and make up for all that lost time. Heaven is a wonderful thought...

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and good wishes! You are a gem:)

  18. Kav,
    You are so right! I am headed out the door in a few minutes to go 60 miles or more for groceries and last minute items to about half a dozen places - and then try to squeeze some writing time in. NOT! And I haven't even mentioned the cleaning that needs to be done...

    But I am excited as my brother and nephew roll in any time. I think you Canadians have the better plan - Thanksgiving in October! Like Helen said, it is a bit tricky to have 3 major holidays back to back. Then there are those folks who have birthdays on holidays...

    I always love seeing you here and think of you so often. Still pondering that wonderful blog post you did:) Bless you.

  19. Yum! I'm tired just thinking about all that cooking. Though I find it's not the cooking so much as it is the ROOM to cook and store everything. I always wish for a second oven and fridge that's at least twice as big. I'm glad when it's good and cold out during the holidays, as that allows me to "refrigerate" things on the back deck. Bottles of Riesling chill just right in a snow bank!

    We'll spend the day with my husband's family. And I will sorely miss my mom's stuffing! I married a Southerner and they do cornbread--I crave mom's light bread, celery and sage dish.

  20. Heather, lol! Ditto on the rolling part! Me, too:) I think some of the best cooks are men! Think of all the great chefs who are male. Emeril is a fav of mine! And I hear he makes a mean deep-fried turkey. It's fun to hear you talk about your grandpa because in hub's family (Randy's), he was one of 5 boys and his dad was the cook, too. In fact, he had to teach Randy's mom to cook as she was only 15 when he married her! But that's a whole other novel in itself...

    I thought you might like the table arrangement:) It really reminded me of something you would do. Only I bet you would do it one better! Bless you and yours, dear Heather, on this holiday. I'll enjoy thinking of you Thursday as we eat ourselves silly!

  21. Oh I would love to have Johannes Adam Rousch at my table! His life inspired my manuscript, out on proposal right now. From the nonfiction accounts of him, he was a remarkable man. On the other hand, I am more curious about his wife Susanne. Wondering how come he gets an SAR memorial but no DAR one for her. Thanks for the lovely post, Laura!

  22. I'm always amazed at how different every family's "traditional" Thanksgiving dinner is. My mom-in-law is Polish, and even though she's second generation American, their Thanksgiving dinners used to have a lot of Polish food as well as the usual turkey, potatoes, etc.

    This year I'm hosting family. First time for that, although as a pastor's wife, we've been hosting Thanksgiving dinners for a while. So I'm not at all worried about cooking.

    The unique thing for us this year is that we're doing two turkeys--one deep-fried and the other in the oven so we can have that turkey flavored stuffing. Mm mm mm. :)

    Laura, the mission trip I took to Brazil years ago still affects me when I'm tempted to complain or hear so many others talking about how bad our economy is. Yes, it's bad--by our standards. But even in the midst of this historic time, we've filthy rich compared to much of the world. None of us live in cardboard boxes on the side of a major highway. :(

  23. Carrie, I even love your ancestor's name! It's truly novel worthy. And I sense your passion for him and your story so I know it's going to be good! I'd give anything to sit down with him AND you. And Susanne! Hmmmm, not fair about the DAR. Any way you could fix that?

    I'd love to sit down with my Kentucky ancestors who first came into the state when it wasn't one. I have a feeling we'd have a late night;)

  24. Sally, After having my first taste of deep fried turkey in Tennessee last year I think I'll have a hard time going back to oven roasted! Will be interested to see what you think though for stuffing the latter can't be beat:) I think Polish food sounds wonderful. I tend to like everything but oysters and sushi. I LOVE borscht! But that's Russian...

    The Lord knew what He was doing when He made you a pastor's wife! I bet you have the gift of hospitality, too. Oh, to be at your house!

    You're right about Brazil. Chris was in Ecuador for nearly 20 years and also in Belize, etc. The poverty in SA and Central Am. is mind-blowing. I think of those things, too, when I complain about anything. I've heard that India is even more wrenching. Strangely enough, I'd love to go but I don't think I'd ever be the same - hopefully in a profoundly good, better way, if that makes sense.

    Hoping this is the best day of thanks for you and yours yet. Thanks so much for your wonderful comments!

  25. Sarah, I do understand the stuffing dilemma - only in reverse;)! Being a southerner, I can't quite get used to anything but cornbread stuffing, only these Yankees here put sugar in it. BLECH! I do love a regular bread stuffing, though, especially if it's been cooked in the bird.

    Chuckling about your back deck. I have drinks cooling out there right now for the days ahead, plus my ham and turkey are about to join in for the big thaw. LOVE when it snows and you have an instant 2nd fridge like you said. OH JOY!

    BTW, love your quotes today, especially the one at the very top. What a blessing that was!

  26. Laura,
    You have the most beautiful pictures on your blog. Love them. What fun it would be to sit and chat with my ancestors of old, especially since my family heritage is of great interest to me.

    I get to spend the day with my parents and brother and sister-in-law and their kids. We're still working on the menu, although I requested my Mom's 'Red Hot Salad'. It's cherry jell-o with red hot candies in it. Yummy. I wondered if you'd be willing to share your Apple Bacon Corn Bread Stuffing recipe. It sounds awesome. :)

    So glad that you get to see your brother this Thanksgiving. A lifetime of memories. Tell Wyatt Happy Birthday for me.

    And a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and all of your family, dear friend!


  27. Happy Thanksgiving and a very Happy Birthday to your son!! So much to be thankful for.
    I also struggle with the over-indulgence this time of year. God has been placing some things on my heart lately and it has to do with helping people in poverty. I am thankful that my family has enough food to make our tummies bulge and our house is safe and warm.
    Have a blessed week, Laura!

  28. Angi, Your upcoming Thurday sounds delicious:) I'm so glad you're near family. And that red hot salad sounds so colorful and good! I'd love the recipe when you have time! And I'm more than happy to share that stuffing recipe right here! I'm getting ready to make it tomorrow, first time ever, so it will be good to go over it again beforehand. I usually make the cornbread stuffing from one of my favorite restaurants - Cracker Barrel. They released their "secret" recipe a few years back and it's wonderful but Mom and I thought this one looked to good to pass up. Let's hope it's as good as that old Cracker Barrel recipe:)

    Thanks so much for the thumbs up on the pictures:) I can't take credit as most are from Google images public domain. One of my favorite things to do is look them up to go with a post. I'll try and remember to take some pics of our Thanksgiving this year and see if any turn out well enough to post here. I'm quite camera challenged!

    Thanks so much for the birthday wishes for Wyatt. He's heavy into the basketball season now so will be glad for a couple of days off practice. He's asked for a cherry pie instead of birthday cake which is much easier to make:)

    Bless you, Angi, and your loved ones this Thanksgiving. I know it will be a wonderful day!

  29. Lisa, I've always sensed you have a heart for others. There's so much need around us out here in the northwest - everywhere, really. And you're so right! Being full and warm is surely at the top of the blessings list! When I walk inside from the cold inside and see a roaring fire in our hearth I just about melt with gratitude!

    You have a son coming up on 15 pretty soon if I remember correctly:) Happy times at your house with all your beautiful kids. I have to come for a blog visit soon and see if you've taken any recent pics!

    Thanks so much for being here. It makes the week even sweeter!

  30. Apple Bacon Cornbread Stuffing:

    Cooking oil spray
    1/2 cup butter
    8 eggs, divided
    2 1/2 cups low fat milk
    2 cups yellow cornmeal
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    4 tsp. baking powder
    2 tsp. salt, divided
    1 lb. thick-cut bacon, chopped
    4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
    1 onion, chopped
    4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces
    3 cups apple cider
    1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
    1 tbsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
    1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 9x13 inch baking pans with cooking oil spray and set aside. Melt butter and set aside.

    2. In a medium bowl, whisk 4 eggs with milk and set aside. In a large bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, sugars, baking powder, and 1 tsp. salt. Add milk mixture to cornmeal mixture and mix just enough to combine thoroughly. Stir in melted butter. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes. Keep oven on.

    3. Cut cornbread into 1/2 inch pieces and spread on 2 large, rimmed baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, stirring once or twice, about 45 minutes. Let cool to room temperature; transfer to a very large bowl.

    4. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon until brown and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels. Transfer rendered fat to a small bowl and set aside.

    5. Put 1 tbsp. reserved bacon fat back in the same frying pan over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, and remaining 1 tsp. salt. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer onion and celery to a medium bowl along with the bacon. Return pan to medium-high heat and add 1 more tbsp. reserved bacon fat. Add apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned but not falling apart, about 7 minutes. Transfer apples to bowl with onions, celery, and bacon.

    6. Return pan to medium-high heat and add cider. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of pan. Add cream and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk remaining 4 eggs in a medium bowl. Add 1/4 cup cider-cream mixture to eggs, whisking constantly. Add another 1/2 cup cider cream, still whisking. Whisk in remaining cider cream.

    7. Pour egg mixture over reserved cornbread cubes and toos gently but thoroughly. Add reserved onion-bacon mixture, thyme, and pepper. Toss gently to combine well. Transfer mixture to a 9x13 baking pan, cover with aluminum foil, and bake until hot, about 45 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

    YUM:) Once you've recovered from all that work, that is!

  31. I hope Wyatt has a wonderful birthday!!

    I'll be going home on Thursday morning. I have to work tomorrow, and I don't deal well with driving after dark. I'm hoping there won't be so much traffic. The bad news is, I'll have to leave early.

    My parents and I will be going out to eat. We'll go to Jenny Wiley, like we did last year. My stepdad bought a turkey breast though, lol. My mom will also make macaroni salad for me, and I'm certain if there's turkey, they'll be dressing too. We'll go to the nursing home to see Papaw too.

  32. I'm really looking forward to some good ol' pumpkin pie! I don't think it's Thanksgiving without it. Oh and don't forget the Reddi-Whip for the top. ;-)

    Happy b-day to your son and happy Thanksgiving to you all! You're such a blessing!

    XOXO~ Renee C.

  33. Laura, I have to admit I was surprised when I found out pumpkin pie is a sweet dish! But then mum told me she loves pumpkin pie, so somewhere along the way she has eaten it. I guess it's not too strange as we eat a few desserts based on sweet potato.

    I'm really glad you posted the strawberry pretzel salad recipe because it was definitely not what I imagined!! I was imagining slices of strawberry and pretzels tossed with lettuce. But now I think it's more like a cheesecake?

    I'm sorry to hear you've lost your dad as well. But yes, it is so good to know we'll see them again!

  34. Michelle, I love hearing your plans. Wish I could be with you at Jenny Wiley!! Had to smile at the macaroni salad as that's a fav and one my granny always included for Thanksgiving. I bet it's the same Kentucky macaroni salad recipe:) Randy loves it and I never seem to make it enough - or enough of it!

    So glad you get to see your Papaw, too. I know it wouldn't be complete without that. Like you, I don't drive well in the dark due to vision problems so am glad you'll be going bright and early Thanksgiving morning. You're in my prayers for safe travel and I'm so happy you stopped here before you go!! Thanks so much for being you, Michelle.

  35. Renee, You're such a blessing, too!! And ditto on the pumpkin pie with lots of topping:) It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it. Can you imagine?

    Wyatt is getting wound up for his big day, only at 15 it's not nearly as much fun as when he was little and we gave him Legos and such. Now he orders his own presents off of Amazon. No fun in that! I might try to sneak a book in and surprise him:)

    Hope you day is wonderful there with family and friends, Renee. Praying it is!

  36. Helen, I thought it was more like a lettuce salad, too:) And I don't like jello much which is huge here. But you said the magic word - cheesecake - and I do love that!!

  37. Wow, Laura! What a feast you will have! We go with the very traditional thanksgiving dishes . . . turkey, gravy, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole (complete with marshmallows), green bean casserole, olives, rolls, and orange jello. The jello is made with one large box of orange jello, and instead of adding 2 cups of cold water, you add 16 oz of vanilla yogurt (it sort of tastes like an orange creamsicle). It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without the orange jello. We've been having it that way for over 15 years. : )

    I would LOVE to try your Strawberry Pretzel Salad -- perhaps I can make it for Christmas.

    Sweetest blessings to you, dear Laura. Enjoy your day with your family! And Happy Birthday to Wyatt!!! His birthday is the 27th? My Julie is also turning 15 on the 27th. :D

    Love & Hugs,

  38. Michelle, Oh, SO happy you're here! I was missing you and thinking you might be traveling and then here you are:) LOVE your menu and will have to remember the orange creamsicle dish - yum. I think I'll make that and Angie's red hot jello salad for Christmas. The pretzel salad is perfect for Christmas because it's a bright red and white. Mine is tucked in the fridge right now awaiting tonight:)

    I love knowing your daughter and my son share the same birthday:) We were in the hospital at the very same time 15 years ago! I remember, since it was Thanksgiving, they served me a big old turkey sandwich. Yum. And pumpkin pie.

    Bless you, sweet Michelle, on this wonderful day! You've brought a lot of joy to my life and I'm so thankful for you.

  39. (Red faced as I'm always a bit late...but I'll talk at the party anyhow). I've never had lima bean salad...but would love to try it. I hope Wyatt had a great birthday!!

    This year we visited Chris' dad which is a large gathering and so we each bring a dish to pass. All the traditional foods. Do you bake Christmas cookies? I want to teach my kids how to make our traditional family cookie recipes this year.

  40. Julia!! No redfaced apologies needed:) I'm sooo happy you're here and glad to hear you had a great Thanksgiving with your FIL. We're still very full but thankful. My brother leaves in the morning...

    I used to love making Christmas cookies with my boys when they were little. They'd eat most of the dough though! But oh the memories:) And tummy aches;) Bless you and yours this holiday season! I've been remiss in posting and blog visiting, too. Life is so busy, especially lately. But am thinking of you always.