Thanksgiving 2017

What I planned, and what I ended up with aren’t necessarily the same.  My guys didn’t want rice they wanted stuffing, and they wanted rolls.  So I adjusted my menu and I think it turned out nice.  I made a grain free bread for me and the dairy-free/gluten free pie that they really liked.  I also made cake for my guys.  They enjoyed having it for breakfast the next day.   Hubby said he liked that the sweet potatoes weren’t drowned in sugar or marshmallows.  The only thing I added was salt while they were boiling.

We grilled the turkey and that turns out pretty good every year.  This year was the first time I tried butterflying (spatchcocking) the turkey and while it did cook more evenly, it was a chore to do it on a 22 lb. bird.  I told hubby that from here on out if we want to spatchcock the turkey, we have the butcher do it when we buy it.  They’ll usually do it for free and we save the aggravation.

I hope you’re Thanksgiving was blessed and that you reflected on all the things you are thankful for.  I’d love to hear how your dinner went and what you may have done differently this year.

James 1:17 – Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

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Our Thanksgiving Menu

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Thanksgiving the year our oven died and we grilled the turkey for the first time.

Since changing the way I eat to control my pain levels, the holiday season is going to look a little bit different.  While I want to make sure I follow a more plant based diet, hubby and son want fairly traditional holiday meals.  So with that in mind, here is my tentative Thanksgiving Day Menu:

Turkey – For quiet a few years now, the men have been responsible for the Thanksgiving turkey.  It goes back to the days when we celebrated our Thanksgivings with good friends and the men folk decided to try a garbage can turkey.  Their job ever since.  Several years ago the oven died and they needed an alternative way to cook the turkey.  Hubby grilled it and we’ve done it that way every year since.  Spatchcocking the turkey helps it grill more evenly and gives it a beautiful color.  Seasoning is simple…salt and pepper.  What is spatchcocking?  Is that really a thing?  Yep.  Go here for more info.
Stuffing – It’s been my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner (next to the pie) since I can remember.  I’ve used my Grandma’s recipe since I moved out on my own.  When we started grilling the turkey, we stopped stuffing the bird and went to dressing.  Same stuff, just not inside the bird.  This year instead of using Grandma’s recipe, I will be making a rice dressing.  It will include the traditional carrots, celery, onions and sage that we’re used to, only instead of bread we’ll be using rice.  It’s essentially a Thanksgiving rice pilaf.  I have no idea what I’m doing, so it may or may not come out.  If I end up using a recipe (I’ll probably search for hours and hours to find the right one) I’ll post it.
Potatoes – Much to my own disappointment, I won’t be making mashed potatoes this year.  But I’ll be making masked sweet potatoes.  No need to add extra seasonings other than salt and pepper and no reason to add sugar…they are sweet potatoes.  Yummy mashed sweet potatoes.
Salad – Big.  Like main dish big.  A big salad of yummy greens with some other veggies thrown in for color.
Green Beans – A must for Thanksgiving in my book.  But not drenched in canned soup, I just don’t like it that way.  We’ll be having some fresh green beans roasted with onions, garlic, salt, pepper, oil, and balsamic vinegar.  No recipe, I just toss it together and roast until they look done to me.  So good.  So.

Two things I’m not adding.  One is dinner rolls.  I don’t really have a grain free alternative.  So if my guys really want bread with their dinner, we have, well, regular bread.   The other is cranberries.  We like them, but every time I make them we all have some and the rest goes to waste.  So I’m just not making them this year.  That doesn’t mean you have to skip them….here is the recipe I had planned to use:  https://wellnessmama.com/3392/cranberry-sauce-recipe/

Last, but not least, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving dinner without a yummy dessert.  Hubby’s sister (and her two daughters) are gluten free so a few years ago I made a gluten free (for her) dairy free (for me) crustless pumpkin pie.  I could have eaten the whole thing by myself.  (https://glutenfreeeasily.com/best-pumpkin-pie-ever-and-its-crustless-gluten-free-and-dairy-free/)  Top your warm pie with dairy free whipped coconut cream.  (https://minimalistbaker.com/how-to-make-coconut-whipped-cream/)  Now, make a second pie and eat it for breakfast the next day.  Just thought I’d share my little tradition.

There you have it.  My menu plan for Thanksgiving day.  It might change.  I may just throw in the towel and demand to go out to eat.

What about you?  Do you have your Thanksgiving dinner planned out?  Or are ya planning to go out?  I’d love to hear what you are going to be doing!

Psalm 7:17 – I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

It Hasn’t Even Snowed Yet…

2015june13garden7…and I’m thinking about spring gardening.  How about you?

While I’m harvesting seeds for next year, pulling out finished plants and even planting fall and winter tolerant vegetables, I’m also starting to think about the spring garden.  Fall is a great time to add compost and soil amendments while you let it rest until spring.  As your compost breaks down, it recharges the soil beneath it with minerals and microorganisms that works it’s way down.  If you till, fall is a great time to plant cover crops that will be tilled into your soil in the spring.   Radish is really popular here.  We were slowly working toward raised beds so that we wouldn’t need to till, but I am starting to consider permanent 30″ flat beds instead.  Still no tilling, but no wood frames to worry about.

Growing up I learned from my grandfather to cover the garden and perennial plants for winter.  For us this meant raking the fall leaves onto the garden and around perennials.  In the spring we would turn them over into the soil.   I still do this, except I am getting13-11-08snowaway from digging or tilling.  Using a mower will shred them nicely, and if you have a bagger you won’t need to rake them.  Some people will cover their gardens/beds with straw or wood chips, still there are some who actually use tarps or other weed barriers.   A little work in the fall will greatly impact your garden in the spring.

 

Fall is also a great time to plan for garden expansions.  Covering areas you want to expand with compost materials and a tarp over the winter will choke out the vegetation under it and make your spring work a little easier.  I have a couple areas I’m considering expanding so I want to get the materials ready.

One area some might forget is cleaning up and caring for your tools.  This might mean things like applying boiled linseed oil to wood handles, sharpening, sanding, oiling metals so they don’t rust.  In the spring they’ll be ready to go when you’re itching to get out into the garden.

IMG_20161230_085416Another great fall prep is writing your thoughts down about this season into your garden journal.  (Of course you have a garden journal…any notebook or notepad will do.)  Give a summary about how things went, what worked well and what didn’t, what improvements or plant varieties you might like to try, weather challenges you had, pest battles, you get the idea.  This are things you can use as you start planning and prepping for next years garden.

A bit of work in the fall will get my spring garden going much quicker when the weather breaks.  I can’t wait!

Job 37:9-10 From its chamber comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds. By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

It’s Fall Ya’ll!

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Trying to enjoy the fall weather here @Home and spending time out in the woods before the cold sets in.

treesinwoodsroadWe went out this past weekend and even though it was spitting rain, we got out into nature to get some fresh air and exercise. The weather has been warmer than normal lately so it’s been easy to get out and enjoy it.

The leaves are just starting to change here in Northern Indiana. You never know how they are going to be until you are in the midst of full color. A couple years ago the leaves went from green to brown and totally skipped the color. One year we had the most amazing color changes I had ever seen. It’s my favorite time of year and I’m always eager to see fall how ever it comes.

How are you spending your time these days? Comment below and let me know, I’d love to hear from you!

He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1:3

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Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

Happy New Year!

Wow, it’s been a little while since my last post. After my laptop died and then my tablet shattered, my online activities were greatly diminished.  They still are to a point, but thanks to a new tablet some things are a bit easier.

I hope that you and yours had a wonderful time over Christmas and New Years.  We didn’t go anywhere and didn’t have anyone over (everyone seemed to have their own plans already) so ours was nice quiet time at home.

Now that it’s the new year, I’m already thinking about the gardens.  I am making lists of seeds that I’d like to order and starting to draw out where everything is going to go.  I am also shopping for clearance garden supplies…you can get some great buys this time of year.  Tomatoes and peppers will be started here soon so I need to inventory my supplies to see what I’ll be needing.

I am also re-launching my craft business.  I was doing quite well but a few years ago I with everything that was going on at that time, depression set in and I quickly got burned out trying to keep up with it.  I thought it best to step back from it and focus on myself and my family.  The time seemed right to revive it and I’m excited.  While I will have a link to my business, this blog isn’t for selling anything.

I am still committed to minimizing my home and life.  I did quite a bit of decluttering in 2015, not as much as I wanted.  Being a borderline hoarder I think I did pretty good.  I found a book online by Marie Kondo called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and I am hoping to get it. I think one of the biggest roadblocks I have to decluttering is letting go. If I can change this mind set I will be on my way.

I am off to start planning our sons birthday day. He wants to start the morning off with French toast and bacon, ending with dinner at his favorite restaurant.  He is growing into a fine young man.  I adore him!

Until next time…grace and peace.