Too Pooped to Post

Folks, my trip to Houston and back over the weekend has worn me out. I’m taking the day off. Maybe two days, but before I go I’ll leave you with this cute kitten picture:

And how about this adorable puppy in a teacup?

Or this turkey couple?

Which reminds me of a picture my youngest grandchild created in her kindergarten class:

Can you guess what this is?

It’s a turkey in disguise. I’d say this bird should escape the axe this Thanksgiving. Now, y’all have a great day. I’m taking a nap.

Peace, people!

Cooking for Studly: Thanksgiving for Two

Those of you who are new to my blog might not realize that I have a life outside of bashing our president-elect, but I do! I live with my husband, Studly Doright, and our two feline supervisors, Scout and Patches, in our own little piece of paradise that I like to call Doright Manor. 

We have two perfect children and five absolutely superior grandchildren (funny how that works, seeing as how Studly and I just barely peek over the average range), but they live far away from our home outside of Tallahassee, Florida. 

Studly and I were high school sweethearts in Texas, and in forty years of marriage we’ve moved 14 times, lived in five different states, and I’ve lost count of the number of homes we’ve shared. We aren’t retired yet, but it’s number one on our bucket list.

Studly married me thinking I’d turn out to be a great cook like his mom (Saint Helen) or my mom, (Gingymama), but I had neither the aptitude nor the attitude to develop into much more than a mediocre heater upper. Poor, poor Studly.

Twice a year, though, I focus all of my energies into cooking a kick ass holiday meal. I plan and prepare and check ingredients off of lists and shop and preheat–all the necessary stuff. Sometimes, it all turns out perfectly. Other times we pretend. Wine helps.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in the US. So today I’m baking a pecan pie, hard boiling eggs, and making cornbread. Doright Manor smells amazing. I’ll arise early tomorrow to prep and roast a turkey, make cornbread dressing, a fruit salad, and deviled eggs, along with Studly’s favorite green bean casserole (ugh!) and cranberry sauce. With any luck neither of us will need to pretend that it tastes great. Again, wine helps.

It’s just going to be the two of us for dinner, well and the cats, but I’m thankful that we are healthy and have each other. I’m most thankful that at Christmas we’ll get to see our kids, grandkids, and Saint Helen, when we congregate in Nashville, Tennessee, for a family holiday extravaganza.

Now, the smoke alarm hasn’t sounded even once this morning, so all is well at Doright Manor. I’d best go, though, and open a bottle of wine. Just in case.

Peace, and Happy Thanksgiving, people.

Leftovers

turkey on wheat bread
cornbread dressing stuffed bacon
cold pie for breakfast

   
   

some foods get better
on the second time around;
leftover heaven

Studly Doright isn’t a big fan of leftovers except when it comes to turkey and dressing and pecan pie. The man loves cornbread dressing and won’t cease eating until he’s scraped the pan clean. It’s embarrasingly endearing.

I can’t say that I’m any better. After having three generous pieces of pecan pie yesterday I might be the first person in history to have overdosed on the gooey dessert. My stomach spoke to me in angry tones all night long in a way that was anything but endearing, yet quite embarrassing.

It seems that leftovers, like everything except possibly hundred dollar bills, are best enjoyed in moderation.

  
Peace, people!

Easy Livin’

Our covered, screened-in porch is the perfect place to relax on a mild November evening. There’s a family celebration in full force across the lake, fairy lights and lilting voices twinkling on the calm water.

  
I’m sipping a Shock Top Raspberry Wheat Ale and tapping my toes in time with the guitar music drifting across the pond. Whoever’s playing isn’t very adept at their craft, but they’re quite enthusiastic. I like that in my musicians.

The man I adore, Studly Doright, is inside the house heating leftovers from yesterday’s Thanksgiving Day meal. I’m not a bit hungry, having already eaten two pieces of pecan pie, an avocado, bacon, and cheese omelet, and a ham sandwich today. The ale is my dessert. 

Life is good here at Doright Manor. There’s a black and white cat winding around my ankles and a black cat snuggled down for a nap in the chair next to me. No, it’s not an exciting life, but it is filled with peace and love.

  
Peace, people.

(im)Perfection

My mom was a kitchen perfectionist. She had precise ideas as to how most things had to be done, and I never quite was able to live up to those ideals. I never stirred correctly, never measured properly, never quite made anything to Mom’s specifications. I’ve always blamed her for my not learning to be a better cook, but truthfully I never enjoyed kitchen tasks.

Every year as Thanksgiving nears I wish I’d paid more attention to Mom’s directives. Even though I’ve now successfully prepared two dozen or more holiday dinners on my own I still have at least one hiccup in the preparation stage every single time. One year I almost forgot to buy a turkey. Another year I accidentally prepared sweet cornbread as the base for my cornbread dressing. That’s a definite no-no! No amount of sage or pepper could counterract the sweetness. There’s no telling what will happen this year. You see, I’m a bit of an imperfectionist.

On Thanksgiving morning I can always imagine my mom looking down from her perch in heaven shaking her head and saying, “Oh, sis, not like that!” But she’s also probably beaming in amazement that I manage to pull the whole thing off, and that so far no one’s been rushed to the emergency room after one of my meals.

Studly Doright and I wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving. May your heart be filled with love and gratitude and your belly filled with good food.

Peace, people!

Thanksgiving Day at Doright Manor

Roast Turkey

Cornbread Dressing

Green Bean Casserole (Studly’s favorite)

Grape Salad (from Chicken Salad Chick-my favorite)

Cranberry Sauce

Deviled Eggs

Yeast Rolls

Pumpkin Pie

Wine

  

 

 

The Day Before Thanksgiving

Studly Doright, the love of my life, is a bit of a horse trader. He doesn’t trade actual horses (dear Studly harbors an unnatural fear of farm animals, large and small); instead, he trades cars, trucks, motorcycles, basically anything that is motorized transportation.

On Tuesday he informed me that he’d bought a pickup truck. I nodded and smiled. “And, by the way,” he said casually, “We have to pick it up on Wednesday.”

Again, I nodded, like the dullard I must be.

Studly cleared his throat and I looked at him expectantly. “Um, it’s in Orlando….”

Normally a proposed trip to Orlando would have me jumping up and down like a small child. Universal Studios, DisneyWorld, tacky souvenirs, oh joy! But on the day before we are to host a Thanksgiving meal in our home? Nooooooooooo! For one thing  I knew there’d be no dawdling. We’d drive four hours south, in holiday traffic mind you, then turn around and drive four hours back to Doright Manor. But I had no choice. Studly can be an awful bully, I mean, awfully persuasive. 

The trip down was enjoyable. In addition to his gifts in persuasion Studly is always entertaining. Once again we drove right by the Cafe Risqué, Florida’s all nude cafe, even though we have a series of running jokes about what’s on the menu. Trust me, you don’t want to know the jokes. 

Traffic was interesting. One seriously aggressive driver came lane surfing around us, easily going 20 m.p.h. above our rather sedate 75. (Speed limit was 70.) As we neared Orlando we passed her after she’d hit another car. I’d have cheered, but she ruined someone else’s weekend. 

Once we arrived at the car dealership Studly took a test drive while I stretched my legs and looked at cars. The dealership had a gorgeous red BMW convertible that could’ve come home with me if I had just a few more (thousand) dollars in my bank account. After he returned, smiling like an idiot, Studly told me I could start for home while he finished making the deal.

I’ve officially been home now for an hour, and put together another pecan pie that should be done in 10-15 minutes. Studly got caught in a holiday traffic jam on the turnpike. I’m enjoying a Shiner Bock and the Thanksgiving classic Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Studly is probably cursing at rude drivers. Who knows, he might actually get to check out the menu at Cafe Risqué.

  
Peace, people!

Cooking for Studly: Special Thanksgiving Edition

Just when I think I can’t come up with a new way to screw up a meal I manage to surprise myself. Yesterday, I prepared the cornbread for our Thanksgiving dressing. I’ve made hundreds of batches of cornbread over the years, maybe even thousands. It’s pretty much a no-brainer at this point. Bwahaha!

This year I decided to make my cornbread from scratch rather than use one of the handy dandy mixes on the market. And because I’d rather have too much cornbread than too little, I doubled the recipe. Or I thought I did. 

1 1/3 cups of milk? No problem, that’ll be 2 and 2/3 cups.

1 large egg? Easy breezy: 2 eggs.

1/4 cup oil? A little tougher, but my superior mathematics skills came up with 1/2 cup.

So tell me why, when I went to add the cornmeal and sugar I didn’t double those ingredients?

And tell me why I didn’t notice that my batter was a bit on the watery side?

The result was a soufleé-ish concoction with a lovely aroma and squishy texture. I tasted it. Kind of yummy, but not at all suitable for cornbread dressing.

  
So, back to the cupboards for another try. I didn’t double anything this time, mostly because that would’ve meant a trip to the supermarket.

  
It might look a little overdone to some of you, but we like our dressing made from cornbread that is a bit on the dry side. At least that’s what I’ll tell everyone. Just in case, I have a packet of Martha White cornbread mix that I can put to good use.

  
This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for convenience.

Peace, people!

Giving Thanks

Our lives have not always been easy. We struggled financially for many years. We failed each other many times, but we always got up and made things right. There were many times when it would have been easy to give up, to quit, but we refused. We were never satisfied with failure or with doing things half-assed.

So today I’m thankful for a certain willful stubbornness. A refusal to accept the status quo. Studly and I are living proof that if you work hard and treat others as you wish to be treated that there’s a good chance you’ll do okay in this world. No, we aren’t wealthy. But we are comfortable. We won’t have a fortune to leave our kids. But we have a whole lot of love to leave them. And stubbornness.

Here’s hoping that this Thanksgiving Day allows each of my readers to take a moment to think on all the really good things in their lives. I’m thankful for each of you.

Thanks, people!