“None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.” (Fred De Witt Van Amburgh)
It’s Thanksgiving morning and the house inhabitants are still asleep. I’m up to get a few preparations started for the day. Ok, truth be told, the dogs have no clue what “sleep in” means. However, I still have culinary tasks to perform and there’s no time like the present, right?
Many people know I rarely buy processed food and make as much homemade food as possible. This applies to croutons as well. Last night, I baked a loaf of gluten-free bread.
This morning, I sliced up the bread and then cubed it.
From there, I added some spices (garlic powder, onion powder, salt, thyme, parsley and oregano) along with some olive oil and gave it all a good toss to coat evenly.
The soon-to-be croutons went onto a large baking sheet and were baked to perfection in a mere 15-17 minutes in the oven.
After these were finished, I looked up and saw a recipe book a friend had given me years ago. I have been adding to this book off and on. I stopped what I was doing and added the crouton recipe to it.
With this only being the second Thanksgiving since my mom went to live in Heaven, I can’t help but think of all the years I helped her prepare the stuffing for Thanksgiving. My favorite job was to chop the celery.
Granted, my daughter is still sleeping, but I look forward to the day where she too, will help prep our holiday meals, right by my side. I am not keeping this recipe book for my benefit, but for hers. One day, I will hand off this recipe book to my daughter.
I want her to have some great holiday memories to share with her family and be able to share the foods she used to have as a child. It would be nice to have my future grandchildren have their grandmother’s recipe book when they become adults.
Growing up, my mother always purchased Ocean Spray cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. Us kids had fun opening the can and watching this jelly mold fall out. Then we got to slice it in perfect rings. I never heard of “whole berry” cranberry sauce until I was a teenager and there was no way my mom was going to switch.
After moving to California and working in catering, I saw the other side of the cranberry. The side where it wasn’t pureed and pour into a mold. Where the berry was allowed to “pop” and be in a more natural form. This is when I fell in love with whole berry cranberry sauce.
Now some people can’t get over the tart tang of this sauce. I LOVE tart and sour food, so it’s always been a favorite. Years ago, I stopped buying canned cranberries. I took the plunge and made my own. I continue to make whole berry sauce to this day.
Just a couple packages, rinsed off and put into a sugar water mixture over a flame causes these beautiful little berries to pop, pop, pop. It doesn’t take too long until they are ready to can. Now honestly, I don’t set out to make it look like I’m planning for Doomsday. I just get carried away when it comes to canning.
Now, not all of those jars are whole berry cranberry sauce. Six of those jars are apple butter. That’s how all this started. I was just going to can my apple butter. Then the packages of cranberries started calling out to me and the next thing I know, my “canning pot” is on the stove and I passed the part of no return. This is what happens when I’m left alone for a couple hours.
A few moments ago, I opened a jar of the sauce to test it. I always do this, esp. as I either sell or give away my canning creations. The sauce came out perfectly (imo). It’s not too jelled, has some liquid for the berries to hang out in and it will spoon out nicely onto the plate or a sandwich.
So there you have it. I prefer whole berry cranberry sauce. Which do you prefer, whole or jelly?
I considered myself honored to be friends with professional artist, Dan Angeles, who allows the opportunity to see some of his work before they are publicly unveiled at an art exhibit. One reason I cherish this privilege is because this was something my sister, Kathi, used to do. After she passed, Dan allowed me the opportunity of these special previews.
I can hardly begin to express my admiration when I view these pieces. I have yet to find any of his work not to my liking. In every new exhibit, there are pieces that move me to tears. I see my past and my family in his art. I see promise, comfort, friendship and inspiration as well. I see a gift that will one day be the topic of discussion wherever art is being taught.
In Dan’s own words, he said about his latest work:
I compiled the new body of work into a video for you to view, if you would like. I paired my paintings with the beautiful song “Titanium” performed by Madilyn Bailey, which for me speaks to the way I constantly battle my own insecurities and doubts about my work or ideas. It also explains how I face these fears head on and overcome them. The actual work itself is all about accepting change in all of it’s many forms while growing and moving forward in life, with them. I hope that you enjoy the work and the experience of viewing it with song.
I encourage all of you to view this video. I was very moved when I first saw it. I will be turning 44 in just a few weeks. I have vowed on my 50th birthday to own one of Dan’s paintings.
Dan and I often joke how we are constantly making each other cry; good tears, mind you. We have never officially met, didn’t grow up in the same geographical area, but we have shared similarities, have uncanny ties to certain pieces of his work and we shared a love for my sister that will bind us for all times.
My goal is have to have Dan showcased in San Francisco. Besides sharing his work, in person, on the West Coast, I would actually be able to attend his exhibit, and meet my talented friend in person.
Please feel free to share this video. I’d love to hear your feedback after watching it. If you would like to check out more of Dan’s work, please visit artbydangles.
One morning, as I’m walking my daughter towards her school, she notices this branch near the sidewalk. She looks at it for a moment, then looks at me and says, “Mom? Doesn’t this look a giant asparagus?”
I then took a moment to look at the branch and had to agree with her, that it did. Of course, my lil miss had to take it a step further. She said, “I bet it is a giant asparagus thrown down from the heavens by a baby giant.”
I smiled, and said, “perhaps”. The imagination of this child, once developed, could make her a multi-million dollar screen writer!
As I wrap up another year of Open Enrollment and all the chaos that has ensued, I have to seriously consider if I want to take on the challenge of a Spanish for business course.
While I have strong feelings about English in the work place (definitely another post), I can’t help but feel I’m not helping my employees enough because some of them have a definite language barrier.
I have tried to learn Spanish in the past. I will say, when I worked in the restaurant industry when I arrived in CA, many moons ago, my Spanish was the best it ever was. You can’t work in CA restaurants and not pick up some Spanish; it’s near impossible.
Alas, time is not my friend and has erased much of the Latin-based language that used to roll off my tongue as easily as a trilled “r”. When I attempt to remember how to say certain Spanish phrases, I feel like I’m speaking like a child. I know a four-year old has better grammar than I do. I miss words, context, etc. Heck, I’m lucky if they get the gist of what I’m trying to convey.
I know what’s holding me back, besides money, is my lack of ability to practice. I know I’m a perfectionist and I don’t want to sound unintelligent when I’m speaking with employees. I’m still considering a course or two. It can’t hurt and if I can make my employees understand the importance of what is required of them, while accurately informing them of their options, so they can make an informed decisions about their health-care, then I should be willing to give it the old-college-try, right?
To learn or not to learn? That is the real question!
My daughter started at a private, Christian school about a month ago. We’re finally getting over the homeschool to school hurdle and she’s doing really well there.
Every day when I pick her up, she tells me about her day. The other day she was telling me what they learned in Bible class.
“Mom, today we learned we are all created in God’s image. Well except for us girls. We’re a little messed up in the chest and all; you know puberty and stuff.”
I swear, if I had been drinking anything, it would have been all over my windshield. I was definitely not expecting that but couldn’t help laugh out loud. That kid cracks me up. You know the saying, “out of the mouth of babes…”