Southern Thanksgiving Readiness

Submitted by Christi

Well, I think we are almost ready. The table is set, the turkey is thawing, the house is clean and Mama is here and we will be spending the day Wednesday cooking and making the final preparations. The rest of the family will arrive late on Wednesday and we will start the party!

I am so thankful to get to spend Thanksgiving with my family this year. The past couple of years, my husband and I have not been able to make it to the big family parties but this year, it is coming to us!

Even the sky is joining in the preparations by inspiring us with it’s beautiful color.

a beautiful sunset.

a beautiful red sunset.

We have pilgrams and turkeys.

We have pilgrams and turkeys.

Pumkins aplenty.

Pumkins aplenty.

The big table is ready

The big table is ready

Even the outdoor table gets decorated!

Even the outdoor table gets decorated with red!

I saw this Thanksgiving poem and liked it:

More Than A DayAs Thanksgiving Day rolls around,
It brings up some facts, quite profound.
We may think that we’re poor,
Feel like bums, insecure,
But in truth, our riches astound.We have friends and family we love;
We have guidance from heaven above.
We have so much more
Than they sell in a store,
We’re wealthy, when push comes to shove.So add up your blessings, I say;
Make Thanksgiving last more than a day.
Enjoy what you’ve got;
Realize it’s a lot,
And you’ll make all your cares go away.

By Karl Fuchs

Okay, I’m going back to enjoy visiting with Mama! See y’all for Tablescape Thursday!

A little outdoor red for Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer and Rednesday! with It’s a Very Cherry and today’s lagniappe is a great idea for Crockpot Wedneday with Dining with Debbie.

Today’s Lagniappe: Crockpot Artichoke Spinach Dip
Something to enjoy while the turkey is cooking.

* 1-1/2 cups frozen cut leaf spinach
* 14 oz. can marinated or plain artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
* 1/2 cup purchased Alfredo sauce
* 1/2 cup mayonnaise
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 1/8 tsp. pepper
* 1-1/2 cups shredded Havarti cheese
* 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cubed
* 1 (6-ounce) can crabmeat, drained, if desired

Thaw spinach and drain well, pressing to remove water. Chop spinach and combine with rest of ingredients in a 2 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low setting for 2-3 hours. Serve with crackers, toasted French bread, carrot sticks, and celery sticks. Serves 8

Southern Thanksgiving

Submitted by Christi

I can’t believe that it is really almost here! What a wonderful holiday Thanksgiving is. What a blessing it is for our nation to set aside a day to give thanks.

In preparation, we have seen this:

The dining table

The dining table

Go to this:

Pretty close to just how I want it!

Pretty close to just how I want it!

And lots of Thanksgiving-y touches added to the house:



Today, I decorated the table on the back porch. It was a beautiful 67 degree day here. The high on Thanksgiving is supposed to be 50, which of course, is quite a bit cooler, but I wanted to create a place where my family and guests could enjoy the outdoors if they just want to.


It gets really cool here at night, but if anyone is game, I added an oil lantern and there are also twinkle lights on the porch rail.

Of course, my doves that are always on the backporch had to make an appearance.

Of course, my doves that are always on the backporch had to make an appearance.


Now, I just need the guests and the food and it will be a great time!

This is my entry today in Susan’s Metamorphosis Monday

Metamorphosis Monday

Metamorphosis Monday

Wishing everyone a wonderful beginning to this holiday week!

Today’s Lagniappe: Lowell Inn Crescent Rolls
We always have these delicious rolls at Thanksgiving. While they did not originate in the South (the Lowell Inn is in Minnesota), we have made them our Southern family’s tradition. This recipe came from my mother’s 1956 Betty Crocker cookbook. This year my little sister, Linda is bringing them.

3/4 c  warm water
1/2 c  sugar
2 eggs
4 c  sifted flour
2 pk active dry yeast
1 ts salt
1/2 c  soft shortening

Dissolve yeast in warm water.

Stir in sugar, salt, eggs andshortening and 2 cups of flour.

Add rest of flour, mix until smooth.
Scrape dough from sides of bowl; cover with damp cloth.

Let rise until double (1 1/2 hours).

Shape as crescents by dividing dough into 3 equal parts.

Roll each part into a 12″ circle (1/4″ thick). Spread with soft butter.

Cut into 12 pie-shaped pieces.

Beginning at rounded edge roll up.

Place on pan, point underneath.  Cover.

Letrise until double (1 hour). Brush with butter.

Bake at 400o for 12 -15 minutes, until golden brown.

Southern Sides

Submitted by Christi
With Designs by Gollum

With Designs by Gollum


Many years ago, I lived in Fort Worth, Texas. A fabulous place to live. After Fort Worth, I moved to Las Colinas, Texas which is between Fort Worth and Dallas.

While I was living in Fort Worth, I worked for a while doing computer work for Travis Avenue Baptist Church. Those were great times. The ladies on the staff that I worked with were so great. I’ll never forget JoAnn Morgan who was the anchor of the staff and was just as sweet and crazy as they came. She would wear two different shoes to work sometimes. One of the funniest things she did was put a post it note on her shirt pointing to where she had spilled something at lunch that said something about knowing that the spill was there and that she meant it to be there. Just a great group of people!

Today, I’m posting a couple of recipes from the 1989 Travis Avenue Cookbook.

The first recipe is from LaNell Doyle. LaNell was on the staff and was great fun. She would bring this dish to pot lucks in her blue and white casserole (she insisted that it be served in a blue and white casserole) and it was always delicious and so much better because she is such a great person. This would be a great addition to any Thanksgiving table.

Lanelle’s Corn Casserole

2 can cream-style corn
2/3 cup cornmeal
6 tablespoons oil
1 can green chilies
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic or onion salt (or both)

Mix all ingredients together and bake at 375 for 45 minutes until firm in center. Serves 8 (can be halved for 4 servings).


This next recipe is also from the cookbook and is, of course, a Thanksgiving classic with a twist. Green Bean Casserole that is just the best. It has a little better flavor than most I’ve tried.

Trav Ave. Green Bean Casserole

2 cans green beans, drained OR 1 lb. fresh green beans cooked
1 can cream of mushroom soup (the bechamel of the South)
1/2 lb. pkg. Old English cheese
1 large can mushrooms or 1/2 carton fresh mushrooms
1 green pepper, chopped
1 small jar pimentos
Crushed Ritz crackers or 1 can French-fried onions (I use the onions)

Saute mushrooms, green peppers and pimento in butter. Heat mushroom soup and cheese together until cheese is melted. Add to sauteed mixture. put beans in a 7 1/2 X 12 inch Pyrex baking dish. Pour sauce over top. Place crushed Ritz crackers or 1 can French-fried onions on top. Heat in a moderate oven until browned and bubbly.

Hope you try one of these recipes for your own Thanksgiving dinner!


Today’s Lagniappe:  Volera’s Pralines
Another great member on the staff at Travis Avenue was Volera Kirkpatrick.  She made these divine pralines. They are kind of thin and just fabulous. Volera was an artist. I’ll never forget her telling me that she didn’t understand people who purchased art to match the colors in there living rooms instead of just good art that they loved. Words from a true lady or art!

3 cups sugar
1 cup pecans
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cook to a soft ball stage slowly. It will turn a nice brownish color. Add the pecans, return to the fire and cook to soft ball stage again. Cool slightly, add vanilla. Beat until thick, drop on waxed paper. It will spread and make thin candy.

Note: These are the directions straight from the cookbook. The do require you to be somewhat intuitive, but they really do make great pralines.

Southern Thanksgiving Preview

Submitted by Christi

Its’ a Thanksgiving preview for Tablescape Thursday!

So, I got everthing out and went for a preview of the Thanksgiving table. Why do a preview? This is a good chance to make sure you have everything. All the butter knives all the salad plates, napkins, candles. I did find a couple of things that I need to check on. I will need more candles and I need to do a little more ironing on the napkins. I also went ahead and got out serving pieces to make sure they are all clean and ready to go.

Looks good so far. I may turn up the lights a little or add more candles.

Looks good so far. I may turn up the lights a little or add more candles.

All the pieces are here for the place settings.

All the pieces are here for the place settings.

I like the centerpiece

I like the centerpiece

I may add some fall leaves down the table.

I may add some fall leaves down the table.

I just love the look of crystal sparkling in the candlelight.

I just love the look of crystal sparkling in the candlelight.

Pretty close to just how I want it!

Pretty close to just how I want it!

I can’t wait for all the family to arrive. I love making things look nice for them. Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday.

As I was running errands today, I ran into so many friends who are struggling during this recession. I am so grateful for friends and my prayer is that we all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and can have just a little bit of time to forget our troubles and be thankful for our blessings, however smal they may seem. I’ll have to say, my heart is breaking over so many people who are just really experiencing tough times. If it is you that is experiencing a tough time, please know that I care and am praying for our nation and for everyone who is facing trying times.

Have a great Tablescape Thursday and check out everyone who has made something beautiful today!

Today’s Lagniappe: Thanksgiving Potatoes
This is a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks The Silver Palate. I have made this many times and it is always a hit and tastes delicious!

thanksgiving potatoes

Southern Cranberries

Submitted by Christi

Southern Cranberries? I know, I know, I’ve never seen cranberries grown in the South. However, as so many Americans, we Southerners love cranberries with our Thanksgiving dinner as much as the next family. Not only are they such a beautiful red color, they are also delicious and nutritious!

According to Ocean Spray:

They help cleanse and purify the body. But do you know how? They contain powerful nutrients called proanthocyanidins, thankfully referred to as PACs, which research suggests help keep certain bacteria from sticking inside the body.(1,2) And the PACS in cranberries are different from other fruits, which gives them more “anti-stick” potential. They also have something called antioxidants, like flavonoids and vitamin C, which helps to strengthen the immune system. (3,4) In fact, cranberries have more naturally-occurring antioxidants per gram than most other common fruit.



So, hooray for cranberries! Here are three recipes with cranberries that I hope you will enjoy.

Orange Cranberry Rolls

1 package (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with  Parchment Paper.

Unroll crescent roll dough on parchment paper to form 12×7-inch rectangle; firmly press perforations to seal. Sprinkle dough evenly with cranberries, pecans and brown sugar. Roll up starting at long side; pinch edge to seal. Cut into 16 pieces. Press slightly to form round shape.

Arrange pieces, cut side up, 2 inches apart on parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.


For glaze; Mix powdered sugar, juice and grated orange peel in small bowl until well blended. Drizzle glaze over warm rolls. Serve immediately.

Makes 16 rolls.

Yummy Cranberry Sauce

* 1 cup water
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
* 1 orange, peeled and pureed
* 1 apple – peeled, cored and diced
* 1 pear – peeled, cored and diced
* 1 cup chopped dried mixed fruit
* 1 cup chopped pecans
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. In a medium saucepan, boil water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to simmer, and stir in cranberries, pureed orange, apple, pear, dried fruit, pecans, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.

And from Ocean Spray

Cranberry Chutney

1 14-ounce can Ocean Spray® Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup peeled, diced apple
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons vinegar
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
dash ground cloves

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender and sauce has thickened slightly, about 30 minutes.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Cranberries – so many wonderful ways to enjoy them. More from Ocean Spray about the health benefits of cranberries:

PACS are all-natural components of cranberries that help keep certain bacteria from sticking to the body. Which is a very good thing.  And antioxidants are compounds that reduce free-radical, or oxidative damage. The kind of damage that can lead to chronic diseases like heart disease.  Antioxidants include some vitamins and other natural components of foods, called flavonoids. And, guess what? Cranberries are packed full of all of these! We don’t call it the Wonderberry for nothing.

Today’s Lagniappe:  Cosmopolitan
Some yummy cranberry goodness in a cocktail. Gotta love that!

  • 1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger vodka
  • 1/2 fluid ounce cointreau
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces cranberry juice
  • 1 twist lime zest, garnish
  • Pour all the ingredients into a shaker with lots of ice. Shake vigorously for several seconds and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime twist.


It’s a three-for Tuesday! Join these great blogs for more recipes and great ideas.

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More Tuesday

Southern Thanksgiving Inventory

Submitted by Christi

As I have mentioned in previous posts, my family is coming here for Thanksgiving. I have not hosted Thanksgiving since 2000. Our circumstances have significantly changed since then but, what hasn’t changed is the love we have for our family. We have less now, but, we are even more thankful for what we do have. That may be a bit of metamorphosis in itself. It is not that we were not thankful before, we are just more thankful now for everything!

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
I Thessalonians 5:18

Metamorphosis Monday

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

Last week, I showed you the cute little Thanksgiving turkey made from a pinecone and an acorn for Metamorphosis Monday.

Pinecone Turkey

Pinecone Turkey

Today, I started taking inventory of what I have on hand to decorate for Thanksgiving. In the next couple of weeks, I will be really gearing up and transforming the entire house to welcome my family for Thanksgiving. I am really looking forward to seeing everyone. This metamorphosis will be ongoing. This week, it will start with seeing what I have to begin with.

Some of the things are general fall decorations and some are more geared to just Thanksgiving. You have seen a lot of the fall things already.

Some of the things that are general fall decorations include:

Lots of pumpkins

Lots of pumpkins

More pumpkins and some faux fall foliage.

More pumpkins and some faux fall foliage.

Then there are the Thanksgiving type things:

I love these little pilgrams

I love these little pilgrims

The Thanksgiving turkeys (the smaller ones are candle holders)

The Thanksgiving turkeys (the smaller ones are candle holders)

A cornucopia and even more pumpkins (can you tell which one has been sitting in a plant?)

A cornucopia and even more pumpkins (can you tell which one has been sitting in a plant?)

And then there are a couple more items:

Lots of these fall picks

Lots of these fall picks

Look at this tree outside the front window! No hope that it will last as long as Thanksgiving but itsn't it beautiful?

Look at this tree outside the front window! No hope that it will last as long as Thanksgiving but itsn't it beautiful?

Okay, that is part of what I’ve got to work with. Stay tuned these next couple of weeks to see what happens.

By the way, this coming Wednesday is Veteran’s Day! Don’t forget to see what you can do for Project Valour IT or for our brave men and women who were injured at Fort Hood this week.

Soldiers’ Angels is assessing the needs and with our founder currently residing in Texas, we will be standing by to offer physical and emotional support to our heroes and their families.

RIGHT NOW: Collecting encouraging cards and NEW stuffed animals for the families and children of the injured/killed. Please send cards and stuffed animals (and anything NEW that may brighten the life of a child) to:
Soldiers’ Angels
4408 PanAm Expressway
San Antonio, TX 78218

A Valour IT Update: Project Valour IT, so far, has raised over $72,000 to help wounded soldiers with technology to help them heal!

Project Valour IT is still going on (through November 11). Many of our military who are wounded receive comfort by way of technology. The Valour IT project is a fund raising effort to help provide the purchase and shipment of laptops and other technology for severely wounded service members. If you would like to donate to the help and comfort of our military, please go to the Wharton blog and click on the Valour IT link on the top right.

How else can you help? Join the effort yourself by posting about this on your blog. Help us get the word out. This fund raising effort runs from October 26 through Veterans Day, November 11!

Today’s Lagniappe: Caramel Corn
An easy, tasty snack for Thanksgiving munchies

* 7 quarts plain popped popcorn
* 2 cups dry roasted peanuts (optional)
* 2 cups brown sugar
* 1/2 cup light corn syrup
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup margarine
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Place the popped popcorn into two shallow greased baking pans. You may use roasting pans, jelly roll pans, or disposable roasting pans. Add the peanuts to the popped corn if using. Set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, margarine and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring enough to blend. Once the mixture begins to boil, boil for 5 minutes while stirring constantly.
3. Remove from the heat, and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will be light and foamy. Immediately pour over the popcorn in the pans, and stir to coat. Don’t worry too much at this point about getting all of the corn coated.
4. Bake for 1 hour, removing the pans, and giving them each a good stir every 15 minutes. Line the counter top with waxed paper. Dump the corn out onto the waxed paper and separate the pieces. Allow to cool completely, then store in airtight containers or resealable bags.