22 November 2012

. . . thankful {and full} . . .

. . . the thanksgiving dressing recipe 
i promised a couple of days ago, 
seems a little less urgent now, 
doesn't it? . . .
{are you as full as i am?}
. . . my mom has been making 
this beloved side dish 
as long as i can remember . . .
. . . she got the recipe 
from my aunt virginia . . .
. . . and has it perfectly 
down to a science . . .
. . . please notice that 
it is called dressing . . .
. . . never ever ever {like ever} 
stuff this inside your turkey . . .
. . . please . . .

. . . okay, so this year, 
i had to rethink 
a couple of components . . .
. . . for medical reasons
i started with these two mixes . . .


. . . probably the funniest looking
 "favorite sandwich bread" 
i've ever seen . . .


. . . but after baking and cooling, 
i sliced and cubed 
the bread and cornbread 
and then dried both in a 200° oven 
for about four hours . . .
. . . mrs. cubbison's 
got nothin' on me! . . . 


. . . saute onions and celery in butter
 until they are nice and soft 
and hardly recognizable . . .
. . . i add the seasonings 
{salt, pepper, rubbed sage, poultry seasoning} 
at this point, 
making it much easier 
to evenly distribute flavor 
throughout the dried bread crumbs 
later . . . 

. . . here's the recipe: 
{it makes a great big turkey roasting pan full}

•4 cubes butter
•4 cups diced celery
•4 cups diced onion
•4 teaspoons salt
•2 tablespoons black pepper
•5 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
•2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
•4 large boxes good quality dressing 
{mrs. cubbison's or oroweat - NOT stovetop!}
•6 cans water chestnuts

•6 cans sliced mushrooms
•8-10 cups dark turkey meat, diced

•3 cans chicken broth
•2 cups turkey drippings

saute celery and onion in butter. 
add seasonings.
spray roasting pan with non-stick cooking spray.
layer in dressing, water chestnuts, mushrooms, and turkey.
add celery, onion, seasoning mixture.
stir well.
{everything up to this point can be done the day before and refrigerated.}
add chicken broth and drippings.
stir well again.
cover with foil.
bake at 325° for 5-6 hours, stirring every hour.
remove foil for the last couple of hours, stirring more frequently.
transfer to serving dish for last half hour of baking time.
dressing should be dark brown and crispy on top.
it will also be delicious!


. . . and here's the finished product . . . 
. . . bill had to come ask me 
if this was for sure the one 
he was supposed to have eaten . . .
. . . it was that good . . . 
. . . i was thankful for that! . . .


. . . other kitchen shenanigans 
included addison and halleigh 
making pinterest 
{and karen hatch} 
inspired acorns . . .


. . . with a little "help" from drew . . .
. . . he's special . . .


. . . in my mind, 
thanksgiving dinner looks like this:
 pristine linens, fine china & crystal . . .


. . . in reality, 
there's plastic tablecloths 
and paper plates . . .
. . . but my smiling people 
are lots cuter 
than norman rockwell's . . .
. . . and my hair isn't gray! . . .
 {amber, angela and halleigh}

. . . everyone loves the food . . .
{cameron} 

. . . there's a little bit of tears . . . 
. . . like when chris 
{who was supposed to work all day today} 
showed up, surprising amber . . .
{chris is our clean up crew, 
and i'm not talking about putting away tables and chairs} 

. . . we're so glad to have 
out of town guests . . .
. . . even though one of them 
is consistently weird in photos . . .
{jessalyn and drew with molly and eric in the background} 

. . . the food gives us 
big strong muscles . . .
 {tate}

. . . and some guests even get a nap . . .
{brent, hayden [zzzzzzzz], and amanda}


. . . i really have tried 
{to the point of teary eyes} 
several times this week 
to contemplate the many blessings 
my father in heaven 
has bestowed on me . . .
. . . i thank him daily for my family . . .
. . . my husband, 
my children, 
their spouses, 
my grandkids, 
my mom, 
our extended family members . . .
. . . each of them 
means the world to me . . .
. . . as i watch them 
make good choices, 
set goals and achieve them, 
teach their children, 
and just be generally amazing people, 
i am overwhelmed with gratitude . . .
. . . i am thankful each day of my life 
for a comfortable home to live in,
 clothes to wear, 
food to eat, 
a car to drive, 
and all the temporal, 
earthly conveniences 
that make my life relatively easy . . .
. . . i am thankful 
for this free country
 where i can worship as i choose . . .
. . . i am thankful 
for my testimony 
of a heavenly father who loves me 
and who sent his son 
to atone for my sins and weaknesses,
 allowing me the opportunity 
and privilege 
to one day return to his presence, 
if i keep the commandments 
and repent when i mess up, 
which i do - quite often . . .
. . . some days, 
challenges and trials 
seem just tooooooo much to handle . . . 
. . . and i plead 
for burdens to be made lighter ~ 
for pain to ease, 
for life to return to "normal" . . .
. . . but always, always
if i stop and count my blessings, 
the burdens 
do seem a little easier to bear . . .
. . . and i am a much happier person
 when i am full of thanks . . .


4 comments:

lifeinredshoes said...

You even made me a little teary. It's true, we are so blessed :)

Carol said...

Beautiful post Steph...we do have so much to be thankful for and are sooooooooo much happier when we remember that.

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing your Thanksgiving Day and your seasoned, unwavering testimony. Ditto!

chris+amber said...

Love your testimony, love the dressing, and love our family!