My Alpine Home

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Wrapping Things Up. . .

Thanksgiving is drawing near and if you are hosting dinner at your home, tomorrow will be a busy day.

I will be trying to wrap things up. Doing the last minute preparations!

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(here’s a little peek at what I’ve been doing to get a head start on Christmas. . .Wrapping things up!)

I will be making the pies in the morning soon after I rise.  Every year I strive to make crust as flakey and delicious as my mother did.  Not quite there yet.  Maybe in 20 more years. lol!

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(my wrapping this year is red, aqua, green, and white.  The trio of accent colors in my family room)

Our families favorites are Pecan and Coconut Cream.  The pecan pie recipe I use was my mothers and the Coconut Cream was my mil’s.  A wonderful tribute to those two wonderful cooks!

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(I pulled odds and ends of trims, ribbons, and lace from my stash.  Mixed it with burlap and paper doilies for a rustic yet elegant feel)

I also start getting my homemade stuffing ready the day before.   It’s our favorite side dish!  The recipe is from my mother,  My mil gave me a couple of tips that helped me as a young bride to get that perfect stuffing.

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(doily flowers are so easy to make.  Just poke you finger in the middle, draw the doily up and twist.)

Did you think I would leave you hanging and not share the tips?  No way my friends!

1.  How to tell if your stuffing is moist enough:  After adding liquid. (which I do this just before stuffing the bird) grab a handful in the palm of your hand.  Close your hand.  Open it up.  If it stays in a ball it is moist enough. If you are cooking the stuffing outside of the turkey you will want it a little moister.  Have you ever had stuffing that was way too wet?  I have!

2.  Grate a carrot into your stuffing for a little pop of color.  Looks pretty and is good for you too!

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(rolled burlap flowers are another easy way to dress your packages up. I start with a knot for the base.  I then roll a little and hot glue it onto the knot.  Keep rolling and gluing until you get the size of flower you want.  Cut the burlap on an angle and tuck in back.)

Something that I do (which my mother did) is save bread all year long for my stuffing.  Sounds crazy, I know. but it’s no bother and I love the mixture of a variety of left over breads, rolls, croissants, and even hamburger and hot dog buns. 

When I have left over breads that are not so fresh I take them out of the package and place in a bowl in my pantry to dry.  Of course this has to be done before they start to mold.  Let them totally dry out.  Then I put them in a zip lock bag or a plastic grocery bag and store them on my food storage shelf.  If you let them dry out and get hard they will not mold.

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(bits of cedar clipped from my garden to give them a touch of nature)

Isn’t it funny how cooking traditions are carried down from generation to generation?  My oldest daughter called me a couple days ago and said, “Hey mom, do you have any extra dry bread that I could use for my stuffing?”  Wonder if she will save it when I’m gone?

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(I have always loved wrapping gifts ever since I was a teenager.  Nothing fancy, but a little love goes into each and every one!)

Now the next trick is knowing how much sage to add.  I went to a party once that the stuffing had so much sage that it was green.  My trick is my hubby.  Yup, he’s my taster and tester.  To tell me, that’s just right!

There you have it, a few tips for Thanksgiving.  Now, I’m off to relax and call it a wrap!

Oh, but I will be cutting up that dry bread.

Do you have any cooking traditions that have been carried down from your family?

Hope to see you tomorrow for Share Your Cup.  If you’re not too busy wrapping it up!

hugs,

Jann

I will be joining these fun parties:

Common Ground for Be Inspired

17 comments:

Coastal Cottage Dreams said...

Your packaging looks so pretty. I am making stuffing in muffin cups this year, I saw a wonderful recipe that I wanted to try. Yes I love fresh sage in my stuffing too!

Junkchiccottage said...

Jann
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Kris

cynthia lee designs said...

Tomorrow I have to set my booth up for my show that starts on Friday and goes thru Sunday. After I get done doing that...I have to get my pies made too.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
hugs,
Cindy

Kris said...

Beautifully wrapped gifts!!! I haven't bought a single thing. But we are keeping it VERY small this year. Mostly a focus on the kiddos.
We are going to my Mom's, but I will still cook a turkey over the weekend sometime.
Enjoy your day....I am sure it will all be fabulous!!!
xo Kris

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Lovely wrapping and have a wonderful thanksgiving! :)

priscilla said...

Pretty packages, Jann ! Love the colors you are using ! Happy Thanksgiving !

Kathy Moreland said...

I'm thinking I will prepare my stuffing today so all I have to do tomorrow is bake it. May put the turkey on tonight and let it cook, and I think I will mix up my sweet potato casserole so it will only have to bake. That should give me a good head start on tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving to you and you family.

Di said...

Happy Thanksgiving Jann !

The Victorian Girl said...

Beautiful gift wrappings! I especially love the burlap roses and the use of natural cedar sprigs.

Denise Stain said...

I would love to get a package from you! But I might not want to open because these look so beautiful! :)

Cynthia said...

Have a great and Happy Thanksgiving, Jann!!

Cynthia

Debbie Lynne Malison said...

Jann, your packages look so lovely and your cooking tips are wonderful!

Enjoy your holiday!!

The Old Parsonage said...

I've used saved bread too, but not always. This year I bought 4 loaves of Italian bread and tore it all up on Sunday so that it would dry up.

Happy Thanksgiving Jann!

Lean

Fran said...

Your packages are wrapped so beautifully! Love the aqua paper with the doily for a trim. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving! :) --Fran

Stacey said...

Your packages are so pretty and I can't believe you are already wrapping. I've decided not to wrap anything until I'm finished shopping. We'll see how that goes...the clutter of the wrapping goodies starts to drive me crazy.

In our family everyone cooks and brings things. I am always in charge of the ham and some sides. Haven't ever made dressing but my mom is an ace at it!

Julie Corbisiero said...

I love the Christmas wrapping you have done. Wow are you organized! I have not started wrapping mine yet and I seem so disorganized this year! Your wrapping is just too pretty to open. Take care and have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Julie

Rose L said...

I need someone like you around to do my cooking and wrapping! You are so organized! Happy Thanksgiving!!