It's Wednesday again, so time for the Hodgepodge -- the linkup where Joyce, at From This Side of the Pond, asks the questions and bloggers provide the answers on their own blogs. This week's Hodgepodge questions involve Thanksgiving, Christmas plans and much more. Here goes!
1. Have you ever been on a cruise? If so where did you go and how did you like it? If not, do you have any desire to take a cruise someday?
Nope, no desire for a cruise. If I was ever to take one, I would want it to be either a cruise down the Mississippi or possibly an Alaskan cruise.
A lake cruise is a lot more my speed and I've been on a number of those on large lakes. Below are a couple of scenes from the M/S Mount Washington on Lake Winnipesaukee.
2. Tell us about your Thanksgiving plans...are you hosting? cooking? eating out? turkey or some other main? is it stuffing or dressing in your house? homemade cranberries or cranberries in a can? are pies on the dessert menu? what kind? what are your 'must have' sides? Tell us one thing you're especially grateful for this year.
Not hosting, but I am helping with food. Turkey, cooked by my daughter using Deanna's method, will be the main event. It's stuffing in our family, but not everyone likes it so I'm making stuffing separately and bringing it in a crockpot. Homemade cranberry sauce is my preference, but the grandkids all like the canned jellied kind. Only thing is, it must be the Woodstock organic kind as one of my grands cannot tolerate high fructose corn syrup. Woodstock is the only brand I've seen without it. Pies are definitely on the dessert menu -- an apple cranberry, two pumpkin, and a pecan so far. Must-have sides include Carrie's make-ahead mashed potatoes and honey rolls, and broccoli casserole from my sister-in-law Dawn's recipe.
One thing I'm especially grateful for this year is the opportunity to know God through His Word. Knowing Him and learning about His character makes it more possible to see His sovereignty over all things and to rest securely in His care regardless of all that is going on in our world. It helps us too to understand that He has the power and wisdom to do what's best and to change things as He chooses.
CARAMEL PECAN PIE
36 caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup pecan halves
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
Combine the caramels, butter and milk in a heavy saucepan; heat until the mixture is creamy and caramels are melted, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt with an electric mixer; gradually blend in the caramel mixture. Fold in the pecans and pour the mixture into the pie crust. Bake at 350º for 45 to 50 minutes or until set. Cool pie until firm before cutting or serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
And I'll add my pumpkin pie recipe too:
EASY PUMPKIN PIE
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 425º. Combine all ingredients except pie crust in a large bowl and beat with electric mixer until well combined. Pour into crust.
Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350º. Bake pie for 35 to 40 minutes longer or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool pie before cutting or serving. Refrigerate leftovers.
On a more temporal note, I'm super thankful to have sold the last piece of property for my dad's trust.
3. If someone approaches you and asks for money do you give it to them? Do you drop money 'in a tin cup' that belongs to a person on the street? Do you have a specific charity you support during the holiday season and/or year round?
No to all. I will put money in a Salvation Army kettle if I encounter a bell ringer at Christmas time.
And of course we give to our local church all year round. We also have some missionary friends we have personally helped to support for years.
4. Have you started decorating for Christmas? Is your tree up? Shopping done? Wrapped?
No to all. I have started my shopping and making, but nothing is wrapped. My tree is not up and my decorating not started. My hubby has, however, started baking Christmas cookies and has gone through two batches of fudge already giving it out for various occasions.
He has baked a batch of Whipped Shortbread (above);
a double batch of Secret Spice Cookies (above);
and two batches of Heavenly Delight fudge (below).
5. Create your own acrostic using the word THANKS.
Home (heavenly as well as earthly)
Nearby family and friends
Knowing God through His word
Salvation in Christ
(I borrowed part of this from last year's "Thankful" acrostic.)
6. Insert your own random thought here.
So looking forward to Thanksgiving! My favorite holiday, though I love Christmas dearly as well. If you've never read my Thanksgiving memories, you might enjoy them here.
There's the Hodgepodge for today. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!