Today We Clean!

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Actually, my friend Lola shared that her mother used to say “we tidy before guests arrive, we clean after.”

Face it, with only three more sleeps until Thanksgiving there is a ton to do. And most of you, like me have to go to work this week.

Here are a few things to do today to make help Thanksgiving day a little easier.

—Clear one flat surface in every public room (don’t forget the bathroom). Put everything that does not belong in that room on that flat surface. Once you have done that in every room, start again, this time bringing things to the rooms where they belong.

Put things away or throw them away. If you don’t have a spot for them immediately put the remaining items in a large plastic bin. Use more if necessary. Store the bins out of the way until after Christmas. On your calendar write where you stored the items on December 31st.

Odds are, when you sort through the bins you can get rid of stuff.

—Dust. Dust only places people can see. Today is not the day to get behind the end table. For even quicker work use a multi surface cleaner. I like Pledge.

20121119-074808.jpgYou can use one cloth for mirrors and glass tables as well as furniture. The up side is it gets clean faster but the down side is it seems to get dusty faster, as well. After the holiday you can use good furniture polish like the picture above. I think Old English is great.

—Vacuum today then spot vacuum Thursday. You may need to redo pathways but you should be good to go if you do a good job today.

—I save mopping the floor for after the turkey is in the oven Thursday morning. I cannot be bothered until most of the food prep is done.

—Check linens. This would include sheets for guest beds. If they need to be washed and changed, time to do it. Iron any table cloths and napkins today. Fold the table cloths width to width until they fit on pant hangers. Use 2-3 hangers to store your cloth until it’s time to set the table.

—Check how many chairs you have against how many you need. It’s a good idea to let cousin Jane know to bring a few before she drives to your house!

—Clean any silver or precious pieces today.

Tomorrow we set the table!

Have a yummy day!!!

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Countdown to Thanksgiving…

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The sun came up today and revealed a lovely crisp autumn morning. My husband I went to early Mass and we stopped at the Orange Cat afterward, as is our custom. I hung out with Dorothy, Tim and my other buddies for a while then decided to get a head start on my a thanksgiving preparation.

I headed over to Tops to pick up some of the things that will not perish prior to their use Wednesday and Thursday.

Today I’m going to make my cranberry compote. This year I am going to double the recipe and preserve some for myself and friends. The house will soon smell so good. I walked around the produce department twice and could not locate the cranberries. I was slightly panicked so I asked Mike Fland, one of my favorite grocers if there were any. He jokingly told me no as he walked to the display and revealed many bags. Phew. Crisis averted.20121118-114619.jpgOne of the key ingredients in the compote are oranges. The pickin’s were slim and I asked Mike about that. He said they were expecting some this morning but my time restraints prevented me from waiting. As I was chatting with my friend Annie, Mike wheeled a cart toward us filled with oranges. How cool is that? That is great customer service and why you never lose when you shop locally. Mike has been with the store for 22 years, starting in 1990. Thanks again Mike!

Sometimes it can take an hour to pick up one thing…you see all kinds of people and catch up between aisles. I saw my friend Annie and she told me she was thinking of making the stuffing recipe I posted yesterday. She asked me a few questions and I showed her the stuffing I was talking about. It is croutons seasoned (or not) in bags.

20121118-114310.jpgIt makes a completely different consistency dressing than one made with bread. It’s the one I was raised on so it’s what I know.

I am never more flattered than when someone tells me they read my column. What blows me away is when they tell me they use my recipes. Please let me know if you ever have any questions about any of the original (or family) recipes I publish. If you can’t make them then what’s the point, you know what I mean?

Have a yummy day!!

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Quick Sip: Gordon’s Cup at Cecelia’s Buffalo NY

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Plymouth gin, simple syrup, lime, cucumber, sea salt and cucumber garnish! Have a yummy day!

Mom’s Thanksgiving Stuffing

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Gramma Anne’s Thanksgiving Stuffing

Servings:for a 20-23 pound turkey
Prep time: 1:00
Categories: Side Dish
Source: JudeTheFoodie.com

Ingredients

• 1 lb Golden Raisins

• 1 lb Bacon (cut into little pieces)
• 1 lb Sage Breakfast Sausage
• 1-2 Small Onions, finely chopped
• 6-7 Stalks Celery, finely chopped

• 1 Stick Butter

• 2 Bags Stuffing Croutons (I use Arnold Stuffing)

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• 2 Eggs

• Optional:

• Cook the pieces with the turkey like the neck, etc. remove from turkey and bag. Put in medium sauce pan with a quartered onion and peppercorns. Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour. Strain the liquid and use instead of water in the stuffing.

Directions

Put the raisins in a microwave safe bowl, cover with water and microwave for 10 minutes.

In a large skillet, on medium heat cook bacon, sausage, onion and celery until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat. Add butter and let melt.

In large bowl, add bacon and sausage mixture and drained raisins. Add stuffing mix to the bowl and add at least a cup of water (or the stock from the turkey parts). Beat two eggs and lightly stir until the mixture is wet.

Chop the turkey parts and remove the meat from the neck and add to stuffing, if desired.

If you are not stuffing your bird or have more than will fit inside, you can butter a table ready casserole, fill with remaining stuffing, add one cup of stock or dry white wine and dot with butter. Bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees (or up to 400 degrees depending on what else is in your oven) covered until the last ten minutes. Remove the cover and let get crisp on top. If there is not enough room in your oven, when you remove your turkey to rest for 30 minutes then carve, put the casserole in. It will be perfectly cooked in time for dinner.

from http://therecipeboxapp.com

JudeTheFoodie.com Have a yummy day!!

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Can’t Have It? Then I Want It!

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This whole thing about Twinkie’s20121117-065615.jpg

has gotten me thinking…

The mind games we play with ourselves about food is absolutely crazy. And, to tell the truth, is likely one of the main reasons why it’s an obsession for so many.

We have given an inanimate object a great deal of power.

Take the Twinkie. Hostess has caused quite a stir, announcing they are closing their plants and no longer producing the iconic Twinkie along with other products like orange cupcakes

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My sister’s favorite was the Ho Ho.

20121117-083653.jpgI liked it but always deconstructed it as I ate it…first nibbling off the chocolate coating (chocolate so waxy that it built up on your teeth), then unrolling it and licking off the cream filling (so sweet it sometimes made me shiver) and finally eating the chocolate cake. That was a lot of work for a thin slice of cake!

But, I digress. My Twit Feed and Facebook wall is filled with Lamentations about the closing of Hostess. Boomers like me are all going down their own culinary memory lane. With Thanksgiving looming we are all talking about food memories (or maybe it’s just that I have foodie friends…birds of a feather…) and over and over I hear about how bad Twinkies are.

You would think Twinkies shoved themselves into people’s mouths!

We give food power.

News flash: it has none. No food is completely good and no food is completely bad. As soon as I made up my mind that I could eat anything I wanted I took the power back.

If I want a Twinkie I would eat one. Bad example…I would never actually crave one but you know what I mean.

Reframe. Food has no voice…we are ventriloquists. If the food speaks it is really our words.

Just change your mind.

RIP Twinkies.

Have a yummy day!

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RIP Twinkie…

20121116-210855.jpgI cannot remember the last time I had one but I can still taste it. I can still feel the sponge cake in my mouth and the way too sweet cream filling. So bad on so many levels but so right in the culinary cavern in my mind.

Have a yummy day!

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