Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Holiday Wishes...

Just the word "Thanksgiving," has always evoked a fond nostalgia...the aroma of the turkey. Cranberry sauce and lace tablecloths.

Thanksgiving also reminds me of family traditions which I believe is the glue that binds one generation to another. They give kids and parents something to look forward to, as well as something to count on during the hectic holiday season...and throughout the year.

Here is a collection of some favorite family traditions.

HolidayPractice Random Acts of kindness
  • Each time a family member does a good deed, tie a red, gold, or white ribbon on the tree. Each ornament means something, and the practice encourages giving, too.

  • Give all the kids new pajamas on Christmas Eve. Make a family event out of choosing the Christmas tree. My husband has fond memories of that day...getting together with family and friends, finding the perfect Christmas tree, playing in the snow, and coming home to a feast.

  • Secret Santas. Play Secret Santa to another family or to each other. It's even more fun if the other party isn't in on the plan.

  • Keep a journal for your family from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Record thoughts, events, and memories. Young children can dictate stories and make collages, and they'll love writing their wish list in the journal. Then wrap it and share it on Christmas morning. Record thoughts, events, and memories. This journal is bound to be a keepsake, and you can use add to it next holiday season.

  • Celebrate New Year's Eve with the family. If your kids are too young to stay up until midnight, turn the clocks back and celebrate before their bedtime. Just before the hour, make some family resolutions.

Here is one of my favorite recipes to make during the holiday season. Hopefully it is one of yours as well.

Cornbread Dressing

· 1 cup self-rising cornmeal
· 1/2 cup self-rising flour
· 3/4 cup milk
· 2 eggs
· 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
· Cornbread
· 7 slices dried white bread (can use the oven for this or a toaster)
· 1 sleeve saltine crackers
· 2-1/2 cups celery, chopped
· 2 medium onions, chopped
· 3 eggs, beaten
· 8 tablespoons butter
· 7-1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
· 1 teaspoon salt
· Freshly ground black pepper
· 2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped
· 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning (optional)

Cornbread Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
3. Pour batter into a greased 9x9x2-inch or equivalent baking dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Dressing Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix crumbled cornbread, dried white bread slices and saltines together in a large bowl and set aside.
3. In a large skillet, sauté the chopped celery and onion in butter until transparent, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Pour this over cornbread mixture.
4. Add the chicken broth or stock and mix well. Add salt, pepper, sage and poultry seasoning.
5. Add beaten eggs and mix well.
6. Pour into a large greased 3-quart pan or casserole dish and bake about 45 minutes.

Good eats.