Pat’s Thanksgiving dressing (almost)

Four generations of my family gather for Thanksgiving annually. (The group is big enough to warrant the rental of a local church hall. This provides a little room to move around and two sinks for dish washing.) This year I joined another limb on my family tree to celebrate with. It also was good company and food, including the dressing, but it wasn’t Aunt Patty’s dressing. Today I’m making Pat’s dressing to make up for not having it on Thanksgiving weekend.

Slow cooker with stains that indicate use

Slow cooker with stains that indicate use

1 c butter

2 c chopped onion

2 c chopped celery

1/4 c parsley sprigs

16 oz sliced mushrooms

12-13 c slightly dry bread cubes

1 t poultry seasoning

1.5 t salt

1.5 t sage

1 t dried thyme

0.5 t pepper

0.5 t marjoram (optional)

2.5 – 3.5 c chicken or turkey stock

2 well beaten eggs

Melt butter in a skillet. Saute onion, celery, parsley, and mushrooms. Pour over bread cubes in a large mixing bowl. Add seasonings and toss well. Pour in enough broth to moisten. Add eggs and mix well. Pack lightly into slow cooker. Cover and set to high for 45 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook for 4-8 hours.

My changes: I used butter rather than the oleo called for at the time it was written. Since I love mushrooms, I used sliced fresh ones rather than two eight-once cans of mushrooms, drained. The amount of liquid from the sauteed mushrooms reduced the stock required by one cup. Here’s the original recipe, as saved by my mom.

I use a 3 quart slow cooker. I’ve tried using whole wheat bread in this recipe and have found that it has a bitter flavor that I don’t care for.

Pat's dressing recipe

I must be in a cooking mood, because I’m also making spicy lentil and sweet potato stew. Either that, or I’m avoiding cleaning. The stew looks a little funky because I’m using purple carrots. They are fresh though, probably the only ones I’ve dug from the garden on December 6.

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My Shelfies

It has been written “Shelfies: Like Selfies, But for Book Nerds“. Since I fit in the book nerd category quite comfortably, here is one of my shelfies.
Sue shelf

This is one of my favorite spots in the house because everything in it has a special meaning to me. The bookshelf was built by my dad for a nook at mom’s house. At that time, the green recliner sat near it and my dad would read in it after school. I could snuggle in dad’s lap before bed. Now that mom has a built-in bookshelf in that nook that holds a small portion of her photo albums and art books, dad’s bookshelf lives with us. Identification guides live in the upper right (flowers, birds, and fossils). Vintage books are found below them. Beautiful Joe: An Autobiography by Marshall Saunders includes this inscription:

Dec 1896

The book is from George’s family and the book was just published in 1896, the year it was given as a Christmas gift. Can you tell who the book was for? Irvy? Orvy? The shelf below holds paperbacks, along with a reprint of Beeton’s Book of Household Management, which strangely enough, George likes. Other books on the shelf include those of travel stories; Alaska and other cold places; and Pat McManus humor.
The blue heron carving was handcrafted by Arnold Rasmusen of Withee, Wisconsin and once lived at Aunt Anita and Uncle Carl’s home. The batik lily original by Christine M. Huffman (1989) was found at a neighbor’s garage sale. Kay gave me the frog crock, made by Jim and Gina Mahoney (1998). Jack built the ash shelf from lumber that was harvested on mom’s land. He gave it to me last weekend and I haven’t decided what to put in it yet. As you might guess, not just anything gets thrown in this corner. The chair was purchased, along with a sofa, recliner, book shelf, and table lamp, from our friend Pat when we moved last year. Mom says the fabric reminds her of the print fabric of her grandmother’s dresses. The chair is of the type that was at George’s family farm and one that my parents received from Uncle Arno when I was young.

fish tank

Around the corner is George’s new toy, an aquarium from his colleague Bill. Ellen provided us with a few guppies from her tank yesterday and they haven’t died yet, so it seems that fish are in my future. How did I ever get involved with a man who loves domestic animals so much?
Besides the fact that this corner contains many things I love, it also doesn’t have any of that stuff that is essential around the home, but doesn’t have any internal beauty. Those are the magnetic knife strip, notes on my refrigerator, and toilet brush that will likely never be photographed or blogged about.
Back to the shelfie theme, here is George’s shelfie. It is the pile of books that he is reading. Is it coincidence that the spines are all facing the wall, or is he hiding what he is reading?

George's shelf

Dozer

Portrait by Henry: November 24, 2013

Portrait by Henry: November 24, 2013

Rob and I were talking about Dozer the dog yesterday, so Henry was inspired to draw a portrait. From left to right: Dozer, George, and Susie. We are all wearing yellow shirts, including Dozer. Rob suggested that George hold a shovel in the picture (a reference to Dozer’s recent near demise). Dozer weighs about 40 pounds. He is obedient, but according to Mom “he never reflects on anything.” In order to demonstrate this point (and perhaps introduce humor) Rob says that he once asked Dozer to “kennel up” in a cat-sized kennel. Dozer enthusiastically tried to shove himself into the kennel.

Henry is the only four-year-old that I know that doesn’t like McDonald’s. Last night it was the most effective way to get Robbie, Henry, and I fed. Henry was almost in tears, explaining that he was hungry, but didn’t want to eat at McDonald’s and wanted to eat at home. We were about an hour and a half away from home. Fortunately, Henry has a sweet-tooth and the offer of a soda made the fries and cheeseburger more appealing.

While it was light out, Robbie read an Animorphs book to himself in the car. When it became dark we began to listen to the audio book The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry.