Monday, November 23, 2009

Excellent Advent Overview

Here is the link to the No-panic Advent series....

What's cooking?

Well, nothing over here, yet. I still have dishes to process from a little dinner party that Mags, Jerry and I put on for one of his work mates this weekend. We are having friends over for breakfast on Wednesday, and I am going back and forth as to whether to make sausage gravy, eggs and biscuits or a yummy egg casserole from my favorite Kentucky cookbook. I very much want to make a pumpkin goat cheese cheesecake that I have saved from a Country Living magazine from 2005! Where does the time go? I'd like to take the cheesecake up to KY when we go for a quick trip on Thurs.

I printed out a couple of recipes over at for a fresh broccoli casserole and pumpkin oatmeal cookies. I was thinking the cookies would be easier to take than the cheesecake, so we'll see what happens. I'd like to make the broccoli with some chicken legs for a simple meal this week.

Looking very forward to Advent 2009. We did alot of housecleaning this weekend and hopefully will make a major push to de-clutter the basement this week and get a bunch of clothes and such to Goodwill. We have the lovliest little St. Francis Advent candle wreath, and it takes special candles which I need to hunt up on the internet. Since it has been a while since I was expecting a child, I try to put myself into that 2nd-trimester-nesting-urge and look forward to welcoming the Christ Child into our hearts and home in a quiet, gentle way. We really like to "pull in" during Advent and cook and clean and get ready for what will hopefully be a joyous 12 days of Christmas.

I am trying to pray and meditate every day with Fr. Gabriel's Divine Intimacy, a lovely aid to prayer, one that swells the heart with gratitude and praise. A couple of mornings ago, I was blessed with a lovely memory of my a cold salad my Aunt Punchie used to make for Christmas lunch. It was a layered salad with jello, cranberries, walnuts, pineapple and cream cheese, sliced in to squares over a big crisp piece of lettuce.

I am off to surf the 'net in search of a similar salad and to poke around for some locally-made or farm-fresh Christmas gifts. I wonder if the cheese made by the Trappist monks in KY is any good? I want to get some wine from North Georgia vineyards.

My son has a really bad cough, and I too feel under the weather. I hope we get better soon so we have abundant energy for all the opportunites of the season to love.

Here's to a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Memories of Southern food and new(to me) Novena...

I love Thanksgiving, and while, as usual I could be more prepared for the upcoming "holiday onslaught," I just relish this time of year. The woods behind our house are home to a pack of coyotes that we are able to see since much of the foliage has fallen to the ground. I hope they will not be dining with us or on us any time soon! The other evening we heard a ruckus unlike anything I've heard in my life. I wonder if they weren't taking down a deer, poor dear! I am a bit loopy with a cold and congestion, so praddling on about coyotes in my seasonal post is part of this crazy day. I am going to surf around and look for some good seasonal inspiration. Hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving!

I would like to visit this local market with lots of yummy meats and sauces.

A new friend told me about the Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus which just may be what the Divine Physician ordered for my struggling prayer life.

I really enjoyed our visit this past weekend with my hubby's parents. They stopped at one of their favorite bookstores in Chattanooga on the way down and Mimi bought a cookbook written by Loretta Lynn. I copied several of her recipes and enjoyed reading the book. I am particularly interested in becoming a proficient biscuit maker and passing this on to my kiddos.

I can make a moist buttermilk cornbread in my iron skillet that my mom taught me to make. She also showed me how to make smooth, white sausage gravy.....but, my problem is that I have to throw frozen biscuits in the oven -- or, eeeh gads -- settle for toast!

So, speaking of southern food, I spent much of last Thanksgiving typing some of our Mimi's favorite recipes in to my laptop....I'd like to post them soon and maybe figure some nice, more permanent presentation for our kitchen items as we love to cook and love to eat well. I'd say the gift of southern cuisine is its simplicity. It should be an agrarian cuisine. My grandmother, Sara Evelyn Gott Cohron, was a dedicated and talented, old-school southern "cookin' mama". She and my grandfather, Pernie, yes Pernie was his name, rose every morning at 5 am because my grandfather was a butcher and had to get in to Mr. Cook's Grocery early. Even when he retired, they were early birds. She began every day making biscuits from scratch. Well, as I write this my husband is slaving over a hot stove making his famous chili. I got JB in to the dentist this afternoon, and we got soaked as it is raining in torrents here all day long. Nothing a good pan of hot-out-of-the-oven-iron-skillet cornbread won't cure!