If they are coming to your house, hide chocolate in strategic locations of the house. So when Uncle Bill puts his arm around you and says, “Lemme tell ya about the time little Susie here got a pussy willow stuck up her nose?” You can say, “Excuse me, I have to run to the bathroom.” Chocolate fix, back to Uncle Bill feeling better. This works especially well with a nice white wine or shots of tequila. If Thanksgiving is at another home, tell them you’d love to come and clean the day before then put the chocolate where you’ll find it.
Call you mother before you arrive at the family home for the big meal and tell her that you love her, so when the arguing starts she’ll remember that.
Hide the red wine; this helps the poor thing from ending up in the refrigerator. There’s nothing worse than springing on a nice (OK one step above your favorite box) bottle of wine and having the hostess say, “Oh this looks really nice, I’m going to go and stick it in the freezer to start the chill, will be nice and cold by Thanksgiving dinner.” What do you say? Put the wine in a decorative bag and act like it’s a decoration until dinner then “pretend” to find it.
It’s always easy to be vegan when the “maple syrup, sweet potato,marshmallow, bacon, whole wheat bread casserole” comes your way, “Oh sorry, I’m vegan I can’t eat that.” “What can’t you eat in it?” “All of it.” No one knows what vegan means, so when the “cauliflower, lard, squash, cream of something soup, cheddar cheese casserole” rolls your way, another, “Oh, I’m vegan” saves the day.
Allergies are another way to avoid all the lovingly prepared food at the Thanksgiving Table, just like above when the cranberry thing starts moving down the table, a quick, “I’m allergic to Methionylthreonylthreonyl” with a smile as you pass it on.”
Thanksgiving with the family means that all your brothers and sisters will revert back to 10 year olds at the dinner table. There is always one at the table telling your parents, “Susie always got everything and I didn’t get anything.” You can always go all the way and spring for a used car, this helps when your brother, “Why did everyone get a car but me?” You can act like Bob Barker and say, “Charlie, you got a new car!” Or say, “What do you mean, you car is sitting outside?”
Don’t go into the kitchen until after the football game or parade whichever you WANT to watch, bad things happen to women who venture into the kitchen during Thanksgiving Day. They disappear and don’t reappear until dinner is on the table, looking very disheveled and talking about spices. If you love football and want to watch the game, but need something from the kitchen send in a child, they always make it out in one piece.
Bring rubber bands, not only is this a pregnancy trick but this helps with the views on Thanksgiving day. Nothing worse than everyone sitting in front of the TV with their pants unbuttoned then Uncle Eddie getting up forgetting about the button! Wait, forget the rubber bands this could be a great diet trick.
Easiest way to get through Thanksgiving is to remember that it’s a few hours in the scheme of things and there’s nothing better than family, complete with the dentures, the casseroles, the whining, the complaining, the arguing – your family loves each other no matter what, they don’t have a choice.
Oven Pancake is a three-generation, family favorite, breakfast recipe for the holidays and other special occasions. It can be made the night before and warmed up in the microwave. (It even freezes well!)
If God had intended us to follow recipes,
He wouldn’t have given us grandmothers.
1 ½ cup Bisquick
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon of sugar
12 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
¾ cup milk
1 ½ cup grated cheese (I usually use a little more)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray Baking Spray in 13 x 9 pan. (Use the Spray with Flour in it or you can grease and flour your pan.)
Mix Bisquick, eggs, syrup and milk together until well blended. Sir in ½ cup grated cheese.
Bake 15 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Then sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top followed by the crumbled bacon. Return the oven pancake to the oven for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve with additional maple syrup.
Special note: Don’t let anyone see you prepare this recipe and by all means hide the Bisquick box and everyone will be very, very impressed.
In 1999, on our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, my husband and I invited over our new friends, The Parks, from the military. Alison brought over this wonderful dish of Hash Brown Potato Casserole. It was so good and has been a staple at our Thanksgiving table ever since! I have given the recipe to several friends and they agree it is simple and tasty! This recipe always reminds me of New Bern and good friends! I hope you enjoy it!
Hash Brown Potato Casserole
2 pounds of Hash Browns (I use the Orieda bag of cubed hash browns)
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
2 cups of Sharp Cheddar Cheese
16 oz. Sour Cream
Potato Chips (I used the thin ones, any brand)
1 stick butter
Mix the sour cream and Cream of Chicken soup together. Mix in the potatoes and cheese. Scoop mixture into a 9×12 lightly greased cooking pan. Spread out evenly. Crush chips and layer on top. Melt the stick of butter and drizzle over the top of the chips. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Chips should be lightly browned! Enjoy!
I hate cranberry sauce, so here’s a great alternative from a restaurant I LOVE in Atlanta, GA. It was called the Flying Biscuit and they made the BEST biscuits I’ve ever had in my life especially when topped with this sauce. I got the receipe from April Moon, the chef and owner and make it now year round not just for the holidays. Great part is that it’s easy and doesn’t get left at the table when dinner’s done:
Cranberry Apple Butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1 cup orange juice
2 cups cranberries
10 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
Add sugar, spices, and orange juice to a large pot. Bring to simmer and cranberries. Cook until the cranberries begin to pop.
Add the applies and cook over low heat, stirring frequently. Cook until the apples are tender and falling apart. Puree in a food processor or mash with a potato masher until smooth and thick. Cool and serve on your Thanksgiving table then the next morning on biscuits 9guarranteed you’ll love this on biscuits) This butter will keep for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.
If you are even in Atlanta GA, make sure you add a stop to the Flying Biscuit even if it’s for an afternoon snack, I’ve yet to perfect their biscuits but will settle for this apple butter.
Forsyth Woman readers enjoyed a great day with our advertisers on the Tour de Boutiqes! We started at 730am, yes that’s 730am at our Coach America bus! Many women commented that the only reason they were UP EARLY and dressed with makeup on is the promise of a good shopping day!
We started our day at Accessorize This! a great boutique full of cute little Christmas gifts! Of course we found all the great jewelry and scarves for ourselves and threw in a Christmas gift for others to keep it legal. Gina had coffee, and muffins out so with a fresh set of caffiene we went on our way.
At Boutique of Couture, the ladies were amazed at the GREAT prices and wonderful trendy items of Hadley’s store. The dressing rooms were full, there was lots of “THAT LOOKS CUTE” and “That looks GREAT on you” and “Nope, that doesn’t work.” Hadley gave great advice steering us in the right direction, picking out the perfect accessory.
Thruway Shopping Center was ready for us, Lea of Simply Sterling showed all the ladies the “Casanova” way of tying a scarf. The jewelry in the store BEAUTIFUL, many ladies moving toward leggings and slim, shoes that are comfy, and belts that added color. The mimosas at the store were wonderful as the cash register started ringing. You know we’re into serious shopping when overheard was, “These shoes add two inches to my height – SOLD!”
Noteworthy had wonderful collapsable totes – this was one of few shopping ideas we bought for others. We drank mimosas there, bought cards, perfume, lotion, AND got our Christmas Card Shopping out of the way! The Painted Frog brought out the Brighton jewelry, ladies tried on great jeans that not only felt comfortable BUT looked GREAT! We spent some extra time with Anne and her staff helping Polly decide on just the perfect necklace!
Bevello’s dressing rooms were buzzing! Ladies went in and out trying on tops, jeans, and arguing on who saw the scarf first until Paula just snuck to the register and paid for it, tucking it away. Bevello’s had a selection of Tom’s hoes, where for every shoe purchased a pair of shoes was given to a child in need!
Most shoppers at this point would be WORN out but, we just took a break at the Fourth Street Filling Station. Ladies dined on some favorites – Chicken Souvlaki, Aruglua Salad, French Dip while others tried the mini crab cake croissant, turkey reuben. This was the only part of the day that we were quiet!
After lunch we traveled over to Gusto for amazing items and cute little dog that did tricks. We smelled soap and purchased a few Christmas gifts for loved ones. At Fraleigh’s we found great sales and quality clothes, there were a few walking around sporting the tiaras on sale, the trendy leather pants looked amazing!
Finishing up the day, we headed over to Hip Chicks for coffee and muffins, Christmas decorations and the Elf on the Shelf then finally Bizzy Bees for Thanksgiving dips and cookies, decorations and home decor. The bus was loaded with bags, the ladies enjoying quality time together as we discussed ways to move the purchases into the house,
“This little ole thing? I’ve had it forever!”
“New, this isn’t new. You never notice me anymore.”
“Honey, don’t worry I got it on sale.”
“You should see what everyone else spent!”
It was a great day enjoying time together, meeting the wonderful advertisers of Forsyth Woman! Sure the bus was loaded with bags and our wallets were lighter, but the good cheer on the bus and off the bus creates a memory that is PRICELESS!
Have you heard about our Tour de Boutique? Have you signed up for your seat on the bus? Are you planning time with your friends this weekend? Why not plan time with your friends AND let us do the driving! Here’s the great features about riding with us:
You don’t have to drive, worry about parking, traffic. Spend the day on the bus with your friends catching up, talking while we worry about all those headaches!
Christmas Shopping on Steroids! The boutiques on the list are offering deals to our bus riders helping you get your Christmas shopping done FAST! These are not Fru Fru Boutiques, but great advertisers in Forsyth Woman with great prices and incredible things!! Shopping ranges from bookstores, clothing, home items, small to large gifts!
Lunch at the Filling Station, what better way to spend a beautiful day than with the great comfort food at the Fourth Street Filling Station! Shrimp and Grits, Salads, Chilean Sea Bass, Southwest Won Tons as you relax in front on the fire or on the heated patio! Have that glass of wine because you’ve left the driving to us!!
Prizes, prizes, prizes – there’s prizeson the bus, prizes at the boutiques AND prizes at lunch. We’ll make your day fun with your friends on the bus and the new friends you’ll meet at Forsyth Woman as we travel around in our Coach American bus!
Now sing it with me, “The Wheels on the Bus go Round and Round!!”
There is a great motivation among people to give during the holiday season, which is wonderful, yet it makes me wonder what if giving was a lifestyle as oppose to a season?
Our family lives on a budget, therefore it is important that we have confidence in organizations we give to. A few of our favorites include Compassion International, Bethesda Center for the Homeless , Clemmons Food Pantry, Plowpoint Ministry, our local church – Hillsdale UMC and Operation Christmas Child.
Why do people give to begin with – really? Do people give because of the need, do they give because there is a joy in giving or do they give for other reasons? What is the joy of giving? If you have never experienced the “joy of giving,” let me suggest that you give more and keep giving until a joy begins to rise up within you. If you give a small token, it unlikely that you will experience that deep joy I am referring to. It seems to me that joy occurs when you give up something so that you can give. Does that make sense?
Why do you give? What organizations do you have confidence in and are you willing to recommend?
One would give generous alms
if one had the eyes to see the beauty
of a cupped receiving hand.
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
We can all write about how thankful we are, but how far are we willing to go for others? I saw an article online that talked about putting your money where your mouth is and doing something during this time of giving. Below are a few ideas I felt any of us could do that could make a difference to someone.
1. Pick through your closet and pick out some nice clothes to donate to the Dress for Success program. This helps job seekers who do not have clothes to wear to interviews.
2. Take some time off and volunteer in your child’s classroom. Both the teacher and your child will appreciate it!
3. Swing a hammer or sign up to help the Habitat for Humanity to make sure another family has a home for the holidays.
4. Ask a local library what they need, and start a book drive or book sale to help raise money.
5. Call your local Boys and Girls Club and see what they need most. Get a group together and donate these items.
6. Contact your local Humane Society and see what items they need for the winter, or go to the shelter and play with the dogs and cats, they will love the attention!
7. Pick up trash in an area that needs it.
8. Help someone without a car run their errands or drive them to a doctor’s appointment.
While these might not change the world, they might help someone in the community, and isn’t that what it is all about?
Thankfulness is the noun that relates to being thankful, so could thankfulness mean being “full of thanks” and could that occur before you recognize that you are the recipient of something, someone or some condition that causes you to be thankful? Webster’s says that to be thankful is to be “conscious of a benefit received.”
What do you want to be full of? Yes, yes we all know people who are full of . . . well you know . . . . and we also know people who are full of anger, whining, complaining, negativity, bitterness and other traits that suck the life out of everyone they come in contact with.
It seems like people who are full of thanks are like magnets that draw good things, people and circumstances toward them. When people are full of thanks they seem to handle adverse circumstances better — it is as if the good overcomes the bad. Finally, I think those who are full of thanks have an unusual gift of healing, hope and encouragement that spills over on all they meet.
How could you be more full of thanks this season or better yet could this become a lifestyle as oppose to a season? What difference would it make if you and your friends and family, intentionally choose to live a life – full of thanks?
Take a minute; reflect . . . how can you become a person full of thanks? How are you impacted by people who are full of thanks?
I was riding my bike thinking of my blog post and so many things came to mind (the ones everyone lists), my faith, my health, my family, then Oreo Cookies popped into my mind and one thing stood out. I am thankful for my sense of humor.
Sometimes in the sea of people it’s hard to find something that is uniquely you, and God has gifted me with a sense of humor! I am thankful because this defines me and I am proud of it. I like to say that I get my sense of humor from my Dad, I remember when were in a buffet restaurant and the waiter came over and said, “I am Phillip Yu.” Without cracking a smile, my Dad replied, “Yes, you fill up me.” There are so many stories that still make me smile.
My sense of humor has helped me make others smile. I love making people laugh because it’s a gift that comes from the heart, it’s my way of showing people I care about them. My sense of humor has opened doors in my writing (thank you Forsyth Woman/Forsyth Family), opened doors in my business, and opened new doors to friendship.
When I was little my Dad gave me a cape to protect me from the bad guys. Now sometimes I use that sense of humor as my cape to protect me when things get tough, when I’m holding the hand of my parent and we both know they are dying but I give that gift of myself by telling them a joke, making them laugh and enjoying that smile. Helping a friend by being that lighthearted support during hard times. I’m always there, I’ll do my best to lift them up and sometimes if it’s just a smile, that’s OK too, they accepted my gift, they accepted that part of me.
So I am thankful for the way my mind works (don’t ask my husband if he’s thankful for the way my mind works) it’s a little thing but it’s that part of me that makes me.
What gift of yourself do you give to others?
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