When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

I hope your day was happy and that you had as wonderful of a time as I did!  I hope that your tummy's are full and that your hearts are full of a time with family and friends.  I am a big believer in traditions.  Although sometimes, it seems like the traditions have to sift and change a little. 
We had several of our children here.  DJ and Amy Jo came up with their children, Cole, Jake, and Ellie.  Louis and Adam came up and so did Victor and Lori with their little girl Nora.  Of course, the kids still at home were here too.  Miracle, Mikayla, Anya and Josh.  It was pretty wild! 
The kids had a great time playing.  Of course, they all wanted to go outside and play in the cold.  It was below 20 degrees in the morning and we had to keep them busy in the house.  I love my traditions.  When the older kids were little, we always watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.  This year was not any different from those days of old.  We put on the parade, and none of the kids watched it!  Oh well, times change. 
We always have a special breakfast.  For the past couple of years, our favorite is Stuffed French Toast Strudel with Apple Syrup.  We all love it and we even hope for leftovers!

 Mom's Stuffed French Toast Strudel
1 (1 lb.) Loaf unslice French bread (can also use white bread)
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, cubed
8 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk, light cream, or half and half (the more fat, the better it taste)  :-)
6 T butter or marg., melted
1/4 c. maple syrup

Cut bread into cubes.  (you should have about 12 cups bread cubes).  Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish.  Place 1/2 bread cubes in prepared dish.  Top with the cream cheese cubes and then the remaining bread cubes.  In a blender, mix together eggs, milk, butter, maple syrup.  Pour egg mixture evenly over bread and cheese cubes.  Using a spatula, slightly press down layers to moisten.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.  Remove plastic wrap and bake in a 325 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the center appears set and the edges are lightly golden.  Let stand about 10 minutes before serving with Apple Cider Syrup.

Apple Cider Syrup

1/2 c sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 c apple cider or apple juice
1 T lemon juice (use a real lemon)
2 T butter or marg.

In a small saucepan stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon.  Then stir in the apple cider or juice and the lemon juice.  Cook and stir the mixture over the medium heat until the mixture is thickened and bubbly.  Then cook and stir for 2 minutes more.  Remove from heat and stir in the butter or marg. until melted.  Makes about 1 1/3 cups. 

John and I got up early and made the turkey and dressing.  Later in the morning we made banana bread, pumpkin bars and sugar cookies.  We had lots of dessert!  One of my favorite parts!  It was a hectic day and no matter how hard we tried, the schedule just could not seem to fit!  We seem to have a habit of running late for everything. 
Lori and Vic came up in the early afternoon (they got up late) and Lori made some spicy mashed potatoes and a different stuffing.  We all loved having different foods this year.  Lori and Vic introduced and hispanic theme to the occasion and I am definately going to make those potatoes again!  They were amazing! 
Louis had a football game and came up after they were done playing.  It is his tradition and the one time every year when he gets to play his favorite sport.  We all watched football for the day, (several games I might add), did dishes, cooked, did dishes, served, did dishes, (did I say that we did dishes??)  I finally went to the dollar store because the boys wanted soda and John made salsa but we were out of chips, so I bought everything we needed plus paper plates and cups! 
Amy Jo made homemade pumpkin pies and bought a Costco pecan pie.  The desserts were amazing.  We had pumpkin pie for breakfast the next morning!  We are still full from the day!! 
The kids all went out and played in the yard in the afternoon.  They liked to feed the chickens!  The chickens ate almost as well as the rest of us.  The kids would have stayed outside in the cold all day if we would have let them.  I am terrible at getting pictures and seem to forget it most of the time after the first few.  So, the only pics I have are of the grandkids with the chickens.

Maybe next year, I will remember to take more pictures!!!
All in all, it was an awesome thanksgiving and I just need to remember that although traditions are fun to preserve, it is ok to make new ones along the way.  Hopefully, every couple of years, the kids with be able to come home and help me decide what new ones we need to make!

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