I would say, where has the year gone, but I know where 1/4 of this year went for me. But can you believe it is almost Thanksgiving? Good grief Charlie Brown, Christmas is right around the corner!
When I think about the holidays I think about family and years gone by. Family gatherings in particular so it was only fitting that I talk about it since our theme for November's Blog With Friends is just that, family gathering.
One thing about holidays growing up, I always looked forward to going to my grandparents farm and being with the entire family. It was different back then than now. We had to drive a long way and it was an event. One we looked forward to. I'd see my cousins, we would play, get gifts and more importantly gather around and be a family. Of course we'd eat, we're Southern! When we get together there is ALWAYS food.
Everyone had their assignments. Aunt Linda did a smoked ham, cheesecake, cheese ball and crackers, Aunt Dianne would make macaroni salad, Aunt Wanda would make a delicious pineapple cake and deviled eggs, maybe potato salad depending on the holiday and sweet potato casserole (which I took over making when I got older). My mom would make cookies, everyone fought over these cookies (still do) pecan pie, chocolate pie, lemon meringue pie. Grandmama would make the turkey, collards, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, rice, green beans with new potatoes oh and fudge! Very rarely if ever did this menu change. Over the years as my grandmother's health failed different ones picked up the slack and prepared the items that she would have done. After several years we began meeting at Aunt Linda's house instead, then Aunt Wanda's house. Now almost everyone is gone. There is Aunt Wanda, her two boys (35 and 40) my mom, me and my family. My cousin Tina, her brother Aaron and his family. That's it. Everyone else has passed on. Those of us left are scattered to the four corners so to speak.
I remember the gatherings with fond memories and miss them. The laughs, joking around, the smells of food, the kids playing, the dog sleeping in my granddaddy's lap. Even the hours of clean up I miss. Mostly I miss my family. Teresa was first, she was the youngest girl /cousin, my shadow. Then Granddaddy, Frank, Thomas, Grandmama, Aunt Dianne, Daddy, Aunt Linda, Alton and so it goes, one by one they have left us with empty hearts and empty spaces at the dinner table. We used to set up two card tables and all the chairs were full at the big table. Now we fit at one small table. I know it's life but the holidays do two things to me, make me sad/nostalgic and missing loved ones. It also makes me want to hold on tighter to the ones I have left. To continue with some of our traditions and reminisce about the past.
So in honor of days gone by, along with the sun and heat, here is a soup you can make from leftovers or just a few simple ingredients.
1 lb ground turkey
2-3 large carrots,peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
1-2 cups rice
3 cups chicken stock/broth
If using 2 cups of rice add 2-3 cups of water or more broth
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TBSP dried parsley
white pepper and salt to taste
In a large pot brown the turkey OR you could use 2-3 cups of leftover turkey diced up, if using ground turkey allow it to brown and add the onion, garlic and spices. Stir well and add in the broth. Water if needed and the carrots. Once the carrots are close to done, 10 minutes or so, add in the rice and additional water/broth. Cook until the rice is done, about 20 minutes and serve. You could add white wine and some mushrooms if you wanted as well.
Karen from Baking In A Tornado
Lydia from Cluttered Genius