Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner. I am reminded of so many Thanksgivings of the past. Thanksgivings when I was a child growing up in Del Mar were always fun and exciting because it meant the beginning of the fun-filled holiday season. Even though I grew up on the ocean in southern California I can remember crisp autumn air filling my nostrils, burning a little from the cold; and the delightful smells of  fireplaces as the colder weather set in.  In Front of the Crackling Fire

I can smell my mother’s cooking and remember the fun and excitement of preparing the turkey. It was a family affair and my grandparents who lived right next door were always there at Thanksgiving feasts. My father LOVED Kellog’s Corn Flakes. My grandmother, who I called Mimi, always used this recipe that then my mother, her mother-in-law, used when I was growing up. My sister Wendy puts fabulous recipes on her daughter Rebecca’s blog. Follow this link and you will find other traditional dishes in our family. And not so traditional since my sister is now a vegetarian, but equally delicious!  For photos and step-by-step directions go to the website —  Girlsgonechild – Eat Well  There’s also a delicious vegetarian gravy and mushroom dish on this blog post of my sister’s!

 Traditional Recipe: Mimi’s stuffing

1/2 cup butter or olive oil

2 onions, chopped

1 BUNCH celery, tops and bottoms cut off, chopped

2 bunches parsley, washed and chopped fine, thick stalks removed (I use food processor)

18 oz Kellogg’s corn flakes

¼ cup raisins or currants (optional—you can also add a chopped and peeled apple)

2-4 teaspoons dried whole sage or 1 T fresh (or to taste)

2-4 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped or 1 t whole dried (crunched up)

2 teaspoons thyme

2 teaspoons marjoram

Juice of half a lemon

1 egg, beaten

2 cup vegetable broth (about)

Toasted pine nuts or toasted almonds

Salt and pepper to taste

 From my kitchen windows I have a great view for observing wildlife in my garden. This morning while enjoying my Café con leche I watched as finches and other colorful birds foraged for seeds on the dried fall flowers. I also noticed one large bird perched atop an empty goldfinch bird feeder. I looked down and DRAT!!! There was the gopher mound bigger than last week. The dogs have had their breakfast and they are next to me in the house unaware of what is going on in the garden at the moment. As much as the gopher is a garden pest and I briefly thought Byron, one of my standard poodles,  getting totally filthy trying to kill it and missing because the gopher would just scamper deep into the earth or over to some other plants; I did notice that the gopher is actually cute. The birds were doing their thing while the gopher was digging her hole bigger and bigger and the resulting mound of earth was getting taller and taller. Every time the gopher pushes up more earth quickly and cautiously, she looks at me watching her and then goes down to push more earth up and out of her ever-growing home.

Lessor Goldfinch

Right then a yellow breasted goldfinch, as if curious, walked over Mrs. Gopher’s house maybe looking for worms or grubs that the gopher might have unearthed from the deeper underground. The gopher then disappears for a bit but then cautiously reappears to continue her work.

For about the last five months I have been hearing a pack of coyotes quite close to my house, howling and yipping as they do when they have made a kill. Nearby here are many rabbits, voles and rats, enough to go around for barn owls and coyotes. I love hearing the coyotes. While I have yet to visit Africa, someday I hope to go on a photographic safari and hear the wilderness at night. It must be the most thrilling experience! I bet for those of you who have been to Africa, hearing a hyena or a lion roar in the middle of the night must, at the least, make your heart skip a beat!


Last summer, enjoying breathtaking sunsets with a friend,  I would become concerned for my dogs’ wellbeing. They are large dogs, standard poodles, but luckily have the sense to stay away from the wild dogs. I would call them into my house. As long as I am snug in the house with my dogs, I love hearing the coyotes howl! It lets me know that God’s wild nature even in this day and age is right outside. As I write this morning  I just saw a shadow cross my computer screen. I looked to my right–WOW a Sparrow Hawk is right outside my office window.

I am so thankful for nature, my family and friends!

This past Sunday the pastor at the church that I frequent spoke of the first Thanksgiving. The settlers had experienced so many losses and heartache and yet they sat down with the Indians in nature to enjoy a meal together and say Thank you God!

Thanksgiving is many people’s favorite holiday. I love the day because our whole country celebrates Thankgiving. One of my daughters who lives in Spain always has made it a priority to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family and friends. Yvette, in her way, is spreading our New World traditions to the Old World.

We should be thankful to the great man Abraham Lincoln who set Thanksgiving as a national holiday!

Enjoy being with your family and friends. Individual family traditions that for some of you includes feeding the homeless or giving a soldier far from home a hot meal.

However you celebrate your day, Happy Thanksgiving!

Bye for Now,







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