This dish is an original Stebbins recipe. I would say, though, that it is a strong and possibly 'acquired' taste.  The flavors are pungent but sweet, and we look forward all year to fresh cranberries so we can make it!  The dressing is a chick pea dressing. If you like hummus, you will like this, since it is basically a runnier version of hummus.  We have been fixing this dish for many years and I don't remember now how we came up with it!

First, slice the cranberries in half or quarters depending on the size of the berries. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and let set for about 1/2 hour before mixing with remaining ingredients.  This will help to take some of the sharpness of the berries out. It will not remove it all, so don't expect that. If you don't like the taste of cranberries, you most likley won't like this dish! The berries remain tart!

Meanwhile, cook the baby lima beans according to directions, along with corn. I use my own frozen garden corn, but if you need to use store bought corn, you could use canned corn or frozen niblets. Cook the frozen corn until done and drain along with the lima beans.  You can select the version of vegetables you prefer. I use frozen limas but canned would work just as well, I suppose. I think frozen vegetables have more nutritional value and usually taste fresher.

Once the veggies are drained, add them to the berries and combine. 

This dressing is one we make from time to time to have on salads. We love the flavor on a green salad...it's garlic-y and salty, which goes really well with a green lettuce salad.  Start by putting 1 can of chick peas-or garabanzo beans- in a blender or food processor. Do not drain the beans. Blend until creamy.  Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, juice from 1/2 lemon, 1 good Tablespoon of Tahini (sesame paste), and blend again.  You can  make the dressing without the tahini, but it won't taste the same. Tahini will give it that 'authentic' hummus flavor. While blending, add in a slow pour, about 1/3 cup olive oil. You can use regular vegetable oil in a pinch, but again, that will change the flavor. If the consistency is too thick, you can add more oil, or a bit of water. 

This recipe will make about 2+ cups, so there will be plenty for this salad recipe, and leftovers for salads. Once you dress the veggies with this, refrigerate for several hours or overnight to give the flavors time to 'marry'. I'll be curious to see if anyone reading this blog actually tries this recipe. I can tell you, if you like these ingredients seperately, you will love this recipe! I want to enter it in a contest some year...I think it's a winner!!

This is a family favorite. We never have Thanksgiving without it, and it's probably safe to say, we never have a family get together of any kind without this dish on the table! It's just that good, and so easy to make!  In a greased or buttered casserole dish combine: 1 can whole kernel corn, 1 can cream style corn, 1 box jiffy corn muffin mix, 1 stick melted butter, 1 8oz. carton of sour cream. Stir together well, wipe the edges of your dish off with a paper towel, and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Again, I use my own garden frozen corn, so I think I actually have more corn in my dish. You might want to use 2 cans of whole kernel corn. Either way, it's a delicious, easy side dish for any dinner.

This is my favorite Thanksgiving dish. We plan a meal that includes corn bread in the days ahead of Thanksgiving so I have leftovers. I then crumble the leftover cornbread and dry it out. I also use dried bread of some kind. This year, I found a loaf of herb bread at the store marked down, so I bought that, broke it into rough pieces, and place it in the oven with the corn bread on 200 degrees for 1/2 hour and then turned the oven off and left it in there overnight. In the morning the crumbs were perfectly crunchy and dry and ready for the stuffing.

In a large pan I place lot of chopped carrots, celery and onions. I like my veggies a bit on the large side, but you can chop them to whatever size you prefer.  I cook the veggies in chicken broth and a stick of butter for about 10 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste as well as plenty of sage. You can use fresh sage if you have it, or rubbed or powdered sage. I then place it in a casserole and bake it for 1/2 hour at 350.  Yummy, yummy! After taking the turkey out of the oven and draining off the rich turkey juices, I strain any vegetables out and use the juices to make a rich gravy, which is then poured over the dressing, mashed potatoes, turkey, and pumpkin pie! (just kidding...hahaha...just checking to see if you were paying attention!)

So, now my friend Lydia knows what we had for Thanksgiving including pictures. I don't know why I didn't take a picture of the 'bird'. It think when we were cutting it, there was a lot going on and the camera was not on my mind! Today is Monday, which is usually 'Meatless Monday' at our house, but today will be an execpetion. We're looking forward to leftover Thanksgiving for dinner tonight!



I AM TIRED! I forget how much easier it is to make candy when there are several people working together to do it!  By 2 o'clock this afternoon I was ready for a break, so we went out for a cup of coffee and a bagel. I had the caramels to cover with chocolate when I got home but I am done for the day.  I might make a batch of date balls yet, but it will have to be later this week.

We were craving Thanksgiving leftovers since we were at our son's for the day and we didn't cook at our house...so...NO leftovers! Yesterday, Richard went to the store and bought a small turkey and tomorrow we're having Thanksgiving #2!!  We're really looking forward to it...almost as much as we did on Thursday!

I thought I'd post a few more candy pictures just for fun!






Step 1: Shaving the chocolate

We drove to our son's house in Marysville for Thanksgiving. We went on Wednesday and stayed overnight to help with the dinner. Ian had had back surgery on Monday and was recovering. Our main job was just being grandparents, baking the pies, and then on Thursday we helped make casseroles and get the meal prepared.  We had a nice turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn casserole, green bean casserole, scalloped oysters, cranberry jelly, homemade dinner rolls, deviled eggs, red beet pickled eggs, and stuffing. Dessert was pumpkin and apple pie, and there was lots of coffee.

As we drove home with stuffed bellies, we couldn't help but express our disappointment that the leftovers stayed in Marysville (as they should, of course), so today, Richard went out to the store and bought us a small turkey which is thawing in the fridge. I think we'll try cooking it on Sunday so we have some leftovers for sandwiches. We all love turkey sandwiches. We had Stove Top stuffing on Thanksgiving, and I really missed homemade stuffing, so I plan on making some to go with our meal. I'll use leftover cornbread and lots of celery, onion, and mushrooms, and I'll make a nice turkey gravy to pour over it. I will make some corn for a vegetable, and Richard wants some pumpkin pie. I guess he didn't get enough on Thanksgiving!

After a very busy Wednesday and Thursday, I didn't have much motivation to get too carried away making candy today. I made one batch of almond roca, one batch of peanut butter fudge, and one batch of buckeyes.  I'll finish up with candy making tomorrow when I make peanut brittle, bon bons, and date balls.

Almond Roca-cook butter and sugar to 300 degrees and pour over chocolate and nuts

After the Almond Roca cools, break into pieces

Super delicious peanut butter fudge

Buckeyes, rolled and ready for chocolate

Dipping Buckeyes

Use a toothpick to dip them into the chocolate, then tap with your finger to remove the hole

Three perfect Buckeyes!!!

A candy thermometer, wooden spoons, and a heavy pot are all necessary for a successful day of candy making!



For years, my mother's brothers and sisters got together the day after Thanksgiving for a day of making candy that would be divided between the families for gift giving and enjoyment over the holiday season.  There were 6 children in my mom's family so when we got together along with all the cousins, it was a houseful!  We alternated between the aunts or uncles who lived in the Archbold area.  Those who lived elsewhere would usually drive in for the day and sometimes make it an overnight stay. 

Everyone participated in some way.  Of course, the 'stove' duties were always filled by the adults, but there were also fun things for the kids to do if they wanted to.  Sometimes we just played with our cousins, but for the most part, it was a family affair and everyone enjoyed helping.  There were usually cut-out cookies for decorating with all kinds of frosting colors and toppings which the kids enjoyed putting their artistic touches to.  We would also get to help roll buckeyes and dip pretzels, or wrap caramels in waxed paper.  It was an assembly line process at times, with shoulder to shoulder family! These are some of my happiest memories.

We always stopped at lunch time and had a meal together. This was a family of good cooks.  Our lunches were somewhat of a pot luck with everyone bringing dishes to pass.  The aunts did not cut corners. Hot dogs and macaroni and cheese were not on the menus! Everything about this day was touched with love.  The love of being together with family, the love of sharing the work of making the candy, and the love of laughter. 

Don't get the idea, though, that this was anything other than a 'work' day.  By the end of the day there would be well over 100 pounds of candy to divide up.  I think, looking back, the only regret was that my mom guarded that candy with an iron fist!! We begged to eat it but her response was always the same: "no, it's to give away". It was used as gifts...for the mailman, teachers, friends, neighbors, and taken to the Eash family Christmas get together where we were free to eat what we wanted!

One year I decided it would be fun to contact the food editor at the Toledo Blade, the local newspaper to see if she would be interested in featuring our family.  I wrote to her early in the year about our candy  making day.  We were so excited and surprised when she contaced us and the plans were made for her to come out with a photographer on that day to interview the family and take pictures.  It was a full page spread in the newspaper. (The above picture is a small part of the article. The cousins sat around the table with all kinds of candy as the picture was 'staged'. You can see the top of my head at the bottom of the picture on the right. ) In recent years, I found the original article that my mom had saved and decided to scan some of it to post on the blog. 

It's a very special memory. What a fun day that was!! We felt like celebreties!

As the families grew, cousins married and moved away, aunts and uncles passed away, the candy making day became the responsiblity of each individual family.  We've struggle to keep it alive, but busy schedules and the distance of miles have made it difficult.  Most of us still make candy the day after Thanksgiving, but at our own home, with our own family. Once in a while a few of us will try to arrange to get together to do it, but it doesn't happen often.  Much of the joy of that day is missing without other family members to help with the work and enjoy the day with. 

I will be making candy the day after Thanksgiving this year. It will just be my husband and myself, so we won't be making 100 pounds, but I do have big plans.  I'll be making:


This is a postscipt: Today, the day after Thanksgiving, I made a batch of buckeyes, almond roca, and peanut butter fudge.  I'll make more candy tomorrow. I have to say, making candy by yourself is not much fun. I did put Christmas music on the radio and that helped make the atmosphere 'merry', but my mind was filled with memories of my mom and siblings getting together to make candy, and all the holiday merriment involved. There would be singing, laughter, and the more hands you have, the more candy you are able to make in one day! I truly miss those days!!



I look forward to this day all year. It's my favorite holiday by far for several reasons. It's the only holiday we have that the focus is food. Cooking is something I enjoy doing.  Nothing makes me quite as happy as making a good meal for the people I love!  This year, our son is having back surgery the Monday before Thanksgiving. He'll be in the hospital for a couple of days before returning home to recuperate. He won't be able to travel, and we told him we would just skip Thanksgiving so he could rest, but he was having none it!  I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. He is a great cook himself and looks forward to the special foods that are traditionally prepared for our turkey day meal.

We plan to go to their house on Wednesday and stay overnight. I'll make the pies on Wednesday evening...dutch apple and pumpkin.  Then on Thursday morning our daughter in law will be  making her first turkey with my help! I'm so excited to help her learn this skill. In our family, we use a baking bag for the turkey. We don't 'present' the turkey whole at the table to be carved, but rather slice it and place it on a platter. When using a baking bag, the turkey skin sometimes sticks to the bag and makes for a less pleasing presentation, that is if you are serving it whole.  That's one reason it doesn't matter that we use the bag, because we prefer just having it all plattered for ease of serving. 

If you have never cared for turkey because it tends to be dry, you really should try a baking bag once. You will be amazed at the difference it makes. I never, EVER, have a dry turkey!! It's moist and delicious every time. We'll also have mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, corn casserole, green bean casserole, and cranberry relish, and as I said earlier, pie for dessert. 

One of our favorite side dishes is scalloped oysters. My mom always made this for Thanksgiving and it isn't Thanksgiving without it! It's so delicious. It's not a cheap dish to make, but once a year, we indulge.  My mom would have also served deviled eggs and a cranberry jellied salad and possibly a 7-layer salad.  I'm not sure what all is planned for our meal on Thursday yet...whether we'll have a salad or bread...but I do know that it will be the kind of Thanksgiving that makes me happiest. Filled with good food, and family close by.  I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving day with your families.  I'd love to hear what dishes you will be enjoying!


Cumin Scented Sweet Potatoes with Red Onion

Thanksgiving Day is the only day in the year that I will eat sweet potatoes made with marshmallows.  I prefer savory  potatoes.  Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins B and C as well as potassium and lots of other great nutrients.  They are in season right now so they are plentiful and inexpensive.  I  saw this dish on a recent blog post and decided to give it a try. It was very good!!  The combination of cumin and onion was nutty and complimented the sweetness of the potatoes. 

I used whole cumin seeds instead of ground.  They were a nice surprise when they popped in your mouth while eating this dish. I peeled the potatoes and cut them in uniform small diced pieces. I first sauteed a good amount of red onion (our last one from the garden..sad face) in a bit of olive oil then added the cumin seeds.  Saute until you can 'smell' the cumin...they will release their oils after sauteeing a few minutes. Be careful not to burn the onion or cumin.  Add the diced sweet potato and stir fry until they are just beginning to soften. I don't like them mushy..I prefer a bit of 'tooth'.  This is an easy side dish and very healthy! 




Last night we had a dinner party. I made a small prime rib, a potato gratin, dilled carrots, salad, cake and ice cream! We had some friends over and everyone went  crazy over this delicious potato recipe. I wish I had taken a picture of it but I didn't.  It was a new recipe, in fact, I had just seen it this week on the Food Network and it looked so good I decided to try it. 

I've been looking for ways to use our potatoes. We have quite a few in the basement that we harvested from the garden.  Our basement it's cool enough to keep them for the whole winter, so I need to use them before they get soft.  They are still firm and the taste is so much better than store bought potatoes!

This is a very easy recipe.  Place heavy cream in a small saucepan along with 2 Tbsp. of butter, and 1/2 - 1 c. finely chopped walnuts.  Heat over very low heat to melt the butter and combine flavors.

Meanwhile, peel your potatoes and slice thinly using whatever grater or slicer you have. If you don't have a slicer, slice with a knife as thinly as possible.  Place a layer of potatoes in a casserole dish. Salt and pepper lightly, poor some of the cream mixture over the layer along with some shredded parmesan cheese.  Add another potato layer along with the remaining cream and top with another light layer of parmesan.  Bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes or until fork tender.  The melted cheese will be golden and form a crunchy topping.  The combination of nuts, cream, and potatoes is so delicious!! I have never had such a wonderful potatoe casserole that was this easy to make. I will be making this one again!