Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend Foodfest

     Thanksgiving dinner was delicious, and it was the usual culinary marathon.  We began with appetizers at 1:00 pm at my sisters. Our day ended at home with turkey, stuffing and cranberry sandwiches during halftime of the Patriots game at 10:00 pm.  There were only nine of us at dinner this year, and we showed pictures of the cruise, and Dad's birthday.  We called the family who could not attend, and passed the phone around so everyone got to say hello.  Thanksgiving is all about family and friends and food and fun.  We try to use family recipes, and remember the cooks who made them famous.
     Our family favorite starters include pineapple cheese ball,  stuffed celery topped with olives, as well as our regulars like shrimp cocktail and  different cheese and crackers.  
     Our main course is turkey,  mom's sausage stuffing, with six colorful vegetables and gravy.  I always skip the mashed potatoes, but enjoy sweet potatoes, and the calorie rich casseroles. Yum-yum.
     The guys did the dishes, while the cooks, and the kids took a short walk in order to make room for the dessert sampler.  Everyone takes a small piece, or a sample of their favorite desserts.  After all, if we don't enjoy our favorites now, many of them will not be made again until next year.  It really is now or never.
      I cooked a small turkey, and made stuffing for the sandwiches.  I always make turkey soup and a turkey pot pie with the leftovers.  I feel like we have been cooking and eating non-stop for days.  It will feel good to get back to our schedule tomorrow.  This weekend is December 1, and our first Christmas Party, so we will be busy now till the new year.  2012 has gone by quickly, but it has been very full.  The highs have been high, and the lows have been low.  I'll reflect on the year shortly, but for now,  I plan to enjoy the season.....and the beat goes on.....the beat goes on.....

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

    I've got a lot to be thankful for this year.  We are all healthy and employed.  November 2012 has been wonderful for my family, and I'll give you my short list of what made it so special for us.
     First of all, President Obama was re-elected without the need for a recount or any legal involvement.  I believe he deserves a second term, and look forward to a growing  economy with a strong middle class. I am hopeful that the next four years will be better than the last.  My state of New Hampshire made history because it elected the first all female delegation.  Our governor, both Senators, and both members of Congress are all women.  I am excited, and wish them all well, because we have so much work to do.
      Next, my Dad turned eighty-five on November 11, and ten of us celebrated with a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico.  Our dinner table consisted of the three sisters and our husbands, as well as our brother and his wife, and Dad and June.  We enjoyed fabulous meals and our excellent waitstaff pampered us daily.  We saw three awesome shows, won some money at the casino, and played trivia games.  There were too many things happening each day, but we managed to find a good mix of activity and relaxation.  We watched line dance competitions, and name that tune game shows by the pool.  We shopped for the daily specials, and took in as many activities as possible.  The on shore excursions were a lot of fun.  As always it is tough to say good-bye, but we are all happy that we were able to spend the week together.  We had a lot of laughs, and made some nice memories.
        This Thursday we celebrate Thanksgiving, and we will get together again.  This time some of our children will be at dinner, and we'll try to see everyone through the weekend.  I am lucky to have my family close, and we still enjoy spending time together.  We do have a lot to be thankful for.....and I'd like to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.....and the beat goes on....the beat goes on.....

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sandy the Superstorm

  Hurricane Sandy was one of the largest storms ever recorded.  It was more than 900 miles wide, and slammed the entire east coast  from Miami to Maine.  The jet stream allowed it to incorporate a nor'easter, which is why it is now called a super-storm.  I watched the news coverage in horror as it washed away lives, many homes, and the New York and Jersey coastlines. It was mother nature at her worst.  There will be plenty of time for the climate change discussions later.  Right now there is too much to do.  Some have said that New York has always been the first state to work to find long term solutions after a catastrophe.  I hope so, because everyone in the country who lives near the ocean, will be affected sooner or later with this type of storm.
   I was happy to see neighbors helping neighbors, as well as the politicians working together on behalf of American citizens.  It is going to take a long time to rebuild, even with help from the Federal Government.  I like having my government big enough to provide a safety net when disasters happen. I like to see the national guard bringing food and supplies to folks stranded in their homes.  I am encouraged when I watch Americans getting free gas from our guardsmen until the power is restored at gas stations.  I am shocked that Americans will actually vote for smaller government.  How can we continue to vote against our own interests, knowing that we have had two "storms of the Century" in the last three years?  It just does not make any sense to me.
   I have always believed that if Congress really wanted to solve problems, they'd find a way to cut through the baloney and get things done.  We need to reward our elected officials when they behave properly, and we must not let the obstructionists win.  We all have neighbors and relatives who do not agree with us politically, but would we ever let that get in the way of doing the right thing?  Democracy must be bigger than that.  We live in the greatest country on earth, and now it's time to act like it.
    Tuesday is Election Day.  As Americans, we each get one vote.  Please use it to voice your choice on the issues important to you.  We should not reward the bullies, the haters, or the obstructionists.  I want to hire politicians who will work to solve problems for the middle class, and believe that everyone must be included in our democratic process.  Please grab your ID, and head to the polls.  Stand up for a New Jersey voter who is staying with friends, and is unable to get back to vote.  Act on behalf of all those New York folks who cannot get back to their old neighborhoods until the trains begin running again.  Vote for those who may be attending funeral services, and just cannot get it done.
   I will also donate one day's pay to the Red Cross.  I believe in putting my money where my mouth is, and this is one way that I can make my words match my actions.   Please join me in supporting the storm victims.  These are real people who didn't deserve to have their lives devastated by mother nature.....and the beat goes on.....the beat goes on......