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First taste of the holidays

You might be wondering why I would choose a title like “First Taste of the Holidays?” After you read my article you will understand why.

We just went through the most boring, lonely, quiet and disappointing Thanksgiving that I have ever experienced. This is the first year in my 55 years of marriage that it was just the two of us celebrating the day and Thanksgiving dinner. Our Thanksgiving dinners usually consist of at least 30 people at our home for the celebration. We broke the news a week before Thanksgiving to our children that there would be no dinner at the house, however I did not let them down and I always think positive, so I prepared a 24-pound turkey with all the trimmings and side dishes. So even though we did not have family quality time and greatly missed the personal contact and socializing, the food remained the same. Everything was placed in large carry-out containers and each family came and picked up their dinner at a certain time.

Just in case you are curious as to our typical menu on Thanksgiving it consisted of turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato and corn casseroles and, of course, cranberry sauce and homemade hot rolls (This is just what I prepare which does not include what each family prepares.) A typical and common menu for most Thanksgiving dinners, however, we add the Greek touch with a Greek salad, moussaka, dolmades, spanakopita topped off with Greek desserts and a traditional pumpkin pie.

All that took care of the Thanksgiving dinner but then the next day the kids are always calling and requesting leftovers and nothing goes to waste.

The entire world is facing some very trying and challenging times with this virus doing so much damage and harm to so many throughout the world. Life is full of surprises, but what is taking place at the present time is a surprise, but not the type of surprise we would like to see take place. When we think of surprises we are thinking and hoping for something pleasant and positive with a happy ending and not what is taking place today.

I am still very confused why so many millions of people are not following the recommendations and suggestions from the medical doctors.

It was recommended people stay home and not travel for Thanksgiving, but over 50 million people refused to listen and I am sure the number of people not listening will increase even more for the Christmas holiday.

REMINDER: Be sure to check out the Festival of Trees at the Blennerhassett Hotel, sponsored by the United Way and the Blennerhassett Hotel.

You will be amazed at all the beautiful trees and how many talented tree decorators we have in our area.

This year I personally decorated only two trees, one with the theme of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” sponsored by Jan Dils Attorney at Law and Chuck Hughes, and one with the theme “Unicorns Come to the Blennerhassett Hotel for Christmas” sponsored by United Bank.

Trees will be displayed until the auction on Dec. 10.

Recipes to get you thinking about the upcoming Christmas season

Till next week.

***

Date Nut Bread

1 cup finely cut dates

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon soda

1 cup boiling water

1 egg beaten

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts

2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine dates, butter, soda and water. Cool. Add remaining ingredients and bake in a 9-by 5-by-3 pan for 90 minutes at 300 degrees. Serves 8.

***

Christmas Salad

3 (3 ounces) packages of raspberry gelatin

9 1/2 cups boiling water divided

2 (3 ounces) packages of lemon gelatin

5 ounces cream cheese softened

1/2 pint whipping cream

2 (3 ounces) packages of lime gelatin

2 (13 1/2 ounce) cans of crushed pineapple.

Dissolve raspberry gelatin in 4 and 1/2 cups boiling water. Pour into a 9-by-13 pan. Chill. After the red layer has congealed, dissolve the lemon gelatin in 3 cups of boiling water. Add cream cheese. Cool completely. Beat whipping cream and fold into mixture, then pour on top of the red layer. Chill. When the white layer has set, dissolve the lime gelatin in 2 cups of boiling water. Add pineapple and pour over the white layer. Chill. Serve on a lettuce leaf and garnish with whipped cream, mayonnaise or a cherry cut into a flower. Generously serves 12.

***

Cranberry salad

1 (6 ounce) package cherry gelatin

1 cup hot water

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup pineapple syrup

1 cup ground cranberries

1 whole orange, grated with peel included

1 cup crushed and drained pineapple

1 cup English walnuts

Dissolve gelatin in hot water. Add sugar, lemon juice and pineapple syrup. Stir slow until thickened, add the remaining ingredients before the gelatin sets. Pour into mold and refrigerate until firm. Serves 10.

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