Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thanksgiving Themes

Thanksgiving Dinner from Kitchen to Table

Source: Pixabay
Whether decorating for Thanksgiving Day, preparing the meal, or needing a special host/hostess gift, here are a few ideas with fun Thanksgiving Themes to save you time and tension while preparing for the holiday.

"What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?" 

                              ---Erma Bombeck



Welcome your Thanksgiving Dinner guests before they even ring the doorbell with this holiday mat in a Harvest Theme.

  Thanksgiving Dinner

First, Find Your Favorite Recipes!

Source: Pixabay
Any special dinner, especially Thanksgiving, begins with gathering together your favorite recipes. A cookbook devoted just to the 'turkey & trimmings' is particularly helpful. Or you could put together your own holiday cookbook with the recipes you've used & loved from past Thanksgivings. 

Recipes remembered from the past, like grandma's best pumpkin pie recipe or mom's most used stuffing recipe are important ingredients to enjoying your family's traditional dishes.

Available on Amazon
This 68-page Thanksgiving Cookbook is available in paperback or on Kindle and is filled with both classic holiday recipes and some new unconventional ones to try. 

It includes the traditional ones we all expect for a Thanksgiving Day dinner, plus some brand new food creations that might surprise ~ and delight ~ your dinner guests.

"It took me three weeks to stuff the turkey. I stuffed it through the beak." 

                                              ---Phyllis Diller

Get out the Turkey Roaster...


From simple to fancy to a turkey fryer, turkey roasters come in many sizes. I use a small one now, unless the family gathers once again! Stuff the 'bird', put it in your roaster pan, and let the appetizing aromas begin to drift through the house...

"Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie." 

                                                     ---Jim Davis

The Rest of the Meal


Source: Wikimedia Commons
If you're having the traditional Roast Turkey for your Thanksgiving Dinner, you're probably adding other family favorites. Ours were turkey stuffing, of course, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, a vegetable, and dinner rolls

This beautiful 'turkey' plate features a design of a plump American turkey and is perfect for serving the Thanksgiving turkey dinner and for any holiday, fall or winter table.  This beautiful dinner plate is made of earthenware in England by Spode, a company that is well known for quality dinnerware.

Traditional Thanksgiving Dessert - Pumpkin Pie


Source: Pixabay

It seems as though pumpkin pie is the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner dessert, but mincemeat pie and pecan pie are also favorite choices. Many other kinds of desserts fit in with this holiday dinner too. What you serve probably depends on where you live and what your family tradition has been. For instance, my friend Sylvestermouse shares a favorite family recipe for pumpkin chiffon pie that she grew up with and uses to this day.

"Thanksgiving Dinners take 18 hours to prepare. They are consumed in 12 minutes. Half-times take 12 minutes. This is not a coincidence."

                                ~Erma Bombeck

After Dinner Cleanup


Pumpkin Cotton Dishcloth

Stay in the holiday mood right through the dish washing by using a practical cotton dishcloth in a fun 'pumpkin' color and shape. Hand-crocheted of 100% cotton yarn.

Pumpkin Shaped Potholder

Pumpkin washcloth/dish cloth is found in the Etsy Shop of Coastal Crochet Crafts. It also comes with a matching 'pumpkin-shaped' potholder - perfect kitchen helpers for your holiday meal preparations.

Invited out for Thanksgiving Dinner?

Need a Hostess Gift?

Handmade Turkey-Design Beverage Coasters
This set of four (4) beverage coasters with a design of a turkey is perfect for Thanksgiving and lovely to give as a hostess gift when invited out for Thanksgiving dinner.

The design is created on plastic canvas using acrylic yarn in harvest colors. The turkey design is done in tans and browns with a touch of orange for the beak and legs. Turkey sits on a pretty yellow background. This handmade coaster set is available on Etsy at Coastal Crochet Crafts.

"You can tell you ate too much for Thanksgiving when you have to let your bathrobe out." 

                                                     ----Jay Leno

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Related Article:  Our Thanksgiving Memories

(c)  Originally published 11/3/2009.  Updated 11/16/2016

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Honoring my Dad on Veterans Day

My Dad in the U.S. Navy in 1944
In the United States, Veterans Day has been observed on November 11 each year since the end of World War I.  Originally known as Armistice Day, commemorating the end of hostilities in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, it officially became known as Veterans Day in 1954 when President Eisenhower established this day as a National Holiday. 

As we honor … and remember … all who served in the U.S. Military this Veterans Day, I am remembering my dad and his time in the U.S. Navy.

Joining the Service

My Family - Christmas 1943

By the time the United States entered World War II, my dad was already married and father to two children.  He was working for Eastman Kodak in Rochester, NY doing war work and thus was exempt from the draft.  But by late 1944 his brother and 2 of his brothers-in-law were all serving in various branches of the military and he couldn't stand not being a part of the fight for his country.  So one day he simply went downtown and joined the Navy ~ then went home and told my mother!

Basic Training and Beyond

Navy PBY Flying Boat

Dad was sent to basic training in Jacksonville, Florida and later transferred to the Naval Air Station in Hutchinson, Kansas where he was assigned as crew chief and rear turret gunner aboard the Navy's PBYs (Patrol Bomber), training in air-sea search & rescue work. These U.S. Navy PBY Catalina Units were also used as submarine hunters throughout the Pacific during World War II.

My mother, my brother & I were able to join dad after his basic training in Florida, and later be with him in Kansas.  The war ended before dad ever made it overseas, but he was so proud to be in the Navy and part of the war effort.

Favorite Memory


Me and my Dad

I have a  favorite memory of a conversation dad & I had many years ago when we were talking about that time of his life.  It went like this:
“Dad, you were in the Navy, right?”


“And you worked on airplanes, right?”


“And you were stationed in Kansas, right?”


“And you were in the NAVY?”

Kansas may be a long way from the ocean, but the Navy wasn't confused. Eastern Kansas was perfect because it was mostly rural with lots of land available in the 1940s, with fairly flat terrain. It also had lots of blue skies and was away from the coast lines for security reasons.  During World War II, the Navy built air stations here to train cadet pilots.

Wartime at Home

World War II In-Service Flag

I heard family stories about that final year of World War II when my grandmother had 3 Stars in her front window, signifying that she had 3 family members serving in the military.  My dad represented one of those stars.

Veterans Day

I'm proud of my dad and all the members of my family who served in the military.  I wish to honor my dad, my family members and all the men & women who have served and are currently serving our country this Veterans Day and every day.


*Intro image is of my dad in his Navy uniform in 1944.  He was SO young looking!
*Other family images are from my family albums.
*PBY Flying Boat image is found on Wikipedia Commons and is part of the Public Domain.
*World War II In-Service Flag/Banner is part of the Public Domain

(c) Article by Wednesday Elf originally published 11/5/2013.  Updated 11/8/2017