"Thanksgiving is on the way"

 My thoughts today have been on our 
"Thanksgiving Meal"

Who will be here for dinner or where will I be?
I do know I must go to my daughters in Palm Beach,  on the 13th to give her a hand while she recuperates from a bit of surgery and I'm not sure if I'll be there one or two weeks. 
Will I cook at her house or come back to cook at mine?
From the looks of things I'll only have Mr. N, my sister and maybe two of my girls for Thanksgiving Dinner.
My kids in Guam and Juneau, sorry to say,  will not be able to come. The distance and work will be keeping them at home.
Let me share a photo from my daughter-in-law in Juneau.  This is today's dusting of snow. On her street!
It's getting confusing!
 I'm missing out on a really nice time in the Mountains of Tennessee.  My niece and her husband invited me and my sister to join them. They are renting a cabin for the week of Thanksgiving but as I said, I could not miss helping my Cyndi.  You moms know how that would be #1 on your list.
Should I buy a turkey and put it in the freezer just in case I get home for the Holiday?

I'll tell you, I may end up running into
at the last minute and order a complete meal for 6 or 8.
Have not eaten from there in years, wonder if it's good?  But, they do last minute meals. The photo below is from their web site.
Does not look too bad? Maybe I could doctor it up?

That would solve my problem don't you think?

Sorry, I'm rambling here!
My sis came for her winter visit the other day carrying a bug of sorts. I'm starting to think she has the flu, and along with her jet lag it's got her pretty miserable.  Poor thing spent today in bed sipping NyQuil while running a low grade fever.  Thankfully she got it this week instead of next, because she needs to go with me to Palm Beach.

Ok!  I'm done.
Will have to decide another day what to do for "Thanksgiving"

For some reason I'd rather put some shrimp on the barbie and forgo the turkey!
Now this looks good!
I put up my Thanksgiving header today.  After digging in the pantry I found my little "Pilgrim Salt and Pepper" shakers that I got many years ago.  Thought they deserved to be displayed. 

I hope everyone's "Thanksgiving" plans are made and you know what you will be doing on that day!


" Marron Glaces "

" Marron Glaces"
Candied Chestnuts

My Nephew sent this recipe to me knowing how I love them.
Although they can be bought overseas in tins I wanted to make them myself.  Turns out the recipe came from 'Nigella" and you know how good her food is!

I think the first sign of a  blogger’s madness is seeing a recipe that takes 4 days and delightedly rubbing your hands with glee. 
Which is exactly what I did (ok perhaps I did not rub my hands with glee, that seems a little old school villain) but when I saw this recipe for these sweet candied little chestnut morsels I had to try and make them. I am not foolish enough to think that mine will turn out as perfectly as Clément Faugier’s but I was happy to give it a go and see how it would turn out.  First I must wait for the Holiday season. (Thanksgiving is only 3 weeks away, it's the season, don't you think?) Why my local grocery store has not stocked chestnuts yet is beyond me!

 Photos, Not Quite Nigella

Marron Glacés (Candied chestnuts)

  • 2 lbs Chestnuts (choose the larger type)
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1teaspoon Vanilla bean paste or vanilla bean
1. Start 4 days before you want to use them, as that’s how long the process takes.
2. Peel chestnuts of their outer shell. Drop them into boiling water for 10 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon or wire spatula, and, trying to keep the chestnuts whole, peel off both the outer shell and inner skin, as quickly as you can, while they are still hot. Once cold, the skin begins to adhere to the nut, so keep the unpeeled chestnuts in hot water. The broken pieces will taste just as wonderful.
3. When all the chestnuts have been shelled and the membranes removed, using a large pan, cook the sugar, water and the vanilla bean over low heat, stirring all the while until the sugar dissolves. Allow to gently simmer for 5 minutes, then add the chestnuts. Bring to the boil and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the vanilla bean.

Day 3
4. Cover the saucepan and allow to steep over night or at least 12 hours. *Bring again to the boil and cook 1 minute more. Again allow to stand this time for 24 hours*. Repeat again from * to * until all the syrup has been absorbed (shouldn’t take more than 3-4 times). My syrup did not fully absorb after 4 days so I just drained the pieces. Cooking over the time may inhibit the crystallization process – which is dependent on the above steps.
5. Drying process: preheat oven to  200' f, cover an oven rack or baking rack with parchment paper (or waxed). Distribute the crystallized chestnuts evenly and allow to dry out for 2 hours with the oven door propped open a few inches or until they are firm.

  Baked and ready to eat or store

6. Pack the chestnuts individually in cellophane or saran wrap; put into little crinkle-edge paper sweet cases, and keep in an airtight container. If kept more than a week or so, the sugar in the chestnuts may start to crystallize; in this case, it is better to preserve them in their syrup, draining them before use.

These wonderful little morsels can be eaten alone or used for, or in your favorite dessert recipes. I like to use them in my holiday stuffing.  Really, their that tasty!

If you have 4 days to devote to something as simple as "Marion Glaces" then give it a go!



" Right out my back door "

While my sister is suffering severe jet lag and what may be a cold on top of it, I gave her lunch then sent her on for a nap,  I took a walk behind my house  where it's thick with what I call the woods.
This area go's for miles along  "Alligator Creek" that winds around behind my house,  until you get to a rather large park.  Although I did not walk for miles I did get some good exercise when I came upon this bush.
 The branches must have been 10'' tall in some spots but the wonderful part were the lovely flowers that came out like tiny trumpets.
What is it?

The stem of each flower had to be 5 to 6'' in length.

The branches were so heavy, some draped to the ground and some stood reaching for the sky.
The white flowers came out of a pod of sorts that were showing burgundy and green.

This flowering plant grows wild along the creek. 
I'm not sure what it is but it was nice enough to bring home some cuttings and put in a vase.   
Amazing how many wild species of flowers grow  here in the tropics and it's really nice to find such vegetation just out my back door.

Sis has been sleeping on and off and feeling dizzy but she is doing great after her 23 hrs of flying.   You would think she would be used to jet lag because she has done this once a year for the past 40 years.  
She will be ok after 3 or 4 days.  It's not easy going back in time.  Where she lives is 9 hrs ahead of our Eastern time zone.

Back to the wild plant.
If anyone knows what this amazing flowering plant  is please leave a comment.

I'm linking this post @




"My Sis is on her way"

 It's 5am and I can't sleep.
Today is a big day for me... My sister at this very moment, is out above the Atlantic about 3 hours away from JFK in NY.  Her landing should be about 9am EST.
  She is coming in on a Boeing 777 and this is one huge aircraft.
My Father flew for this airline when I was in my teens.

Having grown up in the world of aviation  I've always followed the newest and biggest aircraft to come out of Boeing's hangers. 
The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from 5,235 to 9,380 nautical miles (9,695 to 17,370 km), depending on model.

The Cabin is so large and plush.  This is for those of us that can't pay for Business or First Class.  They do give you good size seats for the long range trips and everyone gets their own TV with earphones. It's comfortable and you have lots of leg room.
And if you can afford Business Class you get more comfort.

For the long flights as my sister is on you can have sleeping.
She should be flying about 14 hrs to reach JFK.

Dolly will be waking up soon preparing for landing in JFK and they will be feeding the passengers.. no not a snack of nuts, but breakfast such as this.

Here are the guys in command.  My dad used to let us come forward to sit in the seat behind the captain and listen on the headphones to the towers, it was fun!

My sister will pick up a flight from JFK to TPA and get here about 5 this afternoon... I'll be at the AP with Bells on! (family joke)

If you have never used the site
The nice thing about flight tracker is I gave my e'mail addy and they sent me a message just now telling me they  have had a head wind and the flight will be about 65 minutes late.
The next time a friend or loved one is flying in, just enter the info for their flight and you can watch it all the way.  I did all night and here she comes....

Don't you just love the internet!
Were going to have such a good winter!

Yes, big smile here!


"My Poinsettia is blooming"

Mother Nature knows what time of year it is!
It just may be the only thing man has no control of, the weather.

She knows when to change the vegetation into it's growing form.

I took a walk this morning in my yard and was so surprised to see my  three Poinsettia plants from last Christmas starting to change color.
I planted three potted Poinsettia plants in different parts of the yard.  Then forgot about them because most years along with millions of people, they usually just dried up and were tossed. 
While walking around I spotted the red color and then the light bulb went off... wow, it's those plants I put there!

 Plant #2 did not start to turn yet?  But I do see a tiny red in the center of one set of leaves.
I'm surprised these plants did not grow much in the past 10 months?

Plant # 3 is turning and is 3 times the original size.

My neighbor has a Poinsettia plant that has been in her yard for the past 6 years and is as tall as my shoulders.  Each year it blooms in the most beautiful red color and I'll have to get a photo of it once it starts to turn.  I am amazed at how easy they grow in the yards here in SoCentral, Florida

Although Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away we can be sure the greenhouses all over the world are knee deep in Poinsettias to be bought for the Holiday season.  I plan on getting three more this year and plant them also.  No need to decorate the yard during the Christmas Holidays!
What's growing in your yard that you forgot all about?

I'm linking up to

" Zesty Italian Polenta Cake"

"Corn Meal Polenta Cake"

This cake is sort of Anglo-Italian.
I'm a lover of real tangy lemon desserts and this cake makes my mouth water.  I love it with a cup of tea later in the evenings, but it can be eaten any time.

The flat plain cake is reminiscent of the confections that sit in patisserie windows in Italy. The sharp syrupy sauce used to drizzle on the finished cake is borrowed from the English drizzle cakes.  The tart lemon highlights the bitterness of the cake, making it wonderful.
If you would imagine lemon curd in a cake form, this would be it!
The ingredients are simple enough and it can be put together in about 20 minutes.

2 cups of Corn Meal
1 cup ground Almonds 
Baking Powder 1 1/2 tsp
1 stick unsalted butter
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 large lemons
1/2 cup confection sugar

First thing I did was put the Almonds in the coffee grinder, washed first (the coffee grinder), then made a flour out of them.
Then blend together the butter and sugar.

Once the sugar and butter are fluffy
add the first egg, mix together.  Then add a bit of the dry ingredients, mix together.
Add the second egg, more dry ingredients, mix.  Then the third egg.  Mix until smooth.
Then zest two large lemons and fold into the mixture.
Pour into a prepared cake pan then  Bake 350' for about 40 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

I wanted the lemon zest a bit larger so I used the cheese grater, to give the cake a bit more texture.

I lined the glass dish with parchment paper then baked.

While the cake is cooling juice two lemons and put in a sauce pan, add the confectioners sugar and bring to a smooth boil for about 4 minutes. The mixture will be a smooth clear syrup.

Put the cake on your favorite serving plate and punch many holes  into the cake.  The Italians use a raw piece of spaghetti but I used a corn on the cob holder.  Makes perfect holes for the drizzle.

Take the warm syrup and slowly drizzle on the cooled cake. Let it seep in slowly and continue until all the syrup is used,  not forgetting the sides of the cake.
I used a few lemon peels to decorate then dusted with some confectioners sugar.

Let the cake stand in the fridge for about an hour.

The lemon tartness is wonderful and is a contender for both tea time or as a after dinner dessert.

I like to make this cake as gifts during the holidays. It's easy to bake and can be boxed without worry.  I remember my mom baking it in cookie tins to be given as gifts. Just line the tin with parchment paper before baking, cool, add the syrup then the lid.  Easy gift!
Give it a try, I'm sure you and your guests will enjoy it!

P.S.   After a bloggie friend asked the question,
"Does baking in the tin take off the pretty painted designs"?
Then I remembered my mom, if the tin was not just silver metal,  first covered the tin with a wrap of foil. 
Thanks "Pondside" for saving many good looking tins!


Another Extravaganza !

Hey everyone.  Wanted to let you know "Swagbucks" has another Extravaganza coming up tomorrow!

"Next week will be a can't miss at Swagbucks, as they run not one but TWO big days of codes! 

It all starts on Halloween Monday, with a series of Trick-or-Treat code hunts throughout the day. 
For those of you up North, stuck in the snow, what a great way to pass the day!

Then, on Thursday, it's another Swag Code Extravaganza  
60 Swag Bucks worth of codes being released throughout the day, plus special promotions, announcements and more!

Be sure to go to the Swagbucks Blog at 7am Pacific Time Monday to join in the fun!" 

I'm pushing Swagbucks because I so love this site.  I have bought all my Christmas gifts thanks to the points earned while searching the web using the Swagbucks Tool Bar. 
Really!  and I did not spend one penny!
Love it!

" A little Sunday Humor "


A man suffered a serious heart attack while shopping in a store.

A store clerk called 911 when they saw him collapse to the floor.

The paramedics rushed the man to the nearest hospital where he had emergency open heart bypass surgery.
He awakened from the surgery to find himself in the care of nuns at the Catholic Hospital he was taken to. A nun was seated next to his bed holding a clip board loaded with several forms and a pen.

She asked him how he was going to pay for his treatment. "Do you have health insurance"
"Do you have money in the bank"

He replied, "No  insurance or money in the bank."

"Do you have a relative who could help you with the payments?" asked the irritated nun.
 He said, "I only have a spinster sister, and she is a nun."

The nun became agitated and announced loudly,

"Nuns are not spinsters! Nuns are married to God."

The patient replied, "Perfect. Send the bill to my brother-in-law." 


Have a wonderful Sunday