Category: Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! (and the day after)

I’m taking a couple of days off from my CRAZY life for Thanksgiving break. Just in time because I really needed a break — life has been nuts. Well played Mr. Turkey. I needed this.

My family is all gathered together in Minnesota, and of course I’m not there — which is a little sad, but okay, because I will be there for Christmas in one month! And one of my favorite things about being a Jacob is Ben’s family’s tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving. It’s not just one powerful meal on a Thursday afternoon. They make a big deal out of it. They rent a beach house in Virginia Beach and the whole family hangs out there for much of Thanksgiving week. It’s a lot of fun and you end up spending a lot more quality time together when you’re all together in one house for a few days. :)

It’s lovely to be at the beach. The past few days have been overcast, but today is sunny. No matter what the weather, though, it’s fun to watch the huge waves crashing on the shore.

Yesterday (on Thanksgiving Day) of course most of the day was spent making the huge meal. After that we always watch Elf. Best movie ever.

I think I might like the day after Thanksgiving even better than Thanksgiving itself. And no, not because it’s Black Friday. I don’t usually go shopping, and if I do, it’s in the afternoon once all the crazies have gone back home. ;-) I love how relaxing Thanksgiving is, and I don’t want to spoil it with a hectic and potentially dangerous trample-fest. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad — I wouldn’t know — but I’m just not interested.

What AM I interested in, then? One word: baking. During the week we have been at the beach house I have made cookies, homemade pretzels, pumpkin pie, apple pie bars, and just this morning, caramel rolls. Among other things. I don’t know what it is, but anytime I have a minute these days I just want to bake something delicious and feed it to appreciative people. Which the Jacobs are. The caramel rolls this morning turned out delicious … even though I used refrigerated dough because I was out of flour.

Want to make some? You’ll need 2 cans refrigerated breadstick dough, lots of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and heavy cream.

Grease 2 round pans and preheat the oven to 375.

To make really easy homemade caramel sauce: In a saucepan, combine 1 stick butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup heavy cream, and a pinch of salt. Heat over medium heat to boiling, watching and stirring it so it doesn’t stick or boil over. Remove from heat. Pour about 1/3 of the caramel sauce into one of the greased pans, another 1/3 into the other greased pan, and reserve the last 1/3 for drizzling on the rolls after they are done.

Open up the 2 cans of dough. For each can of dough, spread the whole piece out on the counter without separating it into pieces. Drizzle melted butter all over the dough and sprinkle with brown sugar and plenty of cinnamon. Roll up from the short end to make a log. Then use a knife (or dental floss) to cut into six rolls. Once you do this with both cans of dough you’ll have 12 rolls.

Put the rolls into the caramel-sauce-coated pans and stick those babies in the oven. Bake about 15 minutes — rolls will be browned and caramel sauce will be bubbly. Remove and let them sit for about 5 minutes to let the sauce thicken a bit. Then invert them onto a plate and drizzle with the rest of the caramel sauce. Serve to your grateful family. :-)

Happy Thanksgiving!

All photos taken by my talented brother-in-law Jonathan Jacob.

Something to do with all the leftover turkey

We all know that after Thanksgiving you are supposed to eat sandwiches. So here is one idea for a sandwich to make tonight, or tomorrow. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but you have to plan these things, you know.

So I suggest you try these grilled cheese sandwiches with turkey, cheddar, and tart apples. I made them a few weeks ago, I think ….. and they were fabulous.

You need turkey (let’s see, where would we get some of that?), cheddar cheese, and a granny smith apple. Oh, and some bread. And butter.

Slice everything up — the bread thick, everything else nice and thin. Then butter one side of each of the bread slices.

Stack everything on the sandwich any way you want. Then put them in a hot pan and grill ’em up.

You really should try it, it’s sooooo good.

Another really good kind of sandwich to use up leftover turkey is one I had at a small restaurant here. I don’t know the recipe for it, although I would pay good money to have it. It is probably the best sandwich I’ve ever had in my life, not exaggerating. It has sliced turkey with cranberry relish and melted brie …… SO DELICIOUS!!!!!!!

So, happy Leftover Day to you. (No Black Friday shopping for me. Raiding the fridge is what it’s all about!!)

10 Things I’m Thankful For

In no particular order.

  • I’m thankful for my parents. They worked so hard to raise me and my siblings (and they’re not done yet!). They sacrificed so much so we would grow up to be good kids. And hopefully we haven’t disappointed them TOO much. :-) The older I get the more I realize — I’m so lucky to have amazing parents like them!!
  • I’m thankful for my siblings. I have six of them. They are the best brothers & sisters anyone could ask for.  When we were younger they all drove me CRAZY at various points in time — and we went through our phases. Poor Mom. But as we’ve gotten older we’ve gotten closer, and I feel like we’re all SO ALIKE in so many ways. When I’m hanging out with them, I just feel so at home!! Plus, while in most groups of people I’m considered very tall, with my siblings I fit right in. I’m 5’10” and my tallest brother is 6’4″ or something. Yeah.
  • I’m thankful for my family-in-law. Ben’s family is very cool. They’re very different from my family but I’ve come to love them a lot, and I enjoy laughing at their antics. :-PMy in-laws are so nice to us and do so many kinds things for us, and Ben’s sibs are fun to hang out with.  Since we live close to them we see them a lot, which is awesome.  Plus how could I not love the people who are responsible for my husband’s existence? Which brings me to my next point.
  • I am thankful for my husband Ben. After 2-1/2 years of being married to him I’m still reeeeally in love. We are our own family now and like any family, we drive each other nuts sometimes. But even so, we’re really happy together. Ben brings so much laughter to my life. He takes great care of me. We enjoy spending time together, and we spend a LOT of time together. So I’m grateful for Ben, glad I picked him, glad he picked me. :)
  • I’m thankful for the job we have working at a free camp. It is hard, HARD work sometimes, but it’s pretty fulfilling. We get to host hundreds of kids each summer who otherwise probably wouldn’t have a chance to attend camp. We meet lots of cool high school and college kids, many of whom are going to be amazing world-changers someday and probably will be famous and I will go on TV and say that I knew them when they were 18 and they were amazing then, too. Plus Ben and I get to work together, almost every day of the entire year. I seriously don’t know what I would even do if we went off to work in separate places each day — that would be weird. Also, for my job I occasionally get to put on a wild woman cheetah costume and get onstage and act crazy and talk in a made-up language and then the kids all laugh and then we give them popcorn and they are happy. It’s awesome.
  • I’m thankful for my little home in Virginia Beach. The weather is very nice here. The scenery is beautiful. There are lots of nice people, and lots of things to do. If I lived in Siberia I would still find some reasons to be thankful, but it would be harder. :-) Living here is great.
  • I’m thankful for Christ. He is a rock on which I am very content to build my life. I often think of the song, “When all around my soul gives way, he then is all my hope and stay.” That’s how it is for me a lot of times.
  • I’m thankful for the friends who are currently in my life. I don’t need a truckload of friends to be happy; just a few close friends bring me a lot of joy. I don’t make friends all that easily so I’m really grateful for the friendships I have! Especially old friends that I’m still in touch with, and a small group I’ve recently been able to join which has been amazing.
  • I’m thankful for school.To be able to go to school is a blessing that many, many people in the world do not have. I have really enjoyed my classes this semester. My brain hurts some days, but it’s a good hurt, you know? :-P Sometimes I wish I were done with school, but I know one day I’ll look back and miss it. Because I’m a nerd like that.
  • And finally … I’m thankful for this day to be thankful for all of our blessings! We are at a beach house with Ben’s family and we are really enjoying the chance to get away a little bit. The weather is just gorgeous. Lots of yummy food has been cooked or is in progress, and it’s a good time.

I’m a lucky girl. :-)

A Thanksgiving Food Quiz

Turkey or ham?

What’s ham? Turkey, duh.

What vegetable(s) should be served?

Green bean casserole is the classic answer, I guess. But I’m so over that stuff. I’m thinking asparagus with almond and bread crumb topping (my brother Daniel’s recipe, it’s sooooo good). And sweet potatoes.

Potatoes aren’t a vegetable.

Really? Technically speaking…

Are you sure you want to get technical?

Ok, whatever. Potatoes don’t have to be a vegetable. This time.

So what kind of potatoes?

Seriously?? Oh, fine, I’ll cooperate … sweet potatoes. Candied not whipped or souffle’d, thank you very much. AND regular white potatoes, mashed.

Is it stuffing or dressing?

Stuffing. What do you do with it? You stuff it. So, it’s stuffing.

Gravy?

Yes.

But what ABOUT it?

Just … it needs to be there. But don’t ask me to make it. I’m bad at that.

Do you need to serve rolls with all the carb overload going on already?

Not really, unless they’re my mom’s homemade rolls. Which are amazing.

Do you dig cranberry sauce?

Yes. Yes, I do “dig” cranberry sauce. Come on, who talks like that? I like to make it myself though, out of whole cranberries. It’s so easy, you just basically boil them until they pop. And it tastes so much better than the canned, and even jellied stuff, perish the thought. I do not want my cranberry sauce SLICED, that is ridiculous.

Anything else?

Well, dessert, obviously.

You’re seriously going to have room for dessert after eating all of that? That’s just gross.

Of course! I may need a little …. break in between, but I’ll do it. Just watch me.

But doesn’t pigging out like that for an entire day fill you with an overwhelming sense of revulsion for yourself and everyone around you? As well as American culture as a whole?

You know … it really doesn’t. Can we talk about desserts now?

If you want.

Okay.

……..

So ask me a question already!! You’re the quiz, aren’t you?!

Oh yeah, true. OK, what kind of desserts?

Pie. Two kinds, apple and pumpkin.

Ice cream or whipped cream with the pie?

AAAUUUGH, don’t make me choooose!!!!!

Fine, but you don’t have to get all worked up about it. Like you even care. All you care about is feeding your face.

You know what? I don’t have to take this from you anymore. You’re just a quiz. A really stupid quiz.  So go away, OK? I’m done with this.

:-D