Homespun Gathering

Monday, January 2, 2017


 November brought my beloved holiday--Thanksgiving.  There are so many things to be thankful for.  Our last meeting of the Homespun Gathering is one.  We always have such great food, fellowship and needlework.  We are mostly a primitive group with reproductions thrown in for good measure.

I, as planned, filled in my deer.  What is it about those dark thread colors.  They just love to knot up.  If you have stiched this one you already know I am stitching Kathy Barrick's "And Heaven and Nature Sing".  Do I finish it before the end of the year?  Future posts will reveal the answer. 

Cathy always amazes me with her sewing method of stitching.  Usually she does it in a very loose frame, but at this gathering she was sewing in hand.  It goes about twice as fast, but I just can't wrap my brain around it.  I guess once a stab method user always a stab method user.

Anne, our fearless leader, was working on a kit of very tiny hexies.

Here is one of Debby's newly framed projects from a Blackbird Designs class piece.

 One of our Homespun members is an attending designer for the Stiching at the Beach retreat in Myrtle Beach.  You don't need to stay at the hotel, but there is a reduced rate for those who do.  Two springs ago Linda was mentioning how much fun it was.  You get to stitch on whatever you want, there are themed voluntary gift exchanges each night, and the group is limited to 100 participants for that feeling of familiy.  I began to consider it for last October, but the details didn't work out for us.  That was the year of the hurricane on the east coast, and the trip my husband had planned for our son was canceled.  This year we're going as a family--cat and all. Look, there is my registration ready for the mail a couple of months ago.  :-)  

Mom and I collaborated on Thanksgiving dinner again this year.  I love my pie crust and don't mind making it in my food processor.  She hates making pie but doesn't mind making the filling, so I brought her a frozen disc of pie dough a few weeks early.  Bless her heart.  When she baked it the crust got a little overdone.  A couple of weeks earlier the chess pie she made was not set in the center but the crust was getting too done, so she had to take it out.   I'm beginning to wonder if it is her oven and not just her brain.  She did tell me this was the last year for my Great Aunt Jane's fruit cake.  Mom said I could have the recipe, so I took a photo of it--just in case she changed her mind and needed the recipe.  The recipe is written in my grandmother's handwriting with alterations in my mom's.  The recipe card has yellowed over time making it even more precious.

Well onward and upward.  I volunteered the turkey, but mom wanted to make the breast meat and delegated the dark meat.  That was just fine with me since I really wanted the stock, and I ended up with 10 delicious quarts of it.

I always cook my poultry with a leave in digital thermometer.  I set the temperature for about 5 degrees F below where I want it and set the timer to go off when the internal temperature reaches it.  This allows for carry over cooking and the bird is never over cooked.

Here is a shot of the turkey as soon as I took her out.  Note the pop-up thermometer is still down.

Once the turkey had been out a few minutes the pokey little probe finally popped up.  I don't know about you, but I don't have time to stare in my oven to wait.  That and the little buggers are really inaccurate.  Of course, not as inaccurate as the cooking time guidelines.  I remember one year I looked, and the suggestion was an extra hour and a half past done.   I highly suggest digital thermometers you leave in during the cooking.  The timer is loud enough to hear anywhere in my house.

Mom usually waits on the cranberries until Christmas, but I just can't see a Thanksgiving without cranberries.  Did you know they are native to Massachusettes, home of the first American Thanksgiving dinner?  I loved the tour of Ocean Spray when I was a kid.  YouTube cranberry harvest sometime-very interesting.

This year I offered to make cranberry sauce--the homemade kind.  That might have been a mistake.  Now that I know what it tastes like I'll never go back.   

If anything I'll add a bit more sugar and a spent vanilla bean.  There is no reason to throw one out when it can be used to add extra flavor to a sauce.  I really do need to find my zester though.

These year I decided to make my own speculaas mix.  I'm so glad I did.  It was delicous.

This year I did make some speculaas, but mostly my focus was on cutting the dough out with a turkey cutter Mom gave me with about a dozen other cookie cutters as she was cleaning out her back porch.  Some were my mother's and some were my grandmother's cookie cutters.  Sadly, the cute little turkeys below melted in the oven and did not hold shape.  I'm keeping the spice mix, but the dough recipe has already been tossed.  I couldn't help but add mini chocolate chips for eyes. Aren't they just adorable?

Thanksgiving brings on lots of Halmark Christmas movies.  I don't remember what this one was called, but I couldn't help but notice the dozen or so rolling pins hanging from the wall in the kitchen of this one-heaven. :-)

Springerle must have the dough moved out of the way before lifting out the cookie.  I've pressed a lot of Springerle, so I tend to just fling smaller pieces of dough out of the way.  I got excited after seeing what my flinging created . . . 

Do you see the elephant?

So what does this American eat on Thanksgiving?

brocolli salad, green bean casserole, two kinds of stuffing, sweet potato in it's skin the way God made it :-), my grandmother's rolls, turkey, and cranberry sauce. 

Mom kept an eye on the nandina berries to make sure they were the right shade of orange before she picked them.

Daniel was more than ready for dessert.

Mr. HH was in a food coma. 

Mom and I enjoying the day.

This gas fireplace is a newer addition to an older fireplace in what was originally built as a bedroom in the 1830s.

This family clock no longer works, but I love it dearly.  It resides on the mantle above the gas fireplace.

Time for dessert!

Pumpkin and Pecan Pie

Mr. HH has been asking for a pie cake for about a year and a half.  Seeing he may never get one he decided to make his own.

Pie Cake Stare Down.  Mr. Turkey, I think you might loose this one.

I had so much fun playing Thanksgiving Bingo with my preschoolers I decided to bring it along and play with my family.  These moments with family, making memories, are such a treasure.  I hope you added some of your own precious memories this past year.

Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.


1 comment:

  1. What a gorgeous post Judy. Your family is beautiful.♥


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