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Thanksgiving at The Cottage


Welcome to our home, this Thanksgiving we are sharing it with some of our dear friends. So come on in and make yourself at home! 


The day before Thanksgiving we were super busy prepping food and doing last minute decorating. But all the hard work paid off...   


Come and sit by the roaring fire and warm yourself while we pull the pie from the oven. Can we get you some spiced cider?


 Well the pies are cooling and let me take the time to show you around. 

On the side table, We used all white platters, bowls and plates.


We bought this sign at Hobby Lobby, the antique frame is from an estate sale, the pumpkin is from Old Time Pottery. The flowers Mr. Cottage bought for Mrs. Cottage at Sam's Club.


We used white or white with gold stars (Mrs.Cottage got for a wedding gift) around the edges plates interchangeably around the table, crystal water goblets are by Gibson and gold cutlery purchased at Target. (The table is set for seven)


The Centerpiece is a white pumpkin with a leaf garland wrapped around it. 


Another view of the table.The gold star plates were purchased at Crate and Barrel.


View from the hall into the Dining room. The small trees are from Hobby Lobby.  


View from the Dining room into hall and entry way. The garland up the stair rails are grapevines from our vinyard and twinkling lights. 


Place settings are bone china plates and gold star plates.


Centerpiece.


Buffet has an orange pumpkin on top of a green basket from Hobby Lobby, The Decorations hanging from the ceiling are mercury glass. 


Pie station. The basket is from Michaels and the tiered pie server is from Hobby Lobby.


I took the fabric that come wrapped around flowers and a silk flower, pinned the flower to the fabric with straight pins and used fishing line around it making a figure 8. Then I tied the fishing line to the frame.


In our home let love abide and bless all those who step inside.

Decorations on the side table. I used an orange pumpkin and a basket.


Grandma Cottage's Village. This is one of my favorites (another of my favorites is up in the dormer windows).


The living room is warm and cozy.  Orange lights and leaf and pumpkin garland decorate the mantle.





Grandma Cottage in the Dinning room waiting for the gravy to get done (we always forget it until the last second). The menu for dinner included turkey, ham, green beans, mashed potatoes, butternut squash casserole, stuffing, apple pie, pumpkin pie, cheese cake and coconut cream pie. 


Honey Ham & Pastured Turkey.


Homemade Pumpkin pie


Green beans.


Apple pie made in my great grandmothers pie pan.  It is a tradition to use it every year and it makes dad feel good too.


Want Thanksgiving recipes stories and table settings from the cottage? visit A Peek at A Cottage 



Another Thanksgiving


Another Thanksgiving rolls in, the smell of good food and the promise of a Christmas holiday to follow. Yet under the Christmas carols and stuffed turkey. Beneath the laughter and the family gatherings. A smile is forced, a pair of eyes are sad.


A heart is heavy.  someone wonders what it would be like if someone dear to them was with them. Every Thanksgiving I have to wonder what it would be like if my eleven siblings were here. How much more laughter would fill the house? What would be different?


For those of you that have lost someone whether or not you met them, you probably know the feeling all too well. We always feel the gap but when the holidays roll in we feel it even more. Somewhere between the happiness and hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving I am sad because I never met the other eleven. I didn't get to grow up with them. I didn't get them to race them to the table for dinner. No games were ever played. No carols sung. No hands held as we Thanked God for everything we have.

I miss them though I never met them. When Thanksgiving rolls my mom and I always look at the table with its delicate plates and pretty cups and do our best to not cry and we promise each other that one day this table will be filled with little family members that are laughing and promising they have enough room for desert though they can't finish the turkey still on there plates.


One day...

The Tree of Remembrance


This tree is special to me. I came up with the idea for it this year. The Tree Of Remembrance you may ask? What is that and why is it so special? Well I'll tell you...


On this tree are 11 Doves, 3 Mercury Glass Ornaments the two baby booties ornaments that my twin sister got for our first Christmas and 1 Butterfly. 


The eleven doves represent my eleven siblings that never walked this earth. 


The three glass ornaments are reminders to pray for three special children that though we never met will always be in our hearts. 


The butterfly is the child we will care for in the ministry we are working with. 


This bird is in memory of Carter Lee Schulz. Like this tiny bird's long tail may his legacy go on and on. 


So you see this is why I call this tree the Tree Of Remembrance. 

Mercury Glass Ornaments: Estate Sale
Baby Booties: A Christian Book Store in CA. 
Doves: Big Lots
Butterfly: Walmart
Small bird: Walmart

Snowman Pancakes

Smiling snowman pancakes chase away the cold and bring a smile to your day.
 The morning is especially cold and bitter today.  Everyone has gone outside to do their chores with gloved hands and scarf wrapped neck.  Their breath comes out in steamy puffs and they go about their work.  Inside the cottage is warm.  There is a fire in the fireplace that is making smoke rise and curl above the cottage giving the workers the hope that once their work is done, there is a warm spot by the fire just for them.  They smell the rich smoky odor and turn toward the house, they smile at that curling smoke and work at their chores just a little faster knowing soon they will be sitting by that glowing fire.  
A pretty casserole dish holds the Chai Tea in the teapot and pretty tulip mugs.
When they open the door the smell of breakfast meets their noses as they breathe in the warm air filled with the spicy smell of tea keeping warm on the stove and the doughy smell of pancakes and the smell of sweet maple syrup.  I hear a flurry of chatter, happy laughter and voices as boots are removed and set aside and the noise of feet approaching.  The chill has inspired me a little and out from my warm oven comes a platter of big snowmen with sweet raisin eyes staring back at them.  They laugh and awww as they help themselves to the merry men.  Sweet prayers are raised to heaven, hearty thanks are given for all we are blessed with and then butter is spread, syrup is poured and laughter and happy talk continues.  The spicy tea warms those cold bodies down to their toes and rosy cheeks begin to thaw.  Ahhh breakfast at the cottage, it is a beautiful part of being home.


Ingredients:

2/12 cups organic unbleached flour
1/4 cup organic raw sugar
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 pastured eggs
2 cups organic fresh milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon grade b maple syrup
1/4 cup of walnuts diced well
Raisins
Apple
A shake of cinnamon and pumpkin spice (optional)
organic butter for pan and for the top of the pancakes


Directions:

Put flour, sugar and baking soda in a large mixing bowl and stir together. Then add eggs, milk,  vanilla, maple syrup and cinnamon and pumpkin spice. Mix well.   Slice apple into thin triangle pieces and set aside. Melt butter in your skillet on the stove, when melted add a scoop of pancake mix to your pan in a circle.  Place raisins for eyes and mouth and apple triangle for nose.  Let cook until you see bubbles appear in pancake.  When you see the bubbling take a spatula and flip pancake to next side and cook until golden.  Keep on a platter in a warm oven until all pancakes are finished.

Enjoy!

Feeds a family of 6

A Peek at a Cottage Thanksgiving


Welcome!  

Come on in and pull up a chair and join us for a simple Thanksgiving at the Cottage. 
On the menu is turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes with gravy, fresh baked bread and home canned cranberry relish and green beans,  Oh! and pies, don't forget the pies. 
 The table is covered with Grandma Cottage's vintage table cloth and set with bone china dishes with gold rims and our gold cutlery.  The water goblets have a gold swirl through them.    We decorated the table with white pumpkins, autumn leaves and white taper candles in crystal holders. There are vintage crystal salt and pepper shakers and pink depression glass salt and pepper shakers. 
The tree in the background is Grandma Cottage's tree and it is decorated with all white lights and white snowflakes. The fireplace is swagged with small pumpkin garland to give it warmth. There was soft Christmas music playing in the background. The dessert table has both pie and iced sugar cookies in the shapes of leaves and acorns.  
Grab a plate, it is time to eat my friends!
We wanted this to be a really special Thanksgiving because our grandma was very ill.  We didn't know it then but this was her last Thanksgiving.  We wanted to make it special for her. 

Plates: Pier 1
White Pumpkins: Old Time Pottery
Cutlery set in Gold: Target
Water Goblets with Gold Swirl: Old Time Pottery
Snowflakes for Tree: Walmart and Hobby Lobby
Pumpkin Garland: Hobby Lobby
Crystal Candle Holders: Ross
Autumn Leaves: Ross

THANKSGIVING HISTORY

Thanksgiving became a National Holiday (in America) in 1863. During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens", to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26.




My sister and I love to bake, we have been cooking since we were three years old.  We love to make pies for Thanksgiving.  This year we made pumpkin and a dutch apple with a "T" for thanks.  Our mom usually takes the leftover dough and makes leaf cut outs to place around the edges of the pie.  Last year she was not feeling well so we did things our own way. 

~Thanksgiving Memories~

Thanksgiving in our family is always a day of laughter and blessings. The house smells of roasting turkey and spiced cider, Christmas carols play softly in the background. Soft lights from the tree glow just begging you to produce a smile to rival their glow.  Pies are baked, mashed potatoes tasted (with hands shooed at and as firmly as possible while smothering laughter while you are told to stay out of them). Sometimes dear friends join us other years it is just us. Thanksgiving.

This is dad's smoked turkey that he made one year for Thanksgiving. It was so big he barely got it inside the smoker.  Ha ha ha ha ha!

~Thanksgiving at the Cottage~


Our family always waits until dinner to eat turkey and all the other goodies that come with it (perhaps that is because Mr. Cottage always buys a very big turkey and it takes that long to get it finished), but it is a holiday that is always spent with everyone in our kitchen.  It is not that big of a kitchen so every bit of it is filled with people and pie dough, and someone dicing apples.  There are lots of elbows in that place.  The halls are filled with laughter, and music is always playing in the background.  There is singing and such fun as we buzz around trying to get the meal ready.

Grandma Cottage's Memories 


~Stories From Grandma~


When I was a girl I lived in an apartment with my sisters.  My mom passed away when I was 8 years old (That is her sweeping the snow) and my 18 yr old sister who worked for a lawyer got custody of my sisters and me.  She was the only one working at the time because we were all in school still (except for my oldest sister who was married and lived in another state).  We girls moved a lot but when Thanksgiving and Christmas came around we always had a good time. I don't remember if we had a turkey but it was more likely a chicken and we would all help out because my sister was working so all of us girls would do the cooking when we were home from school.  But it was always special. We always had good food!  We didn't have a bunch of junk, we couldn't afford it, but we had good food that we cooked from home.


When mom was alive she would kill the old red rooster and roast it.  She was such a good cook and would bake bread that you could smell when you were walking down the street from the school.  Mom would make doughnuts and us girls would go around and sell them for her.  I remember it would be so cold and we would stop in apartment buildings to warm up and we would eat a still warm doughnut hole that she would put in our pockets for us to eat and keep us warm.


We would make pies my favorite was Pumpkin but we would have mincemeat pies and sometimes apple pies.  It just depended on what we had.  That is the thing, you must just be creative and make what you have. The pies always tasted so good. What always made Thanksgiving special is that we were all together. We didn't have a lot of money but we never went without. My sister took good care of us.  The house was warm and toasty and the smells... Oh, the smell of Thanksgiving.  Sweet with fruit and goodies and spicy with cinnamon and ginger, the yeasty smell of the rolls rising and that bird roasting.  I can almost smell it now.

When I grew up and got married and my children were little I made I would make mincemeat cookies (My oldest daughter's favorite) and I would make a chocolate chiffon pie because one of my daughters hated fruit pie and an apple pie.  We always had a turkey with wonderful stuffing that I would place inside.  I would make mashed potatoes and gravy and yummy green bean casserole with some soft dinner rolls, oh don't forget the cranberry sauce!  I had the Christmas tree up and would play Christmas music... all of my favorites!  We were all together.  I can just see my husband Bud smoking his pipe in his chair and the children all over the place playing.  What good memories.

Cottage Thanksgiving Favorites 


Mrs. Cottage's Stuffing 

Ingredients:

8 Cups Organic Fresh Bread Cubes (she bakes bread slices and cubes them and toasts them in the oven) 
1 Onion
1/4 Cup Carrots (grated)
1-2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Apple (chopped)
1/2 Cup Turkey, Bone or Chicken Broth 
2 Egg whites (beaten)
1/8 - 1/4 Cup Raisins 
1/8 of a Teaspoon Sage (We usually use fresh pineapple sage but you can use 1/4 of Teaspoon dried sage)
1-2 Cloves Garlic (chopped very small)
1 Cup White Grape Juice (you can use wine if you want)
Garlic powder 
Onion powder
Salt 
Pepper (optional)

Directions:

Saute' the vegetables until very tender. Set it to the side off the heat. In a bowl mix the bread, raisins, apples and your sage. Stir together and add seasons to taste. Add your vegetables, grape juice, stock, and egg whites stir it together place in a covered casserole pan bake 40-45 minutes at 350F


Green Beans Cottage Style

Ingredients:

1 onion (diced)
2-3 pieces of Nitrate / Nitrite Free Bacon
2 quarts Green Beans Home Canned
1-2 Tablespoons Organic Butter
Sea Salt
Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Organic Raw Sugar 
Pepper

Directions:

Saute' onions in butter until the are transparent and sweet. Add that to your pan of green beans, then cook your bacon until crisp and dice it and add it to your green beans. Add seasonings and sugar cover and simmer until done and tasty!  


Cottage Apple Pie 

What you will need:

2 Pie Crusts
Apple Filling 


Single Pie Crust  :

(This is for a single crust, so to have a top and bottom, you must make two.)
1 1/4 Organic Flour 
1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt 
1/3 Cup Organic Butter
3-4 Tablespoons Cold Water 
In a mixing bowl stir together flour and salt. Cut in butter until flaky. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon water over mixture and gentle toss with a fork. Repeat process until the mix is moistened. Form into a ball and roll out on a lightly floured cutting board to fit your pan. 

Filling:

6 Cups of sliced organic apples from the orchard
 1/2 Cup raw organic sugar
2 Tablespoons Organic Flour 
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon 
1/4 Teaspoon Allspice
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg 
1 Tablespoon Butter 
Place one of your crusts on the bottom of the pie pan. In a bowl mix seasonings and sugar. Add mixture to apples. Place mixture over the bottom crust, cover them with the second crust. Cover and bake at 375F for 25 minutes remove the cover and bake until golden.

** My dad has been making this dish since 2008 or so.  Mom actually made it first and we all loved it and dad took over.  We have made this for Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as a take along potluck dish.  There is never any left when we take it.  This is served hot and can have fresh whipped cream on top or even with ice cream if you want but it is a great sweet side dish all alone.


Apple and Butternut Squash Casserole

Ingredients: 

We take 1 small heirloom butternut squash that we have from our garden, about 2 pounds
2 firm organic apples from the orchard, cored, peeled sliced 
1/2 cup raw organic sugar
1/4 cup cold organic butter 1 tablespoon organic flour
1 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt 
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 Cup Oats (not quick oats)
walnuts (if desired)

Directions:Peel squash, scoop out seeds and dry and reserve for next year's garden, and cut the squash into small pieces. Peel the apples and cut them in like sizes and place in a baking dish 7x11" Place your butter in a bowl from the fridge and add your sugar, oats and spices. Cut in with a pastry knife, fork or a couple of butter knives if that is what you have. Blend until crumbly and then add your nuts if you want. Place this evenly over your apple and squash pieces in the pan Cover this and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


Serves about 8 people.

Stars & Stripes Tree

I had an idea last year for a small tree.  One that honored our armed forces that could not be home to celebrate and to remind me to pray for them.  We went to the store and found the ornaments for 50% off and so we bought some for our small tree.  This year we have the tree in the foyer.


Here is our all-American tree, we got most of the decorations at Hobby Lobby last year.


I used a small American flag to the top of the tree.


America The Beautiful ornament.


Home Of The Brave.


Let Freedom Ring! 


I made these bows from ribbon from Walmart.


Stars & Stripes Forever.


Support Our Troops


In Our Prayers.


Another view of the tree.