Counting my Blessings

We’re going to be hosting the dinner tomorrow, and we’re lucky to have almost all of Haus Meister’s extended family with us.  While I don’t have to do all the cooking, I am roasting a 19lb bird and I have committed to a number of pies, not to mention colcannon, asparagus, and the sweet potato casserole.  And oh, the cranberries…. so I should be baking something right now instead of sitting in front of the screen…. Riiiight.

But I have a lot of fun pictures I’ve been waiting to share and now is a good time.

I’m just so thankful for this rowdy bunch of hooligans.

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They make me rethink my “comfort zone” — for instance, this handsome guy with the toothsome grin JUST lost his second molar. As in, just now came up to me and motioned to his mouth where it was dangling on it’s last gasp and can I just say that extremely loose teeth make me squeamish?! His brothers are the type that will chase after me to show off their loose teeth while I scream, but he doesn’t like it any more than I do (chalk it up to extreme oral sensitivity) and so he waits to ask for help only if he thinks he needs it.  One day he came up from the basement with blood on his face and I ran downstairs expecting broken glass or something but no, he had had a tooth loose and never mentioned it. Just threw it away. Buuuut that’s neither here nor there.  The point is, I swallow my squeamishness and help yank the tooth.  And then I think I’ve made progress until someone tries chasing me with a loose tooth again….

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They make me realize the wonder of God’s creation by asking a zillion questions I can’t always answer without pulling out a book–or Wikipedia.  They make me value my Faith by giving me the chance to pass it on, and help me rejoice by living it themselves.

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They amuse me with a hundred fantastical stories a day, especially those made up on the spur of the moment to hopefully distract me from the fact that I’ve just assigned him a chore…

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They wear princess dresses for “school pictures.” They inspire me with their enthusiasm and creativity and make me really really wish I could knit faster and that my sewing machine worked again. 😉

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They challenge me a hundred ways a day, stretch me further than I thought I could go, and always always always keep me on my toes.

Because honestly, you can’t script moments like these:

(No, no one had the wine.  But we definitely started storing the box wine in a different place after I caught that!)

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They keep me laughing.

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They keep me smiling.

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They melt my heart.  Even as they tear up my house.

And I’m especially thankful for the handsome, loving man who helps keep everything around here, including me, running smoothly.  🙂

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Every Recipe has a Story

 

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Obligatory autumnal picture for a Thanksgiving recipe. I’m not Pioneer Woman, and sadly do not have a picture of my casserole.

Last week, my sister-in-law texted me for this recipe. It’s been part of most of my Thanksgivings, and when menu planning comes up, someone usually asks me to make it…including a mistake.

Let me explain. Way back in ’99 when I graduated from high school, I bought a recipe book and began jotting down favorite recipes from Mom’s collection. Somehow or other, when I copied this one, I was negligent to separate topping ingredients from the casserole ingredients! I suppose I assumed I would remember, but I didn’t, and one year I added an extra cup of sugar to the casserole. I was a huge favorite with my sisters-in-law that year.

So here, for posterity, is my mother’s Sweet Potato Casserole recipe.

(Also because I’m certain sure I’ll someday wish I had a digital copy….)

Casserole:
3c cooked & mashed sweet potatoes
1c sugar (+ 1c brown sugar if you want to replicate my now-legendary mistake)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla

Topping:
1c brown sugar (do not omit even if you’ve added 2c sugars to the casserole)
1/3c melted butter
1c flour
1c chopped pecans or walnuts

Method:
Preheat oven to 375. In a mixing bowl, combine sweet potatoes, sugar, milk, butter, eggs, & vanilla. Mix well and spoon into a lightly greased 2qt casserole.

In a smaller bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, pecans, & melted butter, mixing well. Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture in the casserole dish.

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

No one will blame you if you eat this for breakfast the next morning. At least, I won’t. 😉