Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Treasured Recipe

There is still time for you to get yourself to the nearest grocery store, pick up the items and start preparing my dad's traditional, awesome cornbread dressing. I have posted the recipe as written by one of my beloved niece's (eldest grandchild). The first Christmas after my mother passed in September my dad insisted we have the dinner at his house. Not anything really new for him, being that he usually preferred to stay home and let everyone come there to visit. We never lacked for food around our house, especially during holiday meals. Mom always made what everyone liked, macaroni and cheese for me, fried okra, lima beans, creamed potatoes if no dressing, so that the beans and okra could stick to it for a trip to your mouth, deviled eggs, fruit salad, rolls, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, cake......uh, you get the idea. All that food but much of the talk went to dad and his dressing, which is awesome know....gotta give kudos to my mom while once again, dad's dressing is highlighted. My eldest niece, Stephenie, went out early to help with the making of the dressing. Frankly, I do not recall if dad made the cornbread alone the day before, probably, though he was weak then and the large cast iron skillet filled is heavy. He lived 45 minutes from she and I. She made a video of the whole process and I have yet to watch it, don't know if ever I will, but am sure that I want a copy to pass to my children. I have not made it in a while, deferring to my mother-in-law's recipe, which is very different, to please my picky eating husband. My kids like both recipes and this year wanted dad's. So today, I have baked the cornbread and cut up my vegetables, thawed my hen and am ready for tomorrow. My niece is making the dressing for my brother's (her father) side of the family's meal tomorrow. Her 4 year old little boy's is interested in cooking already, VolleyGirl is helping me tomorrow, just as she did today. The tradition will continue, hopefully.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Papa Loyd's Holiday Dressing & Giblet Gravy

Note: no shortcuts allowed. No broth instead of homemade stock. No store bought cornbread. I've tried the shortcuts and they just. don't. work. It's not the same.

1 hen (not chicken)
2-3 onions, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 large pones cornbread (if you don't know what a pone is you have no business making this recipe)
1/4 butter
2 TBS yellow mustard
2 TBS ketchup
2 TBS Italian seasoning
1/2 to 2/3 cup fresh sage, finely chopped (reduce amount if dried)
3 slices bread, torn up into small pieces
1 (8 oz.) can oysters, drained & chopped
3 TBS jarred pimento, finely chopped
salt & pepper to taste

The day before: cook cornbread & cool completely. Crumble both pones.

Day of Thanksgiving:

Remove giblets from hen and set aside.
Rinse hen and place in stockpot & cover with water, about 8 cups. Simmer covered until done, reserving broth. De-bone hen & reserve meat.

Preheat oven 350 degrees
In large saucepan melt butter & add onion, celery, and bell pepper. Add all the broth from hen, cover and simmer 10 minutes.

In BIG ("dressing") bowl, combine crumbled cornbread, torn bread pieces, & the broth mix until it reaches spaghetti sauce consistency. If mix is too soupy, add more bread pieces.

Add all the remaining ingredients & mix well.

Pour mixture into a large roasting pan. Bake 1 hour until golden.

Serve hot with giblet gravy & hen meat on the side.

Finely chop hen giblets.

Simmer 3 cups chicken broth on stovetop. Add flour a little at a time, stirring constantly until a smooth, thin rue is formed. Add chopped giblets, blend well, and simmer.

Salt, pepper, and otherwise season to taste, can add one or two sliced boiled eggs to gravy if you want to be extra-Southern.

Yields: enough for a crowd of at least 10-15.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dogs On Thursday

Alas, my friends, I am still very much here, taking nourishment and keeping a keen eye on that pesky, furry cat! Oh how he teases me with his strolls through my royal den, taunting, luring me with his crystal blue eyes. Down the front stairs he comes, effortlessly leaping over the inconvenient blockade placed by my two-legged servants. He pauses, looks, laughing silently as I lay upon the carpet. Step, pause, two steps, pause....oh, you little tomcat......dash to the kitchen on your silent fleeting pads. Run, I do, sort of, through the kitchen but once again, instantly before my arrival he leaps to his escape. We gaze momentarily, then up he goes instantly and lightly as a ballerina to the top of the back staircase while I, once again, am beckoned back to my starting position. Often I hear him run the length of the hallway above only to descend again signaling the game's start.

Enjoy your games my friends Snuffles, Annie, Emma, Luna, Buddy, Dizzy, Penney, Tonka, Hope, Trixie, Bella, Zoe, Chief, Sophie and Budro! My earnest wishes for your full recovery Snickers, will be checking in on you.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pencil Me In....

Started this color pencil drawing last night. Colors aren't showing up true to life (and yes, object is larger than it appears on screen) but you get the idea. Hopefully I can get quite a few Christmas pieces complete and sell them since I've had a few inquiries about it. Thanks for all the sweet comments on the new baby though I must clarify that it is my niece. I've yet to achieve the grandma status yet hope not to for a few years since BigBoy is engaged, graduating from college this spring and VolleyGirl from high school.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Joy To Our World!!!

God has blessed our family with a new life! Mr. Unplugged's sister gave birth to a beautiful 8 lb., 1 oz. baby girl Friday morning! She is named after her grandmother, something that my sister-in-law told me she would do for many years if she ever had a daughter. I first met my SIL when she was 10, Mr. U is 12 years her senior. Jenny has an adorable big brother that turned three in August. It was for his party that I made the pirate cake. Loved holding her last night and VolleyGirl and I are excited to have a girl, making the grandchildren breakdown to now be 2 girls and 4 boys! We are going to have some fun shopping for girlie things (and making some girlie cakes)!!!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

Snapped this yesterday leaving the busyness in the sky and color of the trees. Check out more skies at and have a great Friday!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


To the many vets that can never be personally thanked for their ultimate sacrifice, to the many vets that served, their lives changed forever, to the many vets that gave a portion of their lives, to veterans of tomorrow, serving now, risking their lives, sacrificing time from loved ones to keep us safe here at home, to the one vet that helped raise me - words are not enough, let us not ever take for granted your gift to our country.

Monday, November 1, 2010

An Apple A Day........

While waiting to dispense treats or be tricked, I finished up this candy apple that I started last week. VolleyGirl has been out of school last week and until Wednesday this week while her high school's brand new school was being finished up and making a move. She also had outside senior photos early Saturday morning, will post on that later this week. This meant picking out four outfits for that and all that goes with it. Hope everyone's Halloween was pleasant....can't believe the time has slipped by again!!!!