Holidays

 
 

The Windshield

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By Dahni
© 2018, all rights reserved

Not too much is free anymore nor is there a place to feel free much anymore, except from the windshield of life.

There was a time when where I’m going, I could probably get to Hometown Columbia, MO and back Home again in Macedon, NY, for about a $20 bill. I probably could have and would have driven straight through, for about 14 hours. And did the same on the way back. It would have even taken less time, when you could drive without being pulled over at 76 mph, on most highways, where the speed limit was 70 mph.

Tolls? I would have and will avoid them.

Even if I did stop due to poor weather or I was tired, to where they leave they “light on for you”, (Motel 6 or some other), it would have only cost around $20-25 dollars. Food, 🥘 maybe a couple of bucks and coffee ☕️ 15 cents?!

Turn your radio on or play a tape, a CD, 💿 a DVD, 📀 and now, some playlist from your media device. Play what you want, when you want and as loud as you want. That was and still is, freedom in the ears, from the windshield of life!

Weather then and now (soon), could be about the same as it ever was or ever will be? Take care, know how to drive in inclement weather; how not to tailgate. Don’t be rude and stay far enough away, from unknown others. Watch your own windshields of life; not theirs.

Prepared then and now with maps, emergency kits, cash, water and warmth; something to eat and be prepared to wait, for the traffic to move again or help to arrive.

All in all, you prepare for the worst, but why else leave, unless expecting the best?!

My expectation then and now remains the same, Freedom to think 🤔 and if the music 🎼 is not on or is not too loud, actually hear my own thoughts. It’s free-time magnified, when the imagination is fired up like the vehicle’s 🚗 engine, tuned like the radio; humming and purring on all cylinders. What shapes and things in motion like the clouds, ☁️ will I imagine, coming through, the windshield of life?!

Free Peace to turn off and tune-out the daily news and the daily do’s, in the windshield of life.

Free to speak my mind! Free to be silent, quiet and still! Free to hear and to listen and to take heed of common sense, my own inspiration, or that still small voice of God, which draws near to, the windshield of my life!

Free to Resolve and Move On, into the future that’s seen in, the windshield of life, before your eyes.

Free Adventure! What new or old things in new ways will find me, in the windshield of life?!

Free Expectation! To bond with those who really matter that you are with and to bond with those who really matter that you are traveling to see. Their faces and lives seem to be, all superimposed, on the windshield of life.

Free Control! Free to the things you can control and free to change with what you cannot, in the windshield of life.

Free in the USA! 🇺🇸 There are no border guards from state to state, checking papers, no ID required to show; no purpose of your travel to declare or how long you will stay. None of these are seen nor demanded, in the windshield of life.

Free to Be! None to care, or ask, criticize or condemn me, for what I believe or don’t, in the windshield of my life!

Free to change! Free to take an exit and get off my planned trip to, whatever attracts me; calls out to me, from the windshield of my life!

Free adventure! While the destination is purposed, planned and important, the journey Is equally important and it builds the excitement after every mile in getting closer, in the windshield of life.

The costs paid then or now, cannot even begin to compare with the graces of the journey and the joys at the destination!

Free New! Free new of those things and friends I have not yet met, and free new news, of those friends and family, I have not seen in a time or a long time or a very, very long time!

Free Thanks!🙏 How apropos, with Thanksgiving coming and towards Thanksgiving I am preparing to be going, through the windshield of life. There is always something(s) and someone(s) to be thankful for!

Not much may be free anymore and not much freedom perhaps? But there’s still Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, and we are still FREE to experience these, from the Windshields of Our Lives!!!

It is about time for some Steppenwolf, “Born to Be Wild”, some John Barry, “Born Free”, and some Willy Nelson, “On the Road Again”!!!

I’ll not be posting on FB (Facebook) or Twitter until perhaps, after 11/26/2018? But Until We Meet again, I would you each and all, a Very Happy Thanksgiving!🦃 I would for you each and all, a wonderful road trip from the windshield of your life, even if it is just, from the windshield of your mind and heart!

Live FREE at—

The Windshield!!!

I leave you now with a big and hearty; warm and friendly, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans—

“Happy Trails…Til’ We Meet Again!!!”  🙂

 

From the Windshield of My Life at— The Gathering Place,

-dahni-

“Born to be Wild!”

“Born Free!”

“On the Road Again!”

“Happy Trails!”

Categories: Autumn, Entertainment, FaceBook, Fall, Family & Friends, Freedom, Holidays, Home, Homeward Bound, Inspiration, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness, Life, Pursuit of Happiness, Thanksgiving, The Gathering Place, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

HellBreak

By Dahni

© 2017, all rights reserved

Well, when all hell breaks out, within and without and it looks like this is your sign to just stay home or it’s just hell trying to keep you home WHAT, wadeeah yah do?

Cold, hot, foggy, snowy, blowy, sick and tired? Either stay and let all hell continue to beat the hell out of you or let all hell beat the hell out of itself and let it stay.

Don’t even bother sweeping the dirt under the rug, or clean and organize nuttN. Don’t make the bed 🛏 just throw the bedspread on and call it good. Shut the door to the office crapola. Turn off the lights, stuff your stuff, grab your two Ladies (your wife and your dog), don your sunglasses 🕶, flip up or down the sun visor, and/or turn on the windshield wipers and just git goN! Don’t stop 🛑 on Go to even collect your Monopoly parking money and just Gooo!!!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 🦃 Enjoy the ride! Man what a trip!! 😂

https://youtu.be/eyU3bRy2x44

Love is comforting, healing, restful, peaceful, and a warm and toasty fire 🔥 of family and Friends, waiting on you to arrive! 😃

Categories: Family & Friends, Holidays, Inspiration, Love, Making Memories, Thanksgiving, Toast this Life, Uncategorized, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

How Was Your December

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How was your December? We just got home yesterday on December 30th. After unloading the car, and putting most everything away, some laundry, checking in with family that we safely made it home, catching up on the mail and news and some dinner and a great amount of joyful reflection, we realized that there are many whose lives living or lost, have not had the same joyful December as we have been blessed with. And I feel their woes and pains, truly I do. But isn’t this an apropos time to share some good news? I believe so!

This true life story began with just a bunch of notes.

Just a bunch of notes in a jar presented to the new Mommy 12/25/15

Just a bunch of notes in a jar presented to the new Mommy 12/25/15

Just a jar of nine months of notes in Joshua's room

Just a jar of nine months of notes in Joshua’s room

For us, December has been fraught with birthdays, announcements of coming births, a new born little bundle of miracles from eight years of trying, meeting new family, making new friends, celebrating Christmas with family with before mentioned new baby boy, enjoying culinary delights made possible by many participates, enjoyable and safe travel with conditions made perfect by the unusual warm December and even passing by the World Headquarters of Duct Tape! 🙂

Duct Tape World Headquarters, near Cleveland, OH

Duct Tape World Headquarters, near Cleveland, OH

Scatter2

What is more cooler and useful than duct tape except, for one this large? LOL 🙂

For 40+ years, I have been cooking and particularly, holidays meals such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. For the very first time (this past Thanksgiving) was I able to not only enjoy the cooking, but to actually enjoy the service that I always seek to serve others. For years, I have forewarned and warned others, NOT to come into the kitchen or even speak to me while I am cooking, less I bite your freaking head off! At a meal prior to Thanksgiving, I tried something new. I played some low volume classical music in the background while I cooked, hoping it might take off the edge. It worked, but I didn’t know why at the time.

Having some success, I hoped this was no fluke and I wanted to repeat the classical music thing at Thanksgiving. By then I understood why. When we were growing up, us, three chil-ren, listened to what our parents liked, Big Band, Swing, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis and so, but certainly NOT classical music. However, coming home from school and after homework and chores of course, we were allowed to watch cartoons in the afternoon and on Saturday mornings. From Walt Disney, Hana Barbera, Walter Lantz (Woody Woodpecker), Warner Brothers and everything else, they all used classical music.

When I grew up, I knew nothing about this music or who wrote it, but when the music played, I sure recognized the tunes from the cartoons. So, in my adult mind, I equated happy times as a child and when the music played, my little old heart just thumped and fluttered happily while cooking! 🙂
Besides the music, there were two more things never done before, I started the actual cooking. I cooked the dressings or stuffing the day before and my wife had beautifully set the table, the night before, Thanksgiving. I was organized; everything was set. The results? Not only did everyone enjoy the food and the fellowship, so did I! I was determined that this would be my new normal and it would be repeated at Christmas! It was, but with another first.

Our Christmas dinner was actually on the 26th. I started out a little tense because, we had to open stockings and presents before the table could be set. The table would be in the living room. The dining room was used for delicious breakfast cinnamon rolls and scones and mimosas, all lovingly prepared by others. I had the low classical music playing in the kitchen as I prepared the turkey and got it in the oven, set and ready to check again in ninety minutes. I made coffee and eggnog lattes, before my cappuccino/espresso machine literally blew up. No one was hurt and no damage was done and no one other than myself and my wife knew. We heated the eggnog in the microwave and I made espresso in the brew coffeepot. No one knew and they still loved the results.

So, after breakfast, stockings and presents, the kitchen and dining room were mine. Our host and hostess reminded everyone that there was “a force field” around the kitchen and to not go in. The word was out, don’t come into the kitchen and talk to me. The first person I allowed in was my bother-in-law Lenny, the husband of my sister. I wrote “allowed,” but better words would be, ‘OK with,’ as I don’t think he would have accepted NO as a response from me. 🙂

But Lenny became the de facto kitchen manager, keeping everything clean and organized, even though I told him I clean as I go. He just smiled and kept doing his thing. I had only two choices, to freak out or just accept his help graciously. He later carved not the one turkey, but both, yes, two turkeys. I wanted everyone to have leftovers. The next day there were leftovers. Then our sister made incredible soup. Yesterday, she made Shepherds pie with all that was left. This all as she wrote was, the turkeys’, “delicious history.”

The first of 2 turkeys, the beginning of its "delicious history"

The first of 2 turkeys, the beginning of its “delicious history”

A couple of people came around the corner and asked if they could help me do anything. I kept my peace and politely said no. Then they proceeded to just have a conversation in the kitchen while I was cooking. I had to laugh because, I was totally OK with this. Then I discovered, I was not playing the music in the background. Still, I was OK. Later, I found out that one of the ladies that had asked me if she could help, has great difficulty in staying out of the kitchen because, she loves to cook too.

Say what? Tree people in my kitchen away from kitchen? :)

Say what? Three people in my kitchen away from kitchen? 🙂

I gathered everyone in the living room and made an announcement. It was something new to me and I was going to give it a try. I asked anyone that wanted to help, to help me!!! OMG was this a big deal to me, huge! It’s not so much that I was a control freak, but I suppose I was. Everything has to look good, be hot and served at the same time. It has to smell good, taste good, rekindle fond memories and promote good conversation before during and after. There is a reason for everything I try to do. It’s a lot of work and I take it seriously. So, instead of doing everything myself as I’ve done for years, now I was going to allows others in. How was I going to pull this off?

I have everything any chef in the world has, except for the paper, the certificate from a culinary institute. I am confident in my ability. I have cooked and prepared this menu countless times for countless people and have perfected my own recipes as much as a perfectly imperfect being can perfect anything. Still, I brought my own notebook of my recipes. I had previewed this not-my-kitchen and knew where everything was. I was set and nothing was left to chance. I was prepared, for any unforeseen thing.

I am not about praise! I am results oriented and happy to be in the background, to work behind the scenes and to SERVE and spatter joy! But others wanted to do the same thing. I just wasn’t until this moment sure, who would be found in the kitchen, Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde? Well, I opened the front door and kicked Mr. Hyde in the rear and out, never to return again! No matter how great the conductor, it’s all about the music. One can conduct all day long, but people want to see the musicians play and hear the music swell. Other people wanted to spatter joy too!

Our Table

Our Table – Japanese theme plates, Christmas Tree folded napkins, Chrisitmas Tree butter pats and even a nice warm crackling fire on TV in the background 🙂

Christmas tree napkin folding was done by my wife Susan and Quin, the mother of the husband of my niece. My sister peeled and mashed and made the potatoes. Others set out the pre-made Christmas Tree pats of butter I made and brought and they set and decorated the table.
Everything was being taken care of, lovingly, graciously and happily! As I watched, there was no classical music playing. I was watching a beautiful symphony played out on their faces and by their hands of service and all before my ears. And the finale?

Comments from those that did not like turkey was, “I loved it” and “it was good.” A comment from one that did not like dressing or stuffing was, “I loved it.” Other comments were, “the Best Christmas Ever!” For myself personally, this was the best meal I have ever HELPED to prepare and have so thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish! This is HOW to cook! Spatter Joy!

Though I have tried to source the following quote and I believe its origin was Ralph Waldo Emerson, I have not been able to corroborate it. But it fits here.

“A true man (or woman) is absolutely confident in their own inspiration (or ability).”

unknown

Now, I have not only permanently kicked out Mr. Hyde from my kitchen, and now understand, not only the science and art of cooking, but the heart. Now, I can honestly teach others not only how to cook 5 star culinary delights— anyplace and at anytime, but NOW, I can show HOW it can all be enjoyed from start to finish! I highly recommend a movie we watched in Ohio, ‘The 100 Foot Journey’

How was your December? Mine was just getting started! The draw of the figurative centerpiece of all the festivities was a brand new baby boy, born on December 19th, 2015. He could have been born on the 18th, but that date remains the birthday of one of our sons. And he could have been born on his due date of the 29th, but that date remains our brother’s birthday. So each have their day and were born precisely, right on time. But this brand new little baby boy, named Joshua, is the first and only Great Nephew to my brother and I. He is our sister’s first and only grandson and grandchild. Babies draw people together.

Proud papa and baby Joshua in his camo outfit

Proud papa and baby Joshua in his camo outfit

My sister and her husband came from Raleigh, NC. My wife and I came from NY. My brother and his wife came from IL. We three all, came to Ohio and at different times of arrival. That’s a big deal. There were long drive times, costs and other matters involved for all of us to get there and I for one, am deeply appreciative and will forever appreciate their efforts! For myself, I only could get in three hours of sleep before we made the (2nd) 7 hour trip to Ohio. One has to stay awake somehow! Well, I am a mischief magnet, TRE (a Target Rich Environment), a silly man, an Unky (uncle), a Gunky (great uncle) and probably only about, fo-yeer-ohd (four years old). 🙂

Chef Dah-nay from Paris/Macedon, NY in his Red silicone spill-stopper beret :)

Chef Donnie-nay from Paris 🙂 OK, Macedon, NY, in his Red silicone spill-stopper beret 🙂

Me and My Minion

Me and My Minion

My Minion from Joshua

My Minion from Joshua

My parking ticket in this life has been validated and acknowledged, revealing in a comment, “the secret to my success.” A single image and a quote confirms this—

Silliness

And just so you do not misunderstand, it is confirmed again by a single video—

Dancing with Dahni

If it’s still not clear, try this—

“Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Oh, but there’s more, much more. And if you think this is about me, or my family or December or the holidays, keep reading my friend, KEEP READING!

On December 29th, 2015, we took my brother and his wife out to dinner and our family treated them, to celebrate his birthday.

From left to right Baby Joshua, Daddy Larry, Mommy Sierra Lee, Nanny Grandmother Carol Lee, Popi Grandfather Lenny, Susan Great Aunt, Donnie Great Uncle, Susan Great Aunt and sitting on the floor, brother Richard Great Uncle and birthday boy

From left to right:
Baby Joshua, Daddy Larry, Mommy Sierra Lee, Nanny Grandmother Carol Lee, Popi Grandfather Lenny, Susan Great Aunt, Donnie Great Uncle, Susan Great Aunt and sitting on the floor, brother Richard, Great Uncle and birthday boy. 🙂

All these many events culminated with something that has not occurred in some thirty+ years around the holidays. Our brother, and sister and I were all together, TOGETHER!

Richard, Carol Lee and Donnie

Richard, Carol Lee and Donnie

The craziness, silliness and love and heart remains after all these years and though the time was short, it was FULL and it was as if, we never missed a single beat.

So, as this month and this year comes to a close, I will raise a glass to our grandparents, Lilian & Stanley, Papa & Nanny, all our ancestors before them and to our parents Calvin and Jean, from which all those we have been touched by and whose lives we touch, has been made possible!

And this is the purpose of the Gathering Place. Though it is our home, we were not here, we were in Ohio. The Gathering place is not just a place, it is a heartbeat, where ever and with whomever it may beat. Though many could not be there with us and many had not the same kind of December or year as we have and many suffer, this is how life is supposed to be, should be and for us, it was, it really, really was this way! So, much has spilled over, into so many, many lives.

So, to you for the new year and forever, SPATTER JOY!

Scatter12

 

Dahni

MySig4WP_withBackground

Categories: Birthday, Cooking, Family & Friends, Food, Holidays, Inspiration, Life, Live Laugh Love, Love, New Year's Day, New Year's Eve, Spatter Joy, The 100 Foot Journey, The Gathering Place, Things that really matter, Toast this Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Turkey

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Turkey_title4WP

by Dahni

© 2015, all rights reserved

Turkey_pic4WP

For me, turkey at both Thanksgiving and Christmas is just something that I do. It was our family tradition. Then, after I was grown and on my own, I realized one day, it was not about the turkey, it was everything else that went with it that made it special. Besides smoked turkey or fine deli sliced turkey like you get from the store or that is pre-packaged in the meat section, I cannot say that I was ever particularly fond of turkey! It is doubtful that I would ever roast a turkey at any other times than for these two holidays – until NOW!

I once wrapped a turkey with pastry dough and it was pretty good. I have stuffed one once and will not do that again. For one thing, I like dressing or stuffing and I have never seen a turkey cavity big enough, to make enough for my liking. For another, once you stuff a turkey, it is likely to spoil much more quickly than if not stuffed. So, after the meal, you really need to cut and remove all the meat from the bones as is possible and/or boil the carcass for soup stock etc. Leftovers are good too!

I have tried all manner of turkey – fresh, adult, wild turkey, smoked, deep fried and frozen. For consistency, I have mostly, always relied on frozen ‘young’ turkey from the Butterball® brand.

If you try the recipe to follow, I will venture to say that there will be those that do not usually like roast turkey that will like this!!! For me, it is mouth watering and flavorful throughout, even the dark meat and I generally do not eat dark meat. It is juicy and tender and so tender in fact, the meat nearly fell off the bone. Pulling the remaining meat from the bone after dinner was the easiest I have ever experienced. The secrets are the salt (which tenderizes the meat), lemon (adds moisture and flavor), rosemary (adds flavor) and the last secret to tender turkey is, slow-cooking.

Turkey_Holly_but4WP

Turkey_but4WP

Dahni’s Roasted Turkey Dinner (cont.)

Rosemary Citrus Salt:

• 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves chopped (fresh is more expensive, but worth the extra expense)
• 2 tablespoons of lemon zest (remove zest from 1 lemon see: lemon under Turkey below)
• ½ cup of coarse salt (use coarse salt substitute if desired and if you can find it)
• ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Combine rosemary, lemon zest and salt in small bowl
2. pour olive oil into separate small bowl

Turkey
• 13-18 lb. whole young turkey (mine was around 13 pounds)
• 2 large carrots cut lengthwise
• 2 celery stalks cut lengthwise
• 1-4 springs of fresh rosemary (I used 1 sprig about 6” long)
• 1 lemon (zest has been removed = about 2 tablespoons for your salt rub above) cut lemon in half

Note: So your guests don’t have to fight over the drumsticks, you could vary this recipe with (2) smaller turkeys or even (2) 8-10 pound chickens, but add another ¼ cup of olive oil and more springs of Rosemary and another lemon cut in half (one for each turkey/chicken).

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 325° F.
2. Remove giblets and neck from both sides of turkey cavities and set aside in a large size pan on the stove
3. Thoroughly rinse and pat dry turkey inside and out.
4. Coat outside of turkey and inside with the olive oil (there will be some left in the bowl when you are done) Look for and use culinary disposable gloves to keep your hands from getting oily and prevent any transfer of plastic taste which can happen with ordinary disposable gloves.
5. Place the 2 halves of one lemon into the breast cavity of the turkey.
6. Place fresh rosemary sprigs into the breast cavity of the turkey
7. Season the outside of your turkey with the rosemary citrus salt, pressing it in to adhere.
8. Lightly spray cooking spray on the bottom of your roasting pan (I used Pam® brand olive oil spray
9. Arrange halved carrots and celery on the bottom of your roasting pan to set the turkey so that the bottom of the turkey does not touch the bottom of your pan.
10. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the outside of your turkey.
11. Lightly spray cooking spray (Pam® brand olive oil spray) on the interior side of enough foil to completely cover the turkey.
12. Completely cover turkey with foil and wrap the edges. Note this is not a ‘tent’ it is a cover.

Note: If using a foil roasting pan, you might want to place a pan underneath just in case it leaks to catch the drippings. Or, just put one disposable aluminum pan into another. Why? Because 9 out of 10 times, one of the pans will have a small hole in it. Use one pan and the juice could leak out into your oven and cause smoke. Use two pans and this won’t generally happen. I suppose both pans could have holes, but it’s not likely. It like the adage, if you don’t use two, you’ll need them. If you use two, you probably won’t!  🙂

13. Place covered turkey into pre-heated oven.
14. Set timer for 90 minutes. When timer goes off, uncover and remove as much of the drippings as possible and place in a bowl to add to dressing and/or gravy. (this is very salty so use sparingly)
15. Re-cover turkey and set timer for another 90 minutes.
16. Re-check turkey and remove as much of the juice as possible for your dressing/gravy. Test interior temperature of turkey with a meat thermometer. When it reads 165° F. it is done. Mine needed another ½ hour.
17. The last 15 minutes of your cooking time, raise your oven temperature to 425° F. and remove the foil covering so the top browns.
18. After 15 minutes, re-check the interior temp. with a meat thermometer. When it reads 165° F. it is done.
19. Remove turkey from oven and allow to ‘rest’ for about 15 minutes before carving. While turkey is resting you can finish making your gravy.
Cooking time is 3 – 3 ½ hours at 325° F. I used 3 ½ hours for a 13 pound turkey. (For the correct amount of cooking time based on the pounds of turkey, just follow the instructions included with every Butterball® brand turkey.) The last 15 minutes uncover the turkey and raise the temp. to 425° F. to brown top. Remove from oven and allow to ‘rest’ about 15 minutes before carving. You can vary this recipe by doubling the ingredients for say a 20-30 lb. turkey and so on. After you first place the oven into the oven to cook, you can work on the first part of your gravy and on the dressing or stuffing.

Gravy

• 2 small onions peeled and quartered
• 2 carrots cut in half
• 2 celery stalks cut in half (use the leaves as this makes the broth more flavorful)
• 2 quarts of chicken stock, broth or even bullion cubes/granules with a quart of water is fine (non salted stock is preferred)
• ¾ cup of unsalted butter
• ¾ cut of all purpose flour

Directions:

1. Into a large size pan on the stove, place turkey giblets and neck.
2. Add carrots, celery and onion.
3. Pour 1 quart of chicken stock or broth over this.
4. Bring to a boil over high heat.
5. Once it boils, reduce temp. and simmer until it cooks down to about 2 cups.
6. Turn off heat, strain and set aside. You will use this liquid later when your turkey has finished cooking and is ‘resting.’
7. While turkey is resting, place a small skillet on the stove.
8. Melt ¾ cup of unsalted butter (1 stick), in a pan on medium heat.
9. Slowly add ¾ cup of all-purpose flour.
10. Whisk over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until a smooth blond colored mixture (rue) is formed.
11. Add mixture to your reserved strained turkey mixture that you set aside on stove.
12. Add 1 quart of chicken stock or broth and pan juices.
13. Bring to a boil over high heat and let simmer until thickened and ready to serve. Season to taste. ENJOY NO LUMP DELICIOUS GRAVY!

Dressing or Stuffing:

• Chicken stock or broth as needed to moisten bread
• Turkey pan drippings as desired and needed for flavor and moisture
• ½ to 1 stick of unsalted butter melted.
• 1 large white onion diced.
• 3-4 celery stalks diced (use celery leaves if you like, but I prefer not to)
• 2 loaves of white bread – open the bag and leave the bread in the bag stacked over so that air can pass over the tops – 1-2 days before, to dry the bread.
• 1 loaf of wheat bread – open the bag and leave the bread in the bag stacked over so that air can pass over the tops – 1-2 days before to dry the bread.
• 1 box of Jiffy® brand corn bread mix.
• Seasonings to taste – I just remember the line from the Simon & Garfunkel song and use: “Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.”  🙂
• Salt and pepper to taste.

Note: Remember, your turkey pan drippings will have salt from the Citrus Rosemary Salt mixture so take care when adding more salt. Some people add dried cranberries and/or chopped walnuts to their dressing and I have heard it is really good. Adding apple and mild sausage to your dressing is also, excellent. Some people like oyster dressing, but I do not. I have tried adding roasted chestnuts once, but did not like the texture of the chestnuts, so I do not recommend this. To each their own, but the mix of white bread, wheat and cornbread really makes this special!

Directions:

1. Prepare and cook corn bread as directed on the Jiffy® brand corn bread mix. Prepare this the day before you need it and leave it out to dry.
2. Gently tear bread into pieces. I remove most, but not all the crusts as I believe too much crust makes the dressing or stuffing too tough.
3. Crumble corn bread and add to bread crumbs
4. Mix bread crumbs and corn bread together in large bowl.
5. Sauté diced onions and celery with butter on stove, on medium heat until the most of the water cooks down from the vegetables.
6. Pour sautéed vegetables over your bread crumbs and cornbread.
7. Add some chicken broth and pan juices as needed.
8. Add your dry seasonings (“Parsley – Sage – Rosemary and Thyme”) and salt and pepper to taste.

Note: Remember, your turkey pan drippings will have salt from the Citrus Rosemary Salt mixture so take care when adding more salt.

9. Mix dressing/stuffing until well combined and taste. To your liking, add whatever you think it needs.
10. Transfer stuffing to a lightly pre-sprayed (cooking spray), long rectangular shaped Pyrex, glass or metal deep pan.
11. Cover with foil.
12. Place the dressing into a pre-heated oven.

Note cooking time will vary depending on how and when you cook your dressing. If space and ovens are minimal, you can always make this ahead of time without pan drippings and then just heat it up later to be served when everything else is ready. If you are fortunate to have two ovens or a double oven, cook at 350° F. for around 45 minutes to one hour. The last 15 minutes of your cooking time, raise the oven temp to 425° F. to just lightly brown the top. For mine, I placed the covered dressing/stuffing into the same oven next to the turkey in the oven at 325° F., 1 hour before the turkey was uncovered and the temp was raised to 425° F. for the last 15 minutes. It was perfect!

End Notes:

The recipes used have been tested with many people and even those that do NOT like turkey. All have wholeheartedly agreed that this is the best turkey they have ever eaten! This is not to be braggadocious, but so you may be confident, your guests will say the same thing about your turkey dinner!

These recipes have often been requested, for me to make them and for others to make them, themselves. It will warm your heart when people ask you, “Would you please make your turkey,” or “Could I PLEASE have your turkey dinner recipes!”

I do not mind sharing them with those that ask, but please remember, these are just some of the featured recipes of my not yet published book, ‘The Gathering Place’ (Holidays & Special Occasions Entertaining). Please do NOT share them with others without my permission. They are copyrighted and unless I have given you specific permission to use them and share them, would make anyone in violation of Copyright infringement.
Once ‘The Gathering Place’ is published, it is my heart’s desire that anyone will be able to prepare, cook, present and serve 5 star restaurant quality food and ambience, for all holidays and special occasions entertaining at home, for their family and guests!

Again, please honor my request and not share these recipes with anyone, without my permission. You do have my permission to use these for yourself! For additional permission, email me: dahni1@gmail.com

Here is a PDF file of these recipes you may freely download.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Dahni

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By Dahni & I-Magine

©️ 2018, all rights reserved

From my Work in Progress: ‘The Gathering Place Cook Book’, under the category of:
Holidays & Special Occasions Entertaining, by Dahni © 2013-2015, all rights reserved

Categories: Cooking, Food, Holidays, Homeward Bound, Ideas, Inspiration, Pursuit of Happiness, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Good Morning USA

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by Dahni
© 2015, all rights reserved

GoodMornUSA

Good Morning USA,

What’s offending, You today?

 

Is it that these three, barely exist

or that a remnant, still persist?

Is it that WE do NOT know each other

or WE are impatient, for it all to smother?

Is it that WE were ever united

or the fire has been ignited?

 

From 1776 and 1789, for 239 and 226 years respectively

Through hell and back, these three have stood collectively

Are all just separate relics of the past, WE’d just soon forget

Are all meaningless scraps of paper and cloth, We surely and sorely regret?

 

Good Morning USA,

What’s offending, You today?

 

Is it that WE’ve traded, for all our wants and security

or that we deserve NOT— Life, Happiness and Liberty?

 

Good Morning USA,

What’s offending, You today?

GoodMornUSA2

Categories: 4th of July, Declaration of Independence, Holidays, Liberty, Life, Poetry, Pursuit of Happiness, The Constitution, The Gathering Place, Uncategorized, WE the People | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

What to Do for your Guy

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Father’s Day is coming, June 21st, 2015. There’s plenty of time to shop, but I thought I would offer a suggestion. It’s about shaving.

Shaving1

If your guy is like me, shaving is not one of my favorite things to do, until now! Shaving was something I did look forward to as a treat, if it was done by a professional barber. Guys do like to be pampered, just like the ladies do. But shaving by the barber is not something all of them know how to do or do much anymore, but it is making a comeback. There’s nothing quite like the pampering I get and the feeling I get from the hot towel to soften your beard before the shaving begins with the result of my face becoming as smooth as a baby’s butt, until now!

Now, I can get the same results at home, doing it myself and anytime I need a shave or even just want one. Yes, I look forward to this experience now! This was not the case, not too very long ago.

The odds are great that perhaps a man’s father or his grandfather had a brush, a shaving mug, a circular shaped bar of shaving soap that fit into the bottom of the mug and a razor. These were the tools of shaving used for over a hundred years.

These tools too, are making a comeback as well. I have for a long time loved the idea of shaving like this, for many years. Partly it is because, these are what barbers of mine in the past have used and I suppose I wanted to get the same results myself, at home.

I’ve had several shaving sets over the years, but they all, always had something missing. I did not like the mugs (wrong color, too much advertising on them, they were the wrong shape, too big or I just dropped and broke them. The brushes seemed to fall apart a lot and quickly. But mostly, it was mostly, about the shaving soap. They were NOT very good!

My situation is, my skin is fair and my beard is pretty tough. Shaving irritates my skin and this is why shaving was NOT among my favorite things in life to do. I’ve tried all kinds of gels, shaving cream that comes out of the can warm and various shaving soaps and other creams, for shaving my mug. 🙂

Nothing has worked very well, for me, until now. I’ve tried various pre-shave oils, squeeze-tube shaving creams and after-shave skin bracers much like a barber would use. All of these have had drawbacks for me. Obviously, adding more oil to your skin might help in shaving at first, but contributes to a more overall oily skin, clogged pores and maybe, other skin problems down the road, from repeated use. If you or your guy is like me, I have to shave ever day as my beard grows fast. I don’t need more problems than just the irritation of shaving itself has, already given me over the years. Well, that was then and this is now. Now it is a joy, YES, a real JOY to shave! 🙂

If you or your man uses an electric shaver, then this post does not apply, unless you or he is wanting to switch? I’ve tried several electric razors over the years and have never found one that can shave my face as close as a razor and that did not also, irritate my skin. But if you or your guy uses a razor, the disposable is by far, the most used. Multiple blades are popular. I’ve seen twin blades, three and even four blades. I currently use three. These are NOT cheap price wise and quite frankly, I don’t think they are as good as they used to be. For one thing, creams and soaps especially those which use oils to soften the beard, have a tendency of clogging up the blades and wearing them out more quickly. This might be good for the maker’s pocketbooks, but not mine. Besides, if shaving was not (previously) unpleasant enough, trying to rinse out your blade while your shaving was another pain in the tuchus (tuchis, tuckus, butt) and it added more time to shaving. Single razors that use the single ‘safety blades’ are making a big comeback too. But find a razor that works best for you and preferably one that can universally accept different brands of blades. Mine does and it has its own stand.

The next thing is a brush to make lather. It should be the best quality natural badger bristle brush that you can find. Quality makes a difference because, you don’t want the experience of losing bristles on the face you are trying to scrape (my previous harsh word for the whole uncomfortable shaving thing). every time you shave. Don’t skimp, buy the best!

You need a shaving mug or something you can hold in your hand while the brush is working up the lather. Often you can purchase complete shaving sets. But I already had a brush, razor and stand. I was trying to use just a regular retired coffee mug that matched our bathroom, but I could not find a soap that would fit into the bottom. I have been looking for a round shaving soap and had hoped it would fit into my coffee cup. Then, I found a soap, brought it home and tried to put it into my cup, but sadly it would not fit. I went back to the store and was considering buying the set which included the shaving mug, but I did not like the color (black) for our bathroom, nor did I want to pay about $25 just for the mug/soap/stand and brush, when all I needed was the mug. So I looked around to see what else I could use.

I found a simple round white fruit bowl at Walmart. Being white, it matched the rest of my tools and fit perfectly with our decor.

OK, now for the soap. All of this post, yes all of it is more about the soap than anything else. I read the ingredients on the box and decided to give it a try. It is made by Van der Hagen. Van der Hagen shave soap is hypoallergenic. The shave soaps are produced one small batch at a time using a unique kettle process. Each shave soap contains over 10% Glycerin as well as emollient Shea, Mango & Cocoa Butters to help soften the beard and improve razor glide for a close, comfortable shave that leaves skin feeling soft and smooth with a soft fresh citrus fragrance. It can also be purchased unscented. And they make a product for the Ladies too!

About $3-5 depending on where you buy it

About $3-5 depending on where you buy it

creamy white

creamy white – a little bit larger than actual size and about 1″ thick

For more information, other products and where to buy, see:

http://www.vdhent.com/

 

So how does my set look in our bathroom? In a word, perfect!

Tools for Dream Time :)

Tools for Dream Time 🙂

My wife Susan, found this stand, brush and razor normally at $40, on sale for $4. I use my normal blades. And my $1 fruit bowl from Walmart works great! It fits comfortably in the palm of my hand, so I can use the brush to work up the lather with the other hand. Did I mention it was only a dollar? 🙂 So, If I ever drop it, it is less expensive than a shaving mug and I wouldn’t be as emotionally upset if I broke it, out much money and it could easily be replaced. I’m sure you can find one to match your decorating scheme and in several different colors of your choice.

So how does it work? For me, like a dream! It is a joy to shave, every time! My face is smooth like a baby’s butt, has a pleasant scent and perhaps the best of all, my Susan thinks it’s touchable soft! 🙂

If you go to the Van der Hagen website, there is a YouTube video on how to shave. You can watch it there or here below. Most guys might think or say, “I don’t need to watch this, I’m a man, I know how to shave!” I watched it, BUT it was only after, I used the soap. I did had NOT used it as suggested. I like my way better and trust me, I believe in the long run, I will not spend as much money on replacement costs. Why, because, I won’t go through it as quickly.

Like I wrote above, I just did what I thought was right and then I discovered the video and watched it. Again, I did not follow their recommendations. I wanted to shave my face, not ice a cake! 🙂

What I do is, first take a hot shower. The pores of my skin on my face are already open and the conditions are optimal for prep to shave. If you do not shower before you shave, just take a damp hand towel and stick it in the microwave for say, 30-60 seconds until it is as hot as you like it. Then place this over your face. This is like what the barber does and it does feel fantastic. But like I said, I usually shower and then shave, so the hot towel for me, is not necessary.

Next, I turn on the hot water at our sink until it is a hot as can be. I put my brush into the hot water, for just a few seconds, turn off the water and wring out the brush from excess water. Then, I gently place the heated brush into the shaving soap and swirl it around for just a few seconds (not the recommended 40-50 seconds). Then, I lightly lather my face. How does it feel? Using just three letters, OMG! 🙂

The heat from the light lather and brush is fantastic! By light I mean light and not the recommended thick like butter or cream. Shaving was a breeze. My method over what is recommended saves time; saves soap, the blades were easy to rinse clean and did not clog. Yep, OMG, shaving is now a JOY for me!

And this shaving soap, I would have absolutely no problem using for bathing or just washing my face either. Soft skin without the excess oil. Lasts all day. Smells great.

Ladies and gentlemen, do yourselves this wonderful and pleasurable favor, for yourselves or your men. Either get a shaving set or try it again, but purchase some Van der Hagen shaving soap, scented or unscented! Guys, you’ll love your face and so will your ladies!

P.S. This post is NOT a paid endorsement from Van der Hagen. It’s just my experience, that I am FREELY sharing with you. Don’t forget, Father’s Day is June 21st, hint, hint! 🙂

Don’t worry about me, I’ve already got my shaving tools! Sure, if you come for a visit at The Gathering Place, I’ll let you use mine, but bring your own razor! 🙂

 

Categories: Allergies, Family & Friends, Father's Day, Gift Ideas, Holidays, Inspiration, Men, Shaving, Shopping, The Gathering Place, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

A Toast to Life

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By Dahni
© 2015, all rights reserved

 

A Toast to you on St. Patty’s Day:

May your every need, be ever met
And your heart, always full
And all the best that’s yet to come,
May it be your crowning jewel
May love and hope ever find you,
sharing these two, with all you meet
And this, ever circling
will never find complete!

The Gathering Place

Your Friends and family on the road of Life

Toast Life

 

 

Categories: Holidays, Inspiration, Irish, Irish Music, Life, Live Laugh Love, Love, Music, Poetry, Spring, St. Patrick's Day, The Gathering Place, Toast this Life, videos, Visual Poetry, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Auld Lang Syne

AulLangSyne1

 

Among the many traditions that come with ringing in the new year, the singing of “Auld Lange Syne” has become a custom of almost every gathering at midnight of New Year’s Eve. But what do these words mean?

“Auld Lange Syne” was originally a  poem written by Scotland’s favourite poet, Robert Burns in 1788. It was eventually set to the tune of a traditional folk song. The title of the Scottish tune translates to “times gone by” and is about remembering friends from the past and not letting them be forgotten.

Now, at the conclusion of almost every New Year’s celebration, partygoers join hands with the person next to them to form a great circle around the dance floor. At the beginning of the last verse, everyone crosses their arms across their breast, so that the right hand reaches out to the neighbor on the left and vice versa.

I chose the Youtube video (presented below) with Susan Boyle because, I just love her soothing voice, her love for singing, the emotion she projects; I love her heart and simplicity and she was, born in, Blackburn, West Lothian, Scotland.

 

Susan Boyle, album ‘The Gift’ – Auld Lang Syne

 

Auld Lang Syne 

 

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And auld lang syne

Chorus:

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

And surely ye’ll be your pint stowp
And surely I’ll me mine
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

Chorus:

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

We twa hae run about the braes
An pou’d the gowans fine
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fitt
Sin’ auld lang syne

Chorus:

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

 

 

Auld Lang Syne

(modern English translation)

 

Should old acquaintances be forgotten,
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintances be forgotten,
And days of long ago!

Chorus:

For times gone by, my dear
For times gone by,
We will take a cup of kindness yet
For times gone by.

We two have run about the hillsides
And pulled the daisies fine,
But we have wandered many a weary foot
For times gone by.

Chorus:

For times gone by, my dear
For times gone by,
We will take a cup of kindness yet
For times gone by.

We two have paddled (waded) in the stream
From noon until dinner time,
But seas between us broad have roared
Since times gone by.

Chorus:

For times gone by, my dear
For times gone by,
We will take a cup of kindness yet
For times gone by.

And there is a hand, my trusty friend,
And give us a hand of yours,
And we will take a goodwill drink (of ale)
For times gone by!

Chorus:

For times gone by, my dear
For times gone by,
We will take a cup of kindness yet
For times gone by.

And surely you will pay for your pint,
And surely I will pay for mine!
And we will take a cup of kindness yet
For times gone by

Chorus:
For times gone by, my dear
For times gone by,
We will take a cup of kindness yet
For times gone by.

AuldLangSyne2

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!  🙂

Categories: Holidays, Inspiration, New Year's Day, New Year's Eve, Poetry, Robert Burns, Scotland, Susan Boyle, The Gathering Place, You Tube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Winter’s Tale

By Dahni

© 2014, all rights reserved

AWintersale

     A Winter’s Tale is an original poem set to music, by Dahni & I-Magine © 2014, all rights reserved. It is gifted FREE of charge and was produced for you and given to you, for your 2014 holiday. Merry Wintermas & Happy New Year! 

  Following the Youtube video, you may click on the PDF file below for a copy of the entire poem, if you so desire. We hope you enjoy this work and such as it is (sound quality and an out of tune piano), may it fill your heart with believing, hope and love!

Thank you,

MySig4WP

PDF_icon_WP_tiled

click above for the PDF file to download the poem

Categories: Family & Friends, God, Holidays, Home, Inspiration, Life, Love, Music, Poetry, The Gathering Place, Uncategorized, YouTube | Leave a comment

Latte Nogee

Press Play and enjoy the snow and the music while you read below! 🙂

Sorry, if you are viewing this on a smartphone as an Apple iPhone. They do not support the snow or the music, but here is the link to the music – Bing Crosby sining “White Christmas” – https://soundcloud.com/dahni-4/sets/holidays-1

by Dahni

© 2014, all rights reserved

Tis’ the season and eggnog a reason. How about starting your day with some Latte Nogee (eggnog + espresso coffee)! It is pronounced [nah+gee]

What you will need:

1. Good quality espresso beans and a grinder

LatteNogee3

LatteNogee2You may use ground espresso if you prefer, but I like them as fresh as is possible. Some people believe beans should never be frozen as it changes the flavor as the beans go back and forth from the freezer. It’s about moisture. But I take out from the freezer, exactly what I need from the bag and return the rest to the freezer. I have never had a problem. The espresso beans I used just this morning have been in the freezer for 2 years and NO PROBLEMO! 🙂

2. Some way to brew your espresso coffee. We rarely use our machine, but it is great to have around for special occasions and holidays. Our was a gift several years ago and it still works perfectly. Ours is a Melitta brand. The simple two-four cup espresso machines are not all that expensive (around $100) and well worth itI

3. The best eggnog you can find or make

4. The best nutmeg you can find. Grind your own from a fresh nutmeg. You’ll be glad you did.

LatteNogee4

5. Milk to foam or froth

6. (2) big tall holiday mugs

Let’s DO IT!

1. Measure enough espresso coffee (finely ground) to make (2) 3 ounces of coffee. see. the picute of the machine above. It shows the pot having about 3 ounces of coffee that has been brewed. For single serve, this is all you need. But to share with another (and this is all the fun), double the bre pot.

2. Heat enough of your cold eggnog on the stove to fill each mug to about two- 2 1/2 inches from the top of each mug.

3. Brew your coffee and pour half into each mug

4. Pour about 1/2 cub of milk (or skim milk) into a stainless steel frothing pot and foam the milk from the leftover water/steam from your espresso machine.

4. Pour half of the heated eggnog into each mug.

5. Pour half of the frothy (foamed) milk into each mug.

6. Garnish with as much fresh ground nutmeg as you like or as an option –

7. Put a dollop of whipped cream on top of each cup then garnish with fresh nutmeg. Then –

“Look out tastebuds, teeth and gums
Latte Nogee, here it comes!”  🙂

LatteNogee1

Categories: Family & Friends, Food, Holidays, Music, soundcloud | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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