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Opus Unique

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in silenzio – In Silence

Opus Unique

“The Music of You”

By Dahni
© 2017, all rights reserved

Tuning heartstrings
Summon it all up and project

Dramatic effect
Walk on a darkened life stage
Unannounced and unknown
You are a stand
You are a microphone in hand
A single focused spotlight is upon you
Silent crescendo
Silent expectation rises
Will you sing A cappella
Will you voice something written
Will you sing impromptu
The eyes and ears of hearts trill
Waiting loudly in the seats of silence

Music attracts

Variety attracting
Compelling
Adagio Allegro
Cadenza Canon
Resonance Dissonance
Dynamics Harmonics
Tremolo Vibrato

Capriccio Concerto
Cavatina Grandioso
Interlude Intermezzo
Fifths Finale

Pages of blank staffs
No trebles or bass clefs
No signatures
No keys
No Majors
No Minors
No sharps
No flats
Only you can write and play the notes

Between the notes silence

Music is what is not heard

Reprise Refrain
Encore

Take thy bow virtuoso maestro

But first-
The world awaiting, is silently seated

This music is to be composed

Music like angelic voices

To be perfectly played
Sung as if with angelic voice
Unique as if from heaven
Pure as if from the lips of God
Are not in the notes
But in the rests

A beautiful silence

Music is undulating silence

Music is everywhere

Every eye and every ear
Every heart and every soul
In anticipation
A beautiful silence
Awaiting the Opus Unique of…

You

It is your time
It is your moment
This the music of you 

Musik ist geliebte Muttermilch — German – Music is Beloved Mother’s Milk

From the collection: ‘Staffs of Life’ By the same author

Categories: Art, Inspiration, Life, Live Laugh Love, Love, Music, Poetry, Simplicity, The Gathering Place, Things that really matter, Uncategorized, Visual Poetry | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

On Being

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By Dahni
© 2017, all rights reserved

onbeingOn being? On being what? On being a Christian.

This is not, as Shakespeare wrote, “To be or not to be…” I don’t believe that is either “the question,” or the only question. And neither is the point in time in anyone’s life that like their first birth, none has really much to do with their second birth either or as the Bible refers to it as, “being born again!”

The difference between these is, we had no choice in the first and merely a simple yes or an acceptance of the second. The work of the first was on our parents. The work of the second is, on God the Father by what he accomplished through his only begotten son, Jesus Christ. I did not deserve my first birth nor my second, but God, not me or my works, but His, made me worthy.

So, with that all being written and simply understood by anyone, what is it, ‘On Being,’ on being a Christian?

‘On Being’ a Christian Is the simplest thing, but it is not ever or rarely never easy. It is simple because, even a fool (like I once was) or a child (or child-like, like I still am) can understand. That is the beauty and simplicity in presentation, of the Word of God, rightly divided.

see: II Timothy 2:15

“And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.”

Isaiah 35:8 King James Version (KJV)

There have been and are, many, many people who were not or are not Christians, do not believe or in some cases, do not know or believe they are. And there are those that are not yet. If you have a child or some other member of your family or a dear friend, do you not want the best for them? Is it an easy thing for you to bear if, all is not right with them? It is the way I often feel and it is not easy. As a matter of fact, it hurts me with a hurt as any other hurt, if not real pain. I can put a band-aid and some ointment on my wounds, but I cannot always be there to do that, for others and that’s not easy. It hurts, it hurts like hell!

It’s not easy, when you have something which will take away the pain and replace it with joy, but it cannot or will not, be accepted.

Have you ever seen something so profound; so wonderful and yet, you have no knowledge, no words; no experience whatsoever to explain, what it truly is? How can you share something with anyone else, if you do not know what it is? How can you articulate something in words, if you do not understand it yourself? Let me give you an example.

Of all my favorite stories, passages and verses of scripture in the Bible, the story about two men on the road to Emmaus, when Jesus Christ draws near and walks with them is, one that to this day, stirs deeply within me. Let me set this up.

Jesus Christ had been crucified. Many in Jerusalem were fearful, depressed and confused. Even his own disciples (then apostles), were in hiding behind closed doors, afraid that they might be found, arrested and perhaps, subjected to same punishment? Two men were out walking on a road, from Jerusalem to Emmaus, which was, about seven to eight miles away. This would have been what we think of Sunday or what the Bible refers to as, “the first day of the week.”

“And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”

Luke 24:13-32 King James Version (KJV)

On the Road to Emmaus, by Peter Mathios

On the Road to Emmaus, by Peter Mathios

“…Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”

I have repeated part of the verse above and highlighted it, enlarged it; emboldened it to emphasize it. This is how I heard it and read it, when I first was taught it. It seemed to leap off the page to my eyes. I tried to put myself into the shoes (sandals) of these two men. I tried to imagine what they saw and heard and felt. What must it have been like for this stranger to teach them, just two simple men (neither of them one of the original 12 disciples nor apostles)? What must it have been like, for all the Old Testament scriptures about their promised savior, messiah and king to have been taught to them?? My strong suit is my imagination, but I could not imagine, any of this!!

When I heard these verses taught to me, for the first time and when I saw these words, for the first time and they seemed to jump off the page, I know exactly when it was and where I was. In fact, I was what some think of as, within ‘spitting distance,’ of the man who taught me, along with hundreds of others in the same log chalet room in the Sierra Mountains, in California. All I knew is that I had just been taught, I had just heard; I was just shown something so profound and so incredible, but it seemed far beyond my limited ability, to comprehend it or understand it! To me, it was as if, everyone in that room and everyone else on earth, knew these things, but me, and I was the last person on earth to have heard them!

Now, many, many years later, I still cannot fully appreciate what it must have been like to have been one of those men on the road to Emmaus, but I DO understand my heart burning, when scriptures are opened to me!

Many people and even some Christians want to see signs, miracles and wonders, before they are going to believe squat about the Bible. If they don’t, they won’t. And there always seems to be some un-reasonable explanation to justify why, they don’t. Things like— he, she, they and I, am not a Christian or not spiritual enough. Another is, these were, for a different time; they were special and not needed today because, we have the Bible now. Well, this is NOT what the Bible says or how it is, supposed to work.

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

Romans 10:13-15

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”

Hebrews 2:3-4

This is still, the only way to do it! First, the rightly divided word must be taught, to those willing to receive it. The importance of it being rightly divided is that it is only the truth that “makes” one free, not just sets them free. See. the gospel of John, chapter 8, verses 31 and 32. And while seeing there, notice that that there nor anywhere in the Bible does it say, the truth will set you free. It says “make” you free. What’s the difference? You could be set free from prison. The door to your cell unlocked, you could walk out. But you could also stay there as in what some call being, “institutionalized.” It’s like all you know, having been in prison for say, a long time. You are not prepared to go out and live free. But to be made free, God would open the doors to that prison and take you out, having prepared you to live free. This is what the Word does. It opens the heart, your heart; my heart burns, we understand, we get it, just like the two on the road to Emmaus. Only the truth can do that! Only believing the truth can and will produce, the signs, miracles and wonders. And it all begins, by being taught, what the Word says!

My first exposure to the story of the two on the road to Emmaus was by a teacher, my teacher that many called, ‘The Teacher.’ He was a master teacher. How can I say that? Because when he taught me God’s Word, God caused my heart to burn within me, as he opened the scriptures to me. Whether I understood it or not is, not important. The spirit of God in me understood and leapt within me. It took my fleshy mind, quite some time to grasp. But it was still a miracle because, it was instantaneous and it followed the teaching of the Word, rightly divided, true and truthful, and it made me free!

One of my favorite quotes about teaching is, a line from a poem by, Henry Van Dyke.

Teachers—

“Who teach because they love the teacher’s task,
And find their richest prize
In eyes that open and in minds that ask;”

from the IV stanza, ‘Spirit Of The Everlasting Boy,’
(Ode for the hundredth anniversary of Lawrenceville School)
June 11, 1910, By Henry Van Dyke

There is a synergy and like a symbiotic relationship between teacher and student. Public speaking should never be pushed by fear to speak. That’s not fear you’re feeling, ‘thay be butterflies’! 🙂

The student has come, expecting to receive. The teacher is, expected to give. And in so doing, the teacher too, gets their eyes opened and their minds ask, as well. If you desire your own, ‘come to Jesus Christ moment’, study the Word – II Timothy 2:15; II Timothy 3:16,17! If you desire your own, ‘come to Jesus Christ moment’, be a student of someone, anyone that teaches God’s Word, rightly divided! If you desire your own, ‘come to Jesus Christ moment’, teach God’s Word, rightly divided! If you desire daily, signs, miracles and wonders, learn the rightly divided Word of God and teach the rightly divided word of God, every day! Want to have your heart burn within you, feel those butterflies, experience the spirit of God move in you, make your eyes seem to glow to others? Learn, Do and Teach the Word of God, rightly divided. Another often spoken and always remembered by myself, is another something, The Teacher often said while pounding his fist on a podium, a desk or etc., “It’s the Word, It’s the Word and nothing, but the Word!!”

It is not how I feel, how I think, how I, you or anyone else wants to interpret it, but—

“What does the Word say? God says what he means and He means what He says and God has a purpose for everything He says, When He says it, Where he says it, How He says it, and to Whom He says it!”

Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille, December 31, 1916 – May 20, 1985

If God said it, that settles it! It doesn’t even matter if I believe it or if anyone else does, it’s still the Truth and it’s only the Truth that can make anyone free!

Christians or not, we are people; we are human and subject to human frailty, error and corruption. Remember not men and women who impressed you, but who have blessed you or bless you still. My teacher failed and he has died. I remember him not for his faults and failures, but for what he taught rightly divided; how he stood for God Word. That is a memory worth keeping and worth sharing; not hiding it away for some wrong he did or some error, some bitterness, some shame. But stay thankful, remain playful and bitterness and shame, will not overtake and break you.

Often during or at the conclusion of his teachings, which I have sat through over the years, ‘The Teacher’ would pause, take a sip of coffee, smile and just simply say, “Lot’s of things kids.”

The Teacher— “Lot’s of things kids.” –VPW-

The Teacher— “Lot’s of things kids.” –VPW-

Everyone that were in his presence, no matter what their age (some even much older than he), felt like they were his kids. He made us feel this way. He once called my brother son (as he did all of his kids) and my brother thought of him as more a father, than our own. Then he would just talk with us and share things on his heart and mind about life and living. Often he would say, “You know, sometimes you get so high with God, you just want to ask Him to cool it.” I’d scratch my head and think, now why would I ever want to do that? Maybe it was like Moses’s hair turning white, after being in God’s presence up on Mt. Sinai, when he first received the 10 Commandments? Nah, that can’t be it, I’ve had white in my hair, since I was a young child. 🙂

Could be that you get so excited you can’t sleep, even though you need to? Now that I can relate to, but purposefully and willingly, cut off the flow of God to me? Not something I am inclined to do. Here I am Lord, let er’ rip! 🙂 And then, in my simple commonsensical wittle’ mind I figure:

A. God knows what He is doing and I know what it feels like to give someone something and they don’t want or won’t take it!
B. Since patience, paying attention and listening to God are not strong suits with me, I better take all I can get when the getting is good or maybe God will just move along to someone, anyone who WILL listen to Him!

Sometimes, tears would well up in The Teacher’s eyes and then, he would say the most peculiar thing, “I wish I was the man I know to be.”

O.M.G.! What was he talking about? How could he say such a thing? What kind of confession was that to make?

I grew up in the church. I went to Sunday school. I guess I was a Christian, for as long as I can remember? Most people then, would not believe me as I seemed to be, just as so-called normal, as everyone else. In one sense, how could I believe in this or much of anything, when I had been lied to about many things, by many people (including family and trusted confidants) and had been disappointed, deceived, disrespected, and disadvantaged (taken advantage of) by often, the most sincere people? But, but, but…

…what about the young man we took into our home that nearly tore our family apart? What about a young darker skinned man I picked up hitchhiking that only had the clothes on his back, a soccer ball and had been surviving on nothing but rain water and wild green onions? Yes, what about taking him home, feeding him? By the way, you know someone has not eaten in a while, if they have difficulty eating and eat very slowly. But, but, but, we gave him clothing, we fed him, allowed him to bathe, set up a tent for him and a sleeping bag in our back yard. (the outside temp was warm, not hot). We gave him work to do around our home so he would not feel like a charity case and well, that whole giving and receiving thing. We drove him around to find a job. He got a job. Little by little, we trusted him more and moved him into our home. Then, he robbed everyone in the house, but me. I guess I did not have anything of value to him? I felt bad that my friends were robbed, but not me and because, I was the one that brought him home. I was livid and mostly angry at myself, for I’m the one that picked him up and brought him home. Then, after, I went looking for him. Thank God I never saw him again because, if I had, I’m not sure what I would have done to him. One person said, if they would have found him and if they had a gun, they would have killed him. For quite some time, whenever I saw a person of darker skin, especially male, I would get angry all over again. Then, I came to understand, if I cannot forgive anyone, for anything, I did not understand what God forgave and forgives me of! I do now!! Holding onto un-forgiveness is toxic! Forgiveness is not an option, it is a commandment of the Lord! And forgiveness is one of the many things that are true, that makes one whole and makes them free!

How would you have liked to have been a man named Saul that actually cast his vote as a member of the ruling body of Israel (the Sanhedrin), that had voted to condemn and crucify Jesus Christ? This same man under his authority put many of those heretical Christians into prison, The same man, later was called the apostle Paul and under his ministry, the whole of Asia Minor heard the Word of God in about 2 years and 3 months! Do you think he forgave himself and could forgive anyone? How about another man I met, his name like mine, Donnie. He was probably responsible for distributing illegal drugs in Kansas, Colorado, Missouri and likely, the entire midwest, in the 1960’s. Through him, his distribution network, I probably bought, used and sold a lot of his stuff, myself. This same man, became the greatest evangelist I have ever known. He even taught a class called, Witnessing & Undershepherding (under the Shepherd, Jesus Christ). Do you believe he forgave himself or had problems forgiving others?

Many people today, may not think I could possibly believe such as I still do and I suppose, there are just as many that cannot believe I’m a Christian because, I guess, they just don’t think I act, like whatever one is supposed to act like? In my twenties, I spent a lot of time on my own, reading the Bible and studying it, trying desperately to understand it. Oh, I memorized a lot and could quote this and that, but understand it? NO. So, I decided a long time ago, I believed in God, but I sure didn’t believe God much, if at all. I had little if any results, no signs, miracles or wonders. Is there any wonder why? Well, if you are wondering, it is because, I was never taught. I had ideas, thoughts, opinions and theories about God and the Bible. But I believed little if anything and could certainly not, put it together. Can you show others why you believe what you believe? And remember, a witness is just a witness, not a prosecuting attorney, jury or judge. We are neither defense attorneys either. Truth needs no defense and cannot be defended, nor can error be. We are called to be, witnesses!

Then, a woman picked me up, while I was hitchhiking home. That never happened to me before! And it was twice in the same week and in two different cars, same lady. By the second time, I guess I thought we were friends, since I had seen her briefly just once before? 🙂 I started telling her about my allergies. It was at that moment, time seemed to stand still. She looked at me and almost demanding an answer and said, “Are you a Christian?” My standard church-taught response was, I guess so, I hope so, if it’s God’s will? After all, you had to be humble and God might have thought I was being cocky or prideful, if I answered in the affirmative. She stared at me and her radiant smile became a focused, serious and angry face, “Well don’t you know that by his stripes we were healed!!!!” Well, I guess not. In fact, I felt like I was the only one left on earth that didn’t know! And on top of that, I had no clue what she was talking about! But I certainly had never heard anyone, say anything, about the Bible with such conviction. It was one of those moments where I just knew, I was a part of something extraordinary, but I had no idea what it was.

Shortly after this, I met ‘The Teacher.’ Here was another person that had the energy of their conviction, love for God, love for His Word, love for God’s people and anyone that he came in contact with. He knew the Bible, he understood it and he taught so simply that even a fool and a child-like, like me, could understand it. There was just something about being in his presence! There was life in his eyes and it affected me greatly. So, when he said, “I wish I was the man I know to be,” I had a real problem with that! I thought, surely, if anyone on earth could understand those two and could empathize with what they felt, on the road to Emmaus, it would have been him! I mean, it’s like the little poem I came to really like—

“God has no hands but our hands with which to give them bread,
He has no feet but our feet with which to walk among the almost dead,
We say the we are his and that HE is ours,
Deeds (ACTION) are the proof of this, not words
and these are the proving hours.”

-anonymous-

As the Word says, first, someone has to be sent, then teach and then the signs, miracles and wonders, follow. Jesus Christ is not here. If we want to see him, then we have to be like him. This is the reason they were first called Christians and by those which were not Christians, I might add. It’s Christ in us the hope of glory! Imagine standing in front of a mirror. What you see is your own reflection. But as our minds are renewed to The Word of God, it allows the spirit of God within us to project and then reflect, Jesus Christ to our own eyes and to the eyes of the world that see us. Why? Because as he is, so are we in this world!

Now I, as an ignorant and unlearned man, may not be a Biblical scholar, the greatest believer to have ever walked the earth or the greatest witness, but ‘On Being’ a Christian, there is a thing or two I do know. I know of whom I have believed. And I know that study of the rightly divided Word of God will transform me or anyone to be like him. ‘On Being’ a Christian is neither a spiritual plateau to reach in this life nor an elusive dream to never obtain because of, the limitations of my flesh. It is a forward-looking journey, always reaching, always looking, always asking, always studying, always doing my best and always expecting, God to do the rest.

“On Being, in this life, it is neither a final destination, nor its often detours, it’s the journey!”

-me-

I would just like to believe that if He sends an email, sends me a text message, sends a tweet, posts something to me on Facebook or sends something by the messenger app, calls me on the phone or knocks on my door, I’m smart enough to have my smart phone with me or that I answer the freaking door!!!! 🙂

As far as I am concerned, music has two purposes in a worship service. It is to bless not impress, by opening the heart to receive the Word of God. Its second is, to sustain and stir that Word in a heart, after it has been opened by the Word of God. Sometimes, after he taught and the room grew quiet and still, with his eyes moistening, the Teacher would call out, “Where’s my Debra?” One of ‘The Teacher’s’ favorite songs and mine is, ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus’. It is an old song, written in 1918. This song has been performed by many including: Elvis Presley, Alan Jackson and Amy Grant, among many others in the past and currently. I looked for and listened to these on YouTube and other video sites. None are equal to how I first heard it from “Debra.” She sang it A cappella. A cappella is Italian for, “in the manner of the chapel”. It is music that is specifically sung by a group or a soloist, without instrumental accompaniment. I can still see and hear in my mind, the beautiful young woman and her soulful voice. Her name was, Debra Sleeper. I looked for information, audio and/or video of her singing this song to have shared it with you, but to no avail.  So, I will  share the lyrics to this beautiful song and information about the author.

Debra Sleeper

Debra Sleeper

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

Oh soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness to see
There’s a light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free

His words shall not fail you, He promised
Believe Him and all will be well
Then go to a world that is dying
His perfect salvation to tell

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

Oh soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness to see
There’s a light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

Author and Composer, Helen H. Lemmel, 1864-1961
Published by Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
Lyrics Provided By LyricFind Inc.

Let him project from within and reflect out

Let him project from within and reflect out

‘On Being’, on being Christian is, to continually and continuously, turn our eyes upon, Jesus Christ.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2

“The author and composer of this hymn [‘Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus’], Helen H. Lemmel, relates that one day, in 1918, a missionary friend gave her a tract entitled, ‘Focused.’ The pamphlet contained these words: “So then, turn your eyes upon Him, look full into His face and you will find that the things of earth will acquire a strange new dimness.”

These words made a deep impression upon Helen Lemmel. She could not dismiss them from her mind. She recalls this experience, following the reading of that tract:

“Suddenly, as if commanded to stop and listen, I stood still, and singing in my soul and spirit was the chorus, with not one conscious moment of putting word to word to make rhyme, or note to note to make melody. The verses were written the same week, after the usual manner of composition, but none the less dictated by the Holy Spirit.”

Excerpts from: The Old Time Gospel
http://www.theoldtimegospel.org/dev/hymn3.html

 

“Helen Howarth Lemmel was born on November 14, 1864, in Wardle, England. She was the daughter of a Wesleyan Methodist pastor, and she came to this country with her family at the age of twelve. Helen lived briefly in Mississippi before settling in Wisconsin. Soon, she developed a reputation as a brilliant singer, even studying private voice in Germany for four years. She traveled widely throughout the Midwest during the early 1900’s, giving concerts in many churches. Later, Mrs. Lemmel taught voice at the Moody Bible Institute and then at the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. In 1961, Helen Lemmel settled in Seattle, Washington, where she remained active with Christian activities, as a member of the Ballard Baptist Church of that city, during the last days of her life.”

“In addition to being known as a brilliant singer and musician, Mrs. Lemmel was also widely recognized as a woman with remarkable literary ability. She wrote more than five hundred hymns and poems. Mrs. Lemmel also authored a very successful book for children entitled, ‘Story of the Bible’ and composed many children’s musical pieces. She remained active for God in her musical and literary pursuits, until her home-going at the age of ninety-seven.”

Excerpts from: The Old Time Gospel
http://www.theoldtimegospel.org/dev/hymn3.html

Author and Composer, Helen H. Lemmel, 1864-1961

‘On Being’, may this, The Gathering Place, here be (for all those which come here), be like a mini gathering together until we are gathered together with him—

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons [and daughters] of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons [and daughters] of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man [or woman] that hath this hope in him [or her] purifieth himself  [or herself], even as he is pure.”

I John 3:1-3 King James Version (KJV)

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Kingliness is Next to Kindness

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© by Dahni
2017, all rights reserved

 

Recently we had a long-awaited visit from a Dear friend. Janet has been here to where we are now, but not since we added the addition and remodeled The Gathering Place. She knows that she is welcome here anytime and we have been to see her and have wanted her to visit us for sometime. She works hard and even though it’s only about 7 hours away, it is a bit much to drive, visit and turn-around to go back home in say, a weekend. But Thank God for the 3-Day President’s Day Weekend, for she made it!

Excited and highly anticipating this long-awaited visit, one would think Chef me would have prepared the proverbial “fatted calf” and other culinary delights! Let’s see, what did I actually prepare to celebrate her visit? Oh yes, sandwich meats and cheeses from the deli, store-bought rolls, chips and guacamole dip, both from what the southerner’s call the Piggly Wiggley (yes it is a chain of grocery stores) or jokingly, the Hoggly Woggly. 🙂

Then, one relatively warm night, I took the grill out and grilled some Zweigel brand ‘Hots’ (white hot dogs made out of pork). For desert? I shared Susan’s leftover Valentine’s Day, ‘Death by Chocolate’ cake. I did put some gelato that Susan bought, on their plates. You betcha,’ nothing, but the best for our friends and guests at, The Gathering Place! 🙂

Janet even brought a steak roast (the same cut used for strip steaks) and made dinner for us??? Yes, Yes, she did!!!!

I did apologetic-ly, jokingly, but seriously — splain’ to Janet that the fare at The Gathering Place might be simple, and she may have had to work for her supper (that she provided) or at least, for her room, but the Love and Kindness at The Gathering Place is culinary-ly, an 8* (eight star) establishment! 🙂

When you think about it, after a brief show-off tour of your home, show your friends, family and guests their room, the bathroom and the things they need you provide for their stay, what is really, the most important thing? Isn’t just time spent together no matter what you do? Isn’t it to spend time together; share together the things which are true and that truly matter? And is it not to share, give-and-take kindness with one another? Yes, Yes, Yes, and Yes!!!

Treat everyone like Princesses & Princes; Queens & Kings with kindness, for “there’s nothing more kingly than kindness and nothing more royal than truth!” True that! 🙂

Nothing Better than Love & Kindness

Nothing Better than Love & Kindness

True Measure

By Dahni
© 2017, all rights reserved

It’s not the measure of your wealth, talent and skill,
hungered bellies and hearts that fill,
nor all that’s shiny and new,
but what is honest and what is true,
for far purer than even, a snow-white dove
is simple kindness and perfect love

Years ago, a dear friend of my beautiful young sister gave her a simple metal bracelet. Our sister is still beautiful and young, younger than both, my brother and I, pffft 🙂

Anyway, I loved the words on her bracelet, wrote them down and can still recall them today.

Our young and only sister. The bracelet is on her right arm.

Our young and only sister. The bracelet is on her right arm.

“There’s nothing so kingly as kindness,
And nothing so royal as truth.”

Excerpt from the poem ‘Nobility’
By Alice Cary, 1849

Categories: Family & Friends, Home, Inspiration, Kindness, Life, Love, Poetry, Pursuit of Happiness, The Gathering Place, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

A New Twist On An Old Favorite

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By Dahni
© 2016, all rights reserved

3men_web

3 in a boat

Welcome to fall. The leaves are turning and the air is getting crisp and colder. It’s time for some warm-up food! Many people just think of it as ‘comfort food.’ I’m talking about, Macaroni & Cheese or just, Mac N Cheese. Kids love it and so do many adults! To be honest, I am newly converted to this culinary delight. Yes, It was not my favorite, if you can believe that? Not even as a child? NOPE! But that was then (for almost 61 years) and this is now (now I’m 62). 🙂

Yes, for just about a year now, I have learned to first like, then LUV’ it! Of course, for me, it was only a matter of time before I came up with a recipe. That time has come and as a matter of fact, just last night. I saw something on a friend’s Facebook page and was inspired. When it comes to food and for as long as I can remember, I’ve always had the ability to look a picture or a recipe and instantly know how to make it mine. I can usually tell what is in food by taste and smell. I’m not trying to brag, just stating a fact. So, when I saw my friend’s post, I instantly knew what I was going to do. I drove to the store and picked up some cheeses and with everything else we had on hand, I went to work.

Now you may or may not know that I have been working on a cookbook:  ‘The Gathering Place  – “Holidays & Special Occasions Entertaining,” but I am and even though some day or one day are not actual days of the week, sometime it will get published. 🙂

Until such time, I thought I would share the following with you, a twist on Mac N’ Cheese. I added some surprises, but the biggest WONDER is, BACON! Like butter, almost everyone loves bacon and they make everything taste more-better! 🙂

So, I made this last night and it actually tastes better today. According to my wife, even cold. I asked a few people and checked online and this seems unique. Whether anyone is doing this or you have heard of it or not, enough of this drooling and salivating and stuff, LET’S GO!!!

BacMac N Cheesey
(Bacon, Macaroni and Cheese)

bacmacncheese_web

BacMac N’ Cheesy

INGREDIENTS

1 package (8 ounces) elbow macaroni
2 cups small cottage cheese
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Extra sharp cheddar cheese (enough to cover top)
8 ounces sour cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
8 slices of fried crisp chopped bacon
1 tablespoon coconut oil
¼ to ½ teaspoon of garlic
½ teaspoon of smoked paprika
½ teaspoon crushed rosemary
Smoked Paprika, to garnish (before baking)

Servings: 4-6

 

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Cook macaroni “al dente” according to package directions. Drain with cold water.
  2. Cut-up small pieces of bacon from 6 slices thick bacon, fry until crisp, drain and blot with paper towel.
  3. In a bowl, combine cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, sour cream, egg, bacon, garlic, paprika and rosemary. Fold in macaroni.
  4. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with coconut oil. Spoon mixture into casserole dish and sprinkle with extra cheddar cheese to cover top and sprinkle with smoked paprika.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes.
bacmacncheesey_web

BacMac N’ Cheesey with fresh grape tomatoes, raw baby carrots and a dish of applesauce

ENJOY! 🙂

gatherfall2016_web

From the hearth to the heart

Categories: Comfort Food, Fall, Food, Recipes, The Gathering Place, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment
 
 

Tequila is My Friend

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By Dahni
© 2016, all rights reserved

Tequila as a friend? Yes! A friend not only will say what you want to hear, but they will tell you what you NEED to hear.

Margaritas

Ahh Tequila, You are a Friend of Mine 🙂

Nothing quite says summer like margaritas, freestyle, flavored, frozen or on the rocks! Tequila is my friend because, a regular margarita requires it and is part of its unique taste.

You live your life with the love of your life and you find out things about her after many years that you never knew. Tequila is my friend because, I just found out that it is my wife’s favorite drink. She had been asking me to make these for a while and the other night I made us a couple and posted on my Facebook page that it was, “Margarita 30.”

“Margarita:30,” like “Beer:30, is just a hypothetical time of day uttered in response to the question of “what time is it.” when consumption of said beverage becomes an event that is either inevitable or required to proceed with life as we know it in modern society. 🙂

Well, anyway, as I was saying, it was indeed, “Margarita:30” the other night at, The Gathering Place. I made my wife and I a couple, just as usual. A regular Margarita is pretty simple to make. It has just three ingredients: Tequila (of course), some type of orange liquor as Triple Sec, Cointreau or Grand Marnier. I have used all three and Triple Sec is the least expensive followed by Cointreau and then Grand Marnier. The last two are French in origin and I do personally, prefer Grand Marnier. The kind of Tequila is a personal choice and range in complexity and cost. Whatever works for you, works. I started making these with the once most popular and nearly the only tequila (good tequila) that was available around 40 years ago, Jose Cuervo. Although not the oldest or the best by many standards, it remains the best-selling tequila in the world.

Now the purists, the old-time tequila drinkers licked some salt, bit into a lime and swallowed the tequila. A version of this was the “body shot” and required preferably three attractive women and one male. One female placed the salt at her cleavage. Another lady would have the lime in her mouth. And the last woman had the tequila in hers. If you were the guy that was the recipient of this libation, well?  🙂

Some had tequila drinking parties and contests, most likely inspired by the male-manly-silly-ego of, ‘who can drink the most?’ I was a bouncer or a stabilizer-stand-em-up guy of such a contest where the floors were completely lined with thick painter’s drop cloths. Hmmmmm? The contest had obvious ‘ringers’ of Mexican descent. No, that is not a slur, just a probability that if you were born and raised in Mexico, you just might be able to drink more tequila, than someone that is not. But, ‘The Flying Burritos Brothers Tequila Drinking Team,’ each consumed, a fifth and a half of tequila and were still on their feet. 🙂

Many were intrigued by and dared to get to and swallow the preserved worm, at the bottom of the bottle of some tequila? It was and may well still be, as if there is something magical, spiritual or that the supposed pure tequila in that worm’s guts, would make you special or something. 🙂

Too much tequila has been known to cause temporary (hopefully) nut-ness’ and there was even a song written that was quite popular. Many may still hear it played today or recall it, all too realistically. 🙂

Jose Cuervo, Shelly West, 1983, Vinyl 45 RPM

But getting back to ‘Margaritaville,’ after the proper mixing of the 3 required ingredients, for ‘The Regular,’ usually the rim of the glass is rubbed with lime and the glass is then turned upside down and pressed into a bed of coarse salt. The lime oil holds the salt onto the glass, for the ‘salted rim,’ which many find to be absolutely, a requirement for a real, true, authentic margarita. Prior to serving, the beverage is mixed with ice and pulverized in a blender or ice crusher, to make frozen margaritas. Otherwise, you would place ice cubes (as much as you like) or crushed ice in the glass, then pour the fresh margarita over the ice and Walla — instant summertime (beach not included). 🙂

I had not been able to drink even a 1/3 of my drink, when I suddenly had a horrible headache. I thought maybe it was that the Triple Sec was old so, I left my happy wife to drink hers and the rest of mine, while I tried to make another with Grand Marnier. Ooops, ran out of lime so, I had to use Rose’s lime juice and some of that lime juice concentrate from you know, that lime-looking, plastic squeeze bottle. It did not taste the same as a regular margarita without the fresh lime juice and after a swallow, my headache continued to get worse. Pffft. It is one of my favorite drinks too. But my poor happy honey was soon wasted away, in Margaritaville. 🙂

Margaritaville

Just so it is perfectly clear, we only drink moderately and modestly. We don’t NOT wear clothes, don’t shoot out lights, dance on bar tops, start fights or wake up with partners we have no idea who they are and we’re NOT wearing their shirts. To be clear, clear, we just wake up with each other, NO other bodies next to us, known or unknown! 🙂

Back to tequila.

I remembered that this tequila was newly tried last year and last year, it did the same thing to me. Last year it gave me a horrible headache too. Hmmm, I wondered, perhaps I can just no longer tolerate tequila? OH HOW SAD THAT WOULD BE! 😦

But then again, maybe it’s this PARTICULAR brand of tequila? HOPING SO!

The next day, I went to the liquor store to buy another bottle of tequila, the same brand we had used, for several years previously. But before I made my purchase, I just happened to ask the owner if he had ever heard of anyone else having a reaction to tequila or from the brand I had last purchased from him a year ago that he had personally recommended? “No,” was his quick answer, but it was followed with a “But.” But before I get to that, let’s go back in time.

My first introduction to wine was red wine and it was from France, a Beaujolais. I am told, this is still an excellent ‘first wine’ to introduce people to red wine, due to it’s low tannins and its light body. I loved it and went on to drink many different red wines, which I prefer over white. But something happened to me years ago. Red wines I loved, did not seem to like me anymore. I never even spent much time on WHY, I just tried to find some white wines that we would each other get along with.  🙂

Oh, I could still drink my red, but only a glass if with food for dinner, just NOT sadly, for ‘Happy Hour.’ When I moved to NY, where we live now, near the Finger Lakes Region of Western NY, yes, there is much more to NY than just New York City, NY, I started to wonder again. I decided my lack of tolerating red wine was due to the added sulfites to the wines, for commercial sale. All wines have some sulfites by nature and reds have more, but there seems even more are added, when mass distribution exists? I was excited to test this out, on one of our wine tour trips to a winery in particular that was, small-batch and organic. To my chagrin, the wine was horrible, so I was not able to see if my theory could “hold water” or wine. 🙂

Around three years ago, we moved to the country. We can now almost roll down the hill to a winery, owned by folks that have become dear friends. They have a wine produced and bottled by them, which is not only wonderful and red, but the first red wine, I have been able to drink just for Happy Hour, in over 30 years I’m guessing! WOW, was I happy to be able to drink a red wine again! My only problem is, if they ever run out, which is the situation currently. I could be in trouble. They probably will not have this ready for several more months. I do still have a few left in our basement, so I am not concerned, at least not yet. But, for the most part, I have, for three years, just thought that their red does not have as many sulfites, so I am able to drink it. I think now, I may be wrong about this.

I have consumed scotch in some form for over 40 years. It is not an alcoholic beverage that seems to have a middle ground. People either like it or they don’t, both with perhaps equal passion for or against. I personally had to learn to like it. It started with a beverage that someone I greatly admired enjoyed, called, Drambuie. It is Scottish in its origin and is a sweet liquor with a Scotch base. The name means, “the drink that satisfies.” I liked it. From there, I started drinking, ‘Rusty Nails’ which was, Drambuie with some scotch added. Then I moved to Chivas Regal which is, a blended scotch and this was a particular drink of choice of mine, for many years. I wrote “particular” because, for me, I discovered that if I was going to be out all night drinking (in my youth), I could drink just scotch all night long and never get drunk/inebriated/intoxicated and NEVER have a hangover. My only side-effect if you will, seemed like my skin smelled like an oak barrel, for quite some time until, all the remnants were no longing coming out my pores. 🙂

It was only when I met my wife that she introduced me to single malt scotch. Yes, my wife is a scotch drinker and I have never met another woman in my life that likes scotch. So, this is pretty cool to me! My first single malt is, still her favorite, Glenlivet. Mine later became, Macallan. We keep both as well as, a pretty good assortment of scotches, at The Gathering Place. I used to drink scotch on the rocks. It was my wife’s brother Kevin that taught me the ways of drinking scotch more perfectly.  🙂

Most scotch is bottled and sold at around the four-year old mark. The longer the aging, the higher the demand and price, but less water is left. 8-year-old and older scotch is like drinking finely aged wine with its complex nose, bouquet, start, finish and its subtle tastes. Adding a drop or a few drops ONLY of water, completely transforms the experience and ice just totally waters this down and robs me of the experience. So, for several years now, this is the only way I would drink scotch.

Now if you think I’m a long way away from what the liquor store owner said to me about tequila, and even further from Margaritaville (margaritas) and tequila being my friend, hold on, I’m getting there, it’s all important!

For years, my wife and I would occasionally share a scotch together and the same scotch, her Glenlivet, UNTIL I discovered Macallan. We would still have our scotches together (she her’s and I mine), once in a while. After her bother Kevin, showed me how to properly drink it, I have learned to love drinking it this way. My wife still prefers hers on the rocks and I, with just a drop or a few drops of water. And this does NOT matter what time of the year it is either. Perhaps by this time, you may have discovered what I discovered is, a taste for more expensive single malt scotches. I have had 18-year-old which were from drinks purchased for me by a friend. But my cut-off is, 12-year-old. It’s expensive enough and I really don’t want to get use to anything that might be better and even more expensive. But I also discovered something else. Since I do not drink scotch, I SIP IT and slowly, to maximize the experience and to make it take as long as is possible, we could actually afford more expensive scotch, since we do not drink it like water or need to buy it as often.

Something else happened to me years ago. I learned to enjoy fine cigars. But something was missing— other people. Yes, I was a conversation only, social cigar smoker. I would really never smoke alone. In my mind, a good quality cigar was a social thing, for conversation. I even started having what I called, Cigar-tys. I would have people over and most of the time, I provided the cigars and the beverages. I loved these! And since they were not frequent, I could afford better cigars. It was a win-win for me. Then, I started associating sipping 12-year-old single malt scotch, with fine cigars and conversation. Then, religion interfered. It wasn’t disagreeable politics, but religion. Rather than just agree to disagree, one stormed off and did not speak with me again for a long time. Thankfully, it was not permanent, but this ended my beloved cigar-tys! I would still have a scotch now and then with my wife, but rarely smoked another cigar, for some time.

I knew my brother smoked cigars, but found out he too, not only liked scotch, but my favorite as well. Then he and I got together with our wives, for a week at a cabin in the Ozarks. As far as he and I were concerned, we could have just stayed on the screened-in porch, had conversation, listened to the creek that ran just underneath, watched nature, smoked cigars and drank scotch all week-long! But our ladies had other things in mind so, we did do other things.  🙂

But ever since that time, just a few years ago, I can no longer drink scotch without a cigar and someone to share good conversation with.

Thankfully, I made a new friend a few years ago, that stops by every-now-and-again and we share a scotch and a cigar and good conversation. But last year I noticed, I was not tolerating scotch too well when he was here. I didn’t think too much of it until a few weeks ago, when he was last here. I poured him a scotch, but not one for myself. I just did not want to take a chance. We shared a cigar and great conversation, but I noticed, I wasn’t handling the cigar too well. Then, I got a little angry about that and after he left and to soothe myself somewhat, I poured myself a scotch. Same as last year, I just didn’t feel right. What was going on was soon forgotten. I would not have to think about it again until my friend or someone came by that liked conversation, a good cigar and some great scotch.

So, now finally, we get back to the liquor store owner. This just happened yesterday or one day before I wrote this post. Remember, I went to buy some tequila, like we used to have on hand, before last year.

Tequila

Two different Tequila brands— amber and clear

The amber-colored tequila on the left in the picture above is the one I have reacted to, twice now. The silver or clear one on the right is the one we used to use, for several years previously and the one I purchased yesterday. Remember, before I made my purchase, I asked the owner if he ever heard of anyone reacting to one or both types of tequila? After he said, “No,” he went on to say, “…but what you are describing to me sounds like you might have celiac disease.” He informed me that the only reason he knew anything about this was because his wife was having some issues with cancer and was referred to a gastrointestinal specialist. After proper testing, his diagnosis was that she did indeed, have celiac disease.

I have never heard of this disease before. Now, before you or I freak out with that dreaded word “cancer,” let’s not jump to conclusions. Celiac disease can happen at a young age or at any age and can vary with symptoms per individual and/or be gradual over the years. There is a test, for this and rest assured, I will be bringing this up with my doctor at a regular scheduled visit, in the next couple of weeks. But most often the disease is usually associated with the body developing antigens, for things it believes do not belong in the body of the individual as, me perhaps? It is usually associated with not tolerating gluten from wheat, rye and barley.

To my knowledge, I don’t seem to have any issue with rye or barley. I often feel uncomfortable after eating granola and sandwiches etc from whole wheat or gluten rich foods. There is a nine grain bread we have been buying for some time, which I love and gives me no problems. Pizza does not. But too much of anything would bother anyone eventually, but I try not to do that. Ice cream does not (especially Ben & Jerry’s). Yes, some ice cream contains gluten.Pie crust does not bother me. So, over the years, I have become aware of these things and have limited or weaned myself from those things which do bother me.

OK, so what has this to do with wine, scotch, cigars and at least one brand of tequila? In a word, wood. To be more specific, oak. All of these things can be aged, cured or stored in oak and as cigars, in a humidor made with oak. So yes, celiac disease can be triggered by oak and even some plastics (not that I eat plastic). The skin can absorb plastic and it can be inhaled in sufficient amounts to irritate those with celiac disease. OK, do I have this? I don’t know and won’t, before I am tested and properly diagnosed by my physician, within the next couple of weeks. But do I have any possible proof?

The liquor store owner told me that both tequilas are fermented in stainless steel tanks. But the amber-colored one is then aged to produce what some believe is a smoother tequila with the characteristic amber color. Would you like to know how it gets that color and whatever else becomes a part of the finished product? Well, it’s OAK! OK, now what?

I bought the new silver tequila untouched by OAK. I made us another pitcher of margaritas with it and slowly tasted and waited. Nothing happened. I had no reaction at all. I drank two and still, nothing. Nothing but pure delight that I could drink one of my favorite drinks again! So, tequila is my friend!

A friend tells you what you want to hear. Yay, I can still drink tequila (un-oaked) and continue to enjoy margaritas.

A friend tells you what you may not like, but need to know. I may or may not have Celiac disease. But now, I know it’s a possibility and what to do about it – check with my Doctor and take the test for this and just avoid things that may cause me discomfort.

And you Dear reader, tequila may be your friend too? If you have similar experiences as I have, check with your doctor. But rest assured, if you’ve no issue with any of these things, we will keep the stuff you like, for whenever you stop by, The Gathering Place! 🙂

Categories: Beverages, Celiac Disease, Health, Inspiration, Tequila, The Gathering Place, Toast this Life, Uncategorized, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Make America Dream Again

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by Dahni
© 2015, all rights reserved

Yesterday Was National Moon Day and for me, it began with a status on my sister’s Facebook page and an incredible picture.

Max Guliani (@maximusupinNYc) | Twitter

Max Guliani (@maximusupinNYc) | Twitter

Even though I live in New York, I do not live in New York City and I have never seen the Statue of Liberty in person. But she is an icon and a symbol of so much that evokes so much emotion and captures in her meaning and visage, the United States of America. She is on my ‘bucket list’ to one day or night, to experience with my own two eyes.

I was aware that the full moon of this month is called the Buck Moon, the Hay Moon or the Thunder Moon, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. I had recently heard that if the conditions were right, I just might be able to see it as a red moon this month. I am not too good at taking decent pictures at night with my cell phone, so it was time to take out my big-boy camera and tripod, to see what I could capture. As the following pictures show, my views went from red, to golden and then white as it was when I took it, high in the sky at approximately 1:30 AM, eastern standard time. Though the quality of my pictures are not the greatest, I marveled at their beauty in my own two eyes and the change of color, in such a short period of time.

Moon1

Red Moon – about 11:00 PM Wednesday 7/20/16 eastern standard time

 

Moon2

Golden Moon – around midnight Thursday, 7/20/16 eastern standard time

Moon3

Golden Moon (closeup with clouds covering) – 12:15 AM 7/21/16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moon4

White Moon – (closeup) 1:30 AM, Thursday 7/21/16 eastern standard time

Earlier on the Wednesday 7/20/16, I was watching the news on TV, around noon. On July 3, 1995, astronaut Eileen Collins became the first woman to pilot a space shuttle and she was scheduled to speak in Cleveland, OH, Wednesday evening, 7/20/16. She became the first female shuttle pilot and commander to speak at a Republican National Convention. And why not, this is, after all, America!

I put two and two together (or three)— National Moon Day, Collins speaking at the convention and on 7/20,  47 years ago in 1969, the United States Landed the first people EVER, on the Moon.  I knew I wanted to hear Collins speak, but I caught very little of it, as I was trying to get set up to take pictures of the moon. I am glad it was re-broadcast and I caught it later. I saw a lot more than I was expecting!

Some people were a little upset that a certain former candidate did not endorse the republican nominee for president and there was some booing. Someone (someone against all of this) was quick to call them, “howling lunatics.” I wonder if they knew there was a full moon out and howling refers to wolves that supposedly howl when the moon is full? “Lunatics” has as its root, “luna,” which refers to the moon. I only mention this as we seem so divided now, perhaps even more so or at least equal to, the times of the so-called Civil (which I call the UN-civil) War? This division among us seems especially true politically, anyway. It seems WE has all but been replaced with ME?

me-myself-and-i and you-yourself-and-yours seem along way away from US, WE the People

 

The sun rules the day and reveals so much. It is too intense of a light to look upon with the naked eye, so we look down and at what lies before us. The moon rules the night. It is a light in the darkness. We are drawn to this, especially when it’s full, like a moth is drawn to the flame. We look up at the moon and wonder and dream. How long as a nation, as a people, have we had vision, for the future or dreamed? Not howling our discontent at the moon like lunatics, but dreamed?

We are now a people who are concerned or worry over or fear our future. The world seems on fire and even our neighborhoods, don’t feel safe anymore. Who has time to dream if you’re just trying to survive from pay check to pay check or just to get through the day? Now, people can seize upon these doubts, worries and fears and provide vision and leadership or keep us blind and divided.

Dividers separate, manipulate and keep us in the dark
Leaders give vision to guide us together to the light of liberty

-dahni-

John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States (1961-1963), the youngest man elected to the office. He provided US with vision, vision to safely land people on the moon and return home. This he envisioned being possible, within the decade of when he first proposed such a thing. OUR dedication to this vision produced so much more than what we received! New technologies, businesses, methods, jobs and inventions were just some of the by-products, of all things necessary to land on the moon and safely return home. As incredible as this was, a vision is NOT, for a final destination, but a continual and continuous journey! WE stopped dreaming as a people, at least about space travel and discovery, in 1999. WE need to Dream and Dream BIG again! This was beautifully and succinctly stated by Neil Armstrong. On July 20, 1969, from the moon’s surface he said,

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!”

Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11

When should WE ever stop stepping or leaping? NEVER! Each night of the Republican Convention of 2016, there was a planned theme. On July 20, 2016, this theme was:

‘Make America First Again’

We used to be first at so many things. This is what made US, a ‘superpower’ in the world! WE had vision!

“Where there is no vision, the people wander aimlessly.”

Proverbs 29:18 Sanskrit Telugu

With vision, we have direction and can see clearly; our actions and our results bring more results, even far greater than what could be imagined. How apropos that on this National Moon Day and a day in history when the world was graced with the benefits of our landing on the moon! As this began with the image of the Statue of Liberty, with the moon at her back, so it will shortly end here, but hopefully NOT in your memory and your resolve. That image is, the purpose of unity among US, WE the People. WE need to look up as in the night sky towards the moon that rules the night. What I am trying to say here is more, so much more than sentimental hogwash or an emotional appeal; some feel-good! WE need to DREAM again! Only where there is Liberty do WE have the freedom to dream and dream big and lead others out of darkness! Ladies and gentlemen, this IS, the American Dream! Let’s dream again together and dream—

BIG!

This is what allowed US to become the greatest superpower, the world have ever known! WE were first because, WE were unified! WE had vision because, WE had the Liberty to DREAM! Let US, WE the People, with the American Dream, rise up together with this vision! Let US lead ourselves and our children; our families and friends and the strangers among us and the entire world! That’s what it means to be First, to have Vision, to draw out from the darkness to the Light of Liberty! Let US DREAM again, DREAM first and DREAM big !

At the end of this day, in trying to hear the speech by our country’s first female astronaut commander, I saw the following video. Enjoy it and share it with everyone, whether you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent! Just look up at that moon in the night sky and DREAM because, Liberty allows US to be, WE the People and do great things, for ourselves, each other and the entire planet!

 

 

 

MyAussieHatwBkg_sm

 

 

 

 

This post can also be viewed on another of my blogs, ‘Our Lady Liberty’ (How’s She Doing?) from the following link:

http://wp.me/pyrh7-5G

 

Categories: DREAM, Family & Friends, Home, Inspiration, Moon, Republic, The Gathering Place, Things that really matter, Uncategorized, Vision, WE the People, You Tube | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Not Yet

NotYet

Photography by Dahni & TheFlyPhotography.com © 2016, all rights reserved

 

Though clouds cover the setting sun
The Farmer’s work is not yet done
As they both so soon, seem to disappear
Over yonder in the sunrise, there to reappear

 

From the collection: ‘Re-collection’
(the collection of poems by Dahni that never had another name for the collection)
© 2016, all rights reserved

Categories: Inspiration, Life, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Ode to My Missing Socks

By Dahni

MissingSocks_picture

“Darn it, hurry the heel up, I can’t stand to hear “sock it to me one more time!””

I’m sure they went in the wash, but were missing in the dry
I’ve searched high and low, it made me want to cry
Some say the Sock Monster ate them, but I’ve never seen a one
Or evidence of sockfuzz poop, No there’s never, ever— been none
The ones remaining were lonely, lamenting inside their drawer
Some got mad and I could hear them, yell and scream and roar
What happened to them, could they just never cope?
Was it just the hard water or did they not like the soap?
Oh why, oh why, did they all just suddenly disappear?
Was it an Alien snatch, through the atmosphere?
Was it the Sock Gnome— That took them home?
Or was it tutu attired and hairy,
The twink of the Sock Fairy?
I ran an ad that they’d be found and quickly returned to me

“HELP, Missing Socks, Footloose and Fancy Free”

Well, that didn’t work— I felt like such a jerk
So, I tried to help and made a sign and tried to get them dates

“Single, Clean and Lonely Socks, Looking for New Sole Mates”

Well, not either nor neither did that work, Oh forlorn am I, alas
And every time I walked by their drawer, they tried to kick my ass
I tried to find something useful, for the singles all to do
But they all just stared at me, as if I had no clue
No, they did not take too kindly and they’d all moan and gripe
If ever I wrapped them around, some stupid leaking pipe
I’d turn them into friendly sock puppets and then to my surprise
The next time I saw them, they were missing all their eyes
I’ve tried decorating them, so they’d feel more cool
And every time I did, they just called me a fool
So I’ve learned to sleep with all their complaining and their noise
Stuck in the drawer the single socks— both girls and boys

MissingSocks_profile2

Sock Puppet? Heel No! I’ve got feelings!!

MissingSocks_profile

Sock Bird of Paradise

But long l kept inside my heart, what truly was their missing fates?
Yes, what has befallen, all those missing mates?
Then I noticed, my bank account was overdrawn,
Little by little and for a long time, this went on!
For food and drinks and beachy stuff, the charges read
Oh my conundrum and Oh— the grumbling of anger shed!
Just when I thought they were dead and buried in the sockyard,
Out of the blue and in the mail— a postcard
But adding insult to injury, it was NOT addressed to me
Oh no, it was to all the single socks,

“Footloose and Fancy Free”

It went on to say, “No Worries Be Happy, Will Send for You Soon,”
And now, all my single socks, dance and sing a different tune.
Well, at least now I know— Where the missing socks all go
Some tropical paradise, with cool ocean breeze
Warm sunny rays where nothing will freeze
Lakes and lush and green is the highland
Basking socks on— Missing Sock Island!

MissingSocks_cover

Posted: NO NUDE FEET ALLOWED!

These are the major, missing sock myths: The Sock Gnome, The Sock Alien and The Sock Fairy

from the collection: Sing in the Key of Me
by the same author © 2016, all rights reserved

Categories: Family & Friends, Life, Live Laugh Love, Poetry, Uncategorized | 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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The Gathering Place –
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

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