How To Cook Christmas Dinner Without A Range!

Hi All!  You may know I've been without a stove/range for months. If not take a look at my search in the post Looking For A Stove What A Job!  I searched high and low for the perfect one and have come to the conclusion there is no such thing.  So not to sound like I'm complaining but I've been without one for almost 3 months now.  Let me tell you that can be challenging for anyone.  It pays to be adventurous and creative!  Today I share the things that have helped me make it through these months.  

Believe it or not, if you give yourself about twice as long to cook a meal it can be done.  Hey it's a win that it can be done at all. 

I love Prime Rib, don't you?

Simple Christmas Porch



 Hi All!  Can you believe another year is almost upon us?  Where does the time go?  Today I'm posting a few simple Christmas things. 

It is amazing how a few simple touches can be all that is needed.  We all know and this year has made it abundantly clear as to what is most important.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas.  I wish for all a Happy New Year!  It's going to happen you'll see. 

Merry Christmas

 


“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” -Isaiah 9:6 Listen to chapter



Did You See It?


Isn't the photo above wonderful! My thanks to Ed Piotrowski of WPDE for allowing me to use it and his explanation.



 

Ed says, " Here it is!  My photo of the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn through my telescope just after 6pm tonight.  In addition to the planets, 4 of Jupiter's moons were visible including Europa, Ganymede, to & Callisto.  Saturn's Titan moon was also visible.  I stacked many images for more clarity and color but also so you could see the moons and planets (different exposures used) in the same image.  Equipment included Nexstar Celestron 6SE with Nikon D750 attached."


I'm so glad he shared that with us!

Thanks, Ed 


Ed Piotrowski Chief Meteorologist WPDE - Myrtle Beach, SC WPDE.com  

Ed Piotrowski WPDE Facebook Page 


Thank goodness he had his telescope with a camera and took great pictures!  I wanted to share from the expert first. 

We depend on him and his most accurate weather information here!

My photos are not so great in fact they look a little ridiculous. I'll share them anyway.  I was so excited!  Well, you'll see!

Are You Ready?


Christmas is coming soon
Are you ready?
What's up with you?

Brussel Sprouts Cauliflower and Broccoli Casserole It Is Delicious!

What Southerner in their right mind doesn't like a casserole?  I'll tell you at any given time friends in the neighborhood, from church, from across town or across nearby towns can whip one up at a moment's notice. 

Today I found myself with a fridge full of fresh vegetables. Well still fresh but in a few days will have to be thrown out to the chickens if not used.  We had tons of them as many as we could hold on the vegetable tray this past weekend. 

What was I to do, what was I to do? Oh, I know make a casserole!  If this doesn't get them eating vegetables then I don't know what will.  This is a meal all by itself very filling and so delicious!

Raspberry Fruit Dip



Sharing a dip recipe for fruit.  It is great with sliced pears, apples, strawberries, blueberries, and many other fruits.

We all enjoyed this the other night with our fruit platter.  We had a vegetable platter with ranch dip it was good but didn't get hit as hard as the fruit platter.

The meat and cheese platter was very delicious as well. Homemade ham biscuits a huge variety of cheeses, crackers, an assortment of bread, etc. 


The Star of Bethlehem December 21, 2020 Saturn and Jupiter Will Align

"Where is He that has been born King of the Jews? 
For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship him."

Mark your calendars for December 21st. In just a little over 2 weeks an event is scheduled to happen! We may be privy to a miraculous sight. Saturn and Jupiter will align into a beautiful bright star. The last time this happened was March 4, 1226.
 
An article states that it will appear in the Western sky for about an hour after sunset. It will be the closest on the 21st, but you can look each evening of that week. Although it will be sinking towards the horizon it will be bright enough to be viewed in at twilight.

Jupiter and Saturn will look like a double planet for the first time since the middle ages. I find this so interesting for many reasons. 

One very important reason is that in Christianity the Star of Bethlehem has always been a very historic religious event. Imagine a star brighter than you've seen in your lifetime especially in that day and time leading the Magi to a king, the king Christ Jesus!

Image credit
The Wise Men Following The Star

Our world is a very magical place full of astounding things that happen all around us. We need to stop every now and then and pay attention to them. I have a tendency to take a lot for granted. This year especially is reason enough to enjoy all of the blessings seen and not seen.

Actually the two planets aligned in the solar system a few weeks ago, but on December 21st they'll appear aligned to us here on Earth. Both of the solar systems giant planets will be gone from the sky by Christmas, but before they do they will stage one dazzling finale on the 21st called The Great Conjunction 2020

Join me as I touch on the subject with a few Bible verses, beautiful images, and some links from other sources.

Look At The Chicks Now!


 

It's been a while since I've posted anything about the baby chicks now young hens.  We lost one sadly it was my pick of the litter, not that it mattered any loss is a loss. The white one with the most personality was taken by a snake I believe. 

On the bright side, three of the four have survived and are thriving. Now we are waiting on our first eggs from them and that may be when the weather warms.
Today I'm sharing some of the backyard animals. They do bring lots of joy to our family.

Advent What It Means

MPK photo / Getty Images

 Advent what is the meaning? The first season of the Christian church, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays. Observed in most Christian denominations as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity of Christ at Christmas and the return of Christ at the Second Coming.

Coleslaw


Coleslaw do you like it? Do you make it or bring home readymade? I have some family members that make really delicious coleslaw. However I rarely make it yet love it! I wonder why?

Today I'm sharing a  'Todd Wilbur Copy Cat Recipe' from  KFC and the Original Chick fil A Coleslaw Recipe: two of the most at one time readily available and well liked versions.

SMOKED HAM with PINEAPPLE BROWN SUGAR GLAZE



Some of you may remember this recipe I had it on the Dolly is Cooking Blog a few years back.
 
We really like ham around here but haven't had it much this year. I think we've missed it. Thanks to our local KJ'S Market we'll have it again soon.

I watched mama make her wonderful version of this for years. Oh my gosh her hams tasted like a dessert they were so delicious! 

So today I'm sharing my favorite baked ham recipe. I've described it in detail so this can be a beginner recipe as well.

I Had A Wonderful Birthday This Year!


I had the coolest party this year! 
Everything was planned even down to our wardrobes!
Yes, I'm very lucky to have such a creative family!
What fun we had and being together made it even more special!
Welcome find your name tag on the table
The theme this year is 'Under The Sea'

Thanksgiving Menu Must-Haves



Goodness, it's November and almost time for Thanksgiving!  Where did the time go? This has been one of the most unusual years I can ever remember!  It will soon be Turkey Time as a co-worker of mine used to call it. 

Some can't eat turkey or may not like it but chicken is a good substitution anytime! I've included a chicken and dressing casserole as well.

Today I'm going into the post archives and sharing the absolute must-haves in a Southern Thanksgiving Menu Main Course.

Soup For A Rainy Day

 


Is there nothing better than a hot bowl of soup on a rainy, cool, windy day?  We like it around here.  The great thing about making a pot of soup is that you can use many items that otherwise might not be used. It seems that the relatives always used what was on hand and the pots sometimes had to be changed out for even larger ones as the soup just grew and grew!  Enjoy some soup today...


Things That Go Bump In The Night

This photograph was taken in our yard after the last downpour


My kids have always loved this time of the year and so did their daddy. You see we were only one house off the road and not many came. Randy would prepare and get excited each year for those that actually would come up to the house. He had such enjoyment planning his main scary decoration every year.

We hoped to hear the doorbell and at times we did. For those too skittish to ring sometimes we left a basket of candy out on the porch.  It was rare to have little trick or treaters but we never or he never gave up.

One morning after Halloween we woke up to find scattered all across the yard a mask, a pumpkin bucket with candy, and a black piece of fabric. We wanted to know what happened and what was the mystery?

Shrimp and Cheese Grits!

We love them and I don't know why we don't have them more often. Maybe just maybe I should have called this Shrimp Bacon & Cheese Grits! I do so love bacon! 

I like the fact that you can add just about anything you like to your Shrimp & Grits and it's always delicious!

Looking For A Stove What A Job!


Have you searched for a new stove lately? Oh my gosh, I've been searching for about a week now and non stop I might add. It is not as simple as you may think this searching online. I personally am not out and about these days so online it is. 

Guess what? As you may imagine things are pretty much at a standstill or slow-moving due to this blame mess aka you know what I mean it starts with a C and it ain't a cookie (lol)! 



Now that's what I call range!
Hmmm sounds like a good idea to be out on the range!

Today The topic is searching for a stove or range whatever you call it.  What the heck I know I'm southern but did you grow up calling what you cook on a range?  Whatever you call it the search is real......

Fall Has Arrived!


It's here! You can feel it can't you? There is a nip in the air a cool crisp feeling!  The chickens are roosting earlier, the dog is bedding down earlier snuggling with the cat more and even the cat is out exploring earlier in the night in search of who knows what. While he is away the 'possum' will play and eat all of the food!

Speaking of food do you bake during warmer weather?  I do but my grandmothers didn't they would save most of their baking until cooler weather. Fall and Winter were the main baking times. It was probably because they didn't have central air conditioning and had to keep their homes cooler. I guess the cooler weather does make one want to bake for the warmth anyway. I felt like a chocolate cake the other day and it was good.

What are you up too in the cooler weather? Today I am sharing fall in photographs.

Tomato Pie


















Today I'm sharing my recipe for tomato pie that I like.  It really is delicious.  Who doesn't like tomatoes? Oh alright, my grandpa was allergic to them, they made him break out in a rash. I love them. So Chuck just walked through here and said he really isn't a fan of tomato pie. Who knew? More for me yeah!

My daddy called my husband of Italian-American heritage a mater masher translated means tomato masher. He was funny like that and in WWII that's the nicknames they gave the Italians. They also were given nicknames. Daddy was called piccolo meaning small to them. He was small in stature but in fighting strength he was a giant. A friend Mr. Wheeler said that name stuck with him throughout the rest of the war too.

Enough talk now for the recipe. It's pretty good too (even if I say so myself)!

Aprons, Aprons, Aprons


Listing aprons this week!

Aprons made with family heirloom patterns

These were made with Cora pattern I adjusted for a larger bib area

A little more coverage than the original pattern

Hope you enjoy the newest additions to our sewing room

Website:  dolly's designs

Pear Preserves



Some of my fondest memories are of eating some with one of my grandmama's homemade biscuits. I liked them a lot! Funny thing is in all these years I've rarely made them. 

This year I'm excited to have a bumper crop of Kieffer pears. They are a rather hard pear at first. Actually, they are ready for picking before they ever turn soft. You have to pick when ready and place in cold storage until ripened. This took a few weeks, sorry I didn't time it but some were ready in a couple of weeks sitting in front of an air conditioning vent. I'd move them around separating and removing some with overripe spots. 

This post is how I made the preserves and there are many ways to make but this is how I remember the grandmother's making theirs with one big exception. It seems they simmered theirs forever until canning This is simple just combine sugar with fruit put in the fridge overnight and make preserves the next day.

Lobster Apron Anyone?


A wider bib Cora Apron 
Adjusted from an antique family pattern
The original pattern used in the family for over one hundred years!
One size fits most
Original one-of-a-kind

You can read more about it at dolly's designs blog
or 
See and purchase if you desire at ETSY Shop
or
Visit Handmade Artists Shop dolly's designs





The Prepper's Medical Handbook by William W. Forgey, MD


A while back I received a book for review.  I'll admit I've had it on a table and picked it up reading several times.  The other day one of my grandsons read through it. I asked for his opinion as well. I call him 'Brainiac' for a reason.  The boy is constantly in thought. We had a good afternoon talking about this book.

I think it is a great handbook to have on hand like those medical guides or handbooks we've had in the home for years. 

Today's Product Review:

Junior Johnson Racers, There Were Two!

Dargan Watts and Jr Johnson of Florence

I especially enjoyed this racing story and the history it includes. We are grateful to Dargan for the photos, records, and stories he has shared with so many of we family and friends of racers. What treasures!

Many only know of one Junior Johnson but this is the story of two and I hope you'll find it as interesting as I did. Granted I'm prejudiced as one is my uncle, but the story is of two racers that have now gone on but led many others to the sport of racing.

I love that each had their own very distinct personality and did things in their own way. I know that my Uncle Jr Johnson did what he loved and that was racing. Did he do it for notoriety?  Heck no, he did not! He did his best and didn't give a rip about all of the 'hoopla' that comes with winning. He, shall I say, was a true southern gentleman and smiled through it all. Fans love winners especially good-natured winners and he was one of them win or lose. Notice I said fans, other drivers weren't so fond of him winning week after week. Hey, that's racing!

I'll say one more thing he was the smoothest driver I've ever seen in my life. He could win with ease and although traveling at a high speed did so most times looking like he was coasting on a Sunday afternoon. He was a great driver!

I remember Dale Earnhardt driving the uncles' cars when he started out and those were some good times. I can't say that he drove smooth, but will say he kept the suspense high on the nights he did drive some in his early career on our local tracks.

Uncle Jr and his brother (my other Uncle) Cecil were great drivers and race car builders as well as my brothers in later years. Chippy grew up at Uncle Junior's shop and as daddy once said, "That boy is good at what he does that's for sure". Big named racers wanted him and my other brother Steve to come work with them, but they like their uncles loved home and family. They still do some work around cars, but things have changed. Racing isn't what it used to be by any means. Sadly it like most sports has become a money-making venture that seems to have taken over the true racing of the past. My cousin Judy was very involved in the racing and all that was included. She could probably write a book!

I would be remiss if I didn't add one other member of the Johnson racing team his name is 'Cat'. Now that is a character who might as well have been a part of the family. The stories he could tell.

Friends of the family too numerous to name were also very important parts of our extended family. To this day these friends are still considered family.

We all miss the uncles, my dad and our cousin (Junior's son) Slick as he passed away from a wreck at Daytona. Now the other family members still build and race go-carts. Maybe one day I'll get Chuck to tell us something about that. He a cousin and other cousins that flat grew up in the shop and learned from the best! All have stories to tell.

Excuse me please as I got long-winded talking about the family. I love family! Now for the real story from a very accomplished writer and historian Mr. Dargan Watts.....

Alzheimer's Disease, Covid, Losing A Loved One.



A few days ago we laid a dear loved one to rest. We are all a little sadder and life will change because she is gone. The main thing that keeps us stable is our knowledge that she truly is in a far better place. God gives us this to live on and we will. Plus she was a person that lived life to the fullest and would expect no less from us!

Honey Ham Glaze for Baked Smoked Ham


Y'all know I like a baked ham always have. I've been ordering my groceries and picking them up. Finding a smoked ham is almost impossible. Harris Teeter had a Spiral Cut Smoked Ham to go on sale recently so I was thrilled to get one of those.

I wasn't thrilled to read the ingredients of the Honey Ham Glaze packet they included with the ham. High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar (who knows what kind I don't like the GMO beet sugars extra info), All kinds of preservatives, artificial flavors, etc. Nope, not for me.

I'm not trying to pick on this particular brand
There are many in the marketplace

I've always made a brown sugar pineapple glaze for my baked hams that we tend to really like around here. I decided to just convert this into one for the spiral cut ham.

Larry's Tomato Pie Recipe


Today sharing a school friend's tomato pie recipe. Those beautiful tomatoes are still coming off and homegrown are the very best. With a great supply and you want something different this is the way to go. We've been canning them, making tomato sauce, and eating tomato sandwiches around here. I think it's time for a pie!

The Chicks Are Growing

This cute little gangly bunch 
The picture was taken at 3 weeks on July 14th

It's amazing how quickly chicks grow at this stage.I don't know what is happening with the black chick middle's neck. They are putting on feathers at this point to replace the baby fuzz 

I'm still crossing my fingers that none of them will crow. Oh alright, let's just say with our track record hoping we'll at least get 1 layer out of the bunch!

Kieffer Pear Tree A Cat And A Dog


I'm excited because most of the pears are still hanging on the tree!  We've rarely gotten a crop to make it the entire ripening period. Strong winds or storms will come and make pears drop or break limbs. Holding our breath for pears this year.

The cat and dog love to sit under this tree it is one of their favorite spots in the yard.
These two make us laugh daily!

Today's post is pictures of the pear tree and these critters. I really think this is a variety to have in the home orchard. We have another pear on the property it is an Ayers and let me tell you in many years we've yet to see even one bloom. When I purchased these two they were said to cross-pollinate, but I've added another variety a Bartlett this year to try and get them to bear. For now, here at least the Kieffer appears to be a winner.

I'm busy in the kitchen canning tomatoes today and hoping to make more to can.  We do love tomatoes around here and homegrown home-canned just can't be beaten!

This That and Another: The Tiger Lily The Pear Tree a Turtle!


Tiger Lily
(Lilium lancifolium)
Do you have flowers that over time you tend to become used to and simply overlook? Believe it or not, at times I take these faithful lilies for granted! How could I do that?  Just take a look at these beauties.

My love for these and in fact these came from the gardens of my now deceased mother in law Genolia.  She was an avid gardener and was very accurate with her information about each plant. She loved to read her gardening books and shared her knowledge with others. If you knew or were related to her you already knew this. A gentle, soft-spoken beautiful lady she was indeed.

She told me to pop off as many of the little round black seeds as I wanted and start my own garden. So, I did and now moved miles from the old homeplace I still have some of these beauties.

You know the things that do best in your location are the things you should try to help flourish, (I'm reminding myself as well).  I need to pop off some black seeds and begin more lily gardens.

Today I share a few pictures of these lilies and the pear tree.  The pears most of them are still hanging on the tree. A few have fallen off or maybe even had some help falling off, but many remain.


Sunday Chicken Day Chicks Are two Weeks Old!

What is this?
The chicks are checking out this new red thing. Mother hen remembers what it is and wants to dig in, but gives the babies a chance to see.

The baby chicks have grown some and the yellow/white one is really taking on the wing coloring of the father Midnight a Silver Campine.  Hopefully, it is a she and not another he. I find myself calling them he when talking about them.  Our track record here whether hatching or buying sexed chicks has always been roosters 2 to hens 1. Here's hoping that record will be broken this time. Hey as a matter of fact the father Midnight was sold as a sexed pullet but began crowing at a young age.
.
I trust you all had a good 4th of July. We cooked out our small in house group and it was delicious, but sure missed those that couldn't be here with us.

Today is Sunday Chicken Day.....

HYDRANGEAS 2020


The Hydrangeas have been especially beautiful this year. I suggest if you are in a zone that can grow them, that you do so.

This shrub if you've been with me for a while you know is one of my favorites. I remember my grandmother having some and even as a small child I would just stand in front of them and stare.

Clemson video talks about them in the post below


These flowers are automatic arrangements. A cluster or group with so many different colors on one bush that they make one fantastic display and without much effort, I must add! You can see a post done about Arranging Hydrangeas if you like. 



Mine are now starting to die off after weeks of beautiful blooms. You can dry them when they are at their peak if you like.


Southern Living Videos


Today's post is the simple beauty of the Hydrangea in pictures.

Summer is Here: This and That

Hydrangeas 2020

Summer has arrived can you believe it?  I find it hard but then again this has been one year for the record books and still is! 

The Hydrangeas are as usual a beautiful sight with their many-colored blooms. The roses well that is another story, the daylilies are beautiful.  My new garden this year in buckets and pots is coming along. The pears are still loaded on that one tree. The grapevines are coming along. 

Our grand-pets are thriving and that is good.  The little chicks are thriving and growing.  They are a little over a week old now. They've learned how to come up and down on the ramp from the two-story coop! Whew, that is a blessing. I was bitten hundreds of times by mosquitoes one night trying to train them. Silly me like the mother hen didn't have that in hand. They are so adorable!

Happy Daddy's Day!


Daddy has been gone now for almost 30 years. Wow, that just hit me that it's been that long!  How can that be and where oh where did the time go?  All I know is he and Mama are missed every single day of my life.

You, if you are blessed to still have your parents never let a minute go by without showing how much you love them. I pray you have a good father.  

I say father here but pish-posh that is not what we call ours here in the south. Daddy is what we call them now and forever! Pronounced like ded dee or dea dee.... depending on the mood. If you want something the latter is drawn out to sound like dea deeeee I need something only you can do. You get my drift.

Today talking about daddy, car shops, racing etc....

The Last Chick Has Hatched!


I'm so excited that all the eggs have now hatched. There is nothing better than the natural way of life. Eggs hatched under a hen fare better by far in my experience than incubating them. Plus, how convenient it is for you to have the mother hen taking care of them!

This year as you all know has presented some unusual problems in all areas. It is time for us to buy new chicks so our family egg production will continue on. Thankfully this surprise broody hen made this possible.

I know eggs don't cost much and growing your own chickens for eggs can be expensive but, the eggs are worth it. You most always have them on hand and sometimes enough to share.  Fresh eggs are more nutritious and sure do taste and bake things better there is no comparison.  Fresher than store-bought which can be as old as 45 days when you purchase. I love fresh and it is always better.

This hatch is near perfect!  One blue egg the hen culled from the bunch and maybe just maybe she had a reason behind it.  The hen that laid the egg I buried yesterday, she was sick. I loved her but she wasn't doing well.

The Lord gave me four more to help ease the loss!  Today sharing pictures inside the henhouse.

We Have New Chicks 2020 Hatch!

How adorable is this?

Hey everybody look at this! I was so sad because my last blue egg layer is dying.  I went out this morning and found these little cuties, that cheered me up!  I can't believe they made it.  We have one egg left under her and there is still hope today is day 18.  I will give it a few more days and then remove the egg if it doesn't hatch.  This hen has already sadly removed the blue egg from her nest on her own. I was so hoping for another blue egg layer, but it's not meant to be.

I have to say we didn't know if we'd get a hatch out of these eggs. The hen seems to have so many issues and is stubborn as a mule!  

You may recall she is the one who took everyone's eggs and put them under her.  This is the second batch because after the first batch she abandoned I discarded them. Tried to move her to the little red hen house on the ground, but she would have none of that. She just abandoned them and went back to the two-story hen house and started setting on more. Had to mark them and daily remove all the extras she would hoard including the two fake ceramic eggs!  Even up until last night I removed two real and one fake.

We're excited to see our new chicken family additions!

Beginner Recipe: Easy Microwave Steamed or Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts


Do you like Brussels Sprouts?  I do but don't have them very often. Chuck really likes them. It can't get any easier than this recipe for steamed.  These are great roasted as well! When pushed for time you can't beat these cooked in the microwave. This is a great recipe for the beginner cook. 

MAD AS A SETTING HEN!


Grandma used to say when talking about someone who was so mad that she was 'Mad as a setting hen!' and I always wondered where the saying, came from. 

I found out a few years ago having chickens. We've had a few broody hens in the past but only some of them were as mean as this one appears to be. You'll see in the quick video how aggressive one can be.

She's only protecting her eggs her babies you may say. Well, that isn't the case this one wants all the eggs period! Every last one of them including the fake one I place in another nest to entice the others to lay in a different spot.

Don't get me wrong I am thrilled that some now will even go broody and want to sit on eggs and have baby chicks. Sadly, that one basic instinct has almost entirely been bred out of the chicken breeds these days.

Today's post I'll tell you it has been a battle and I'm mad as a setting hen! 😏