Thanksgiving is a favorite day of the year for me, because it’s a day of thanks and for counting blessings. No matter how many hard times we may go through, and most of us do, there are reasons for being thankful. They may be small, they may be huge, but if we look close enough they’re there. I’m most thankful for family, friends and health.
So Monday, I rushed out the door to pick up a few items I needed for Thanksgiving dishes. I’d waited for Walgreens to call with a filled prescription and, since they hadn’t called by two in the afternoon, time was slipping by. Publix is just above Walgreens and I needed an item only they stocked. I’d hoped to kill two birds with one stone. That didn’t happen.
Anyway, I headed to Publix. On the way to an empty parking space, I’d noticed a truck with a bed loaded with hay parked three spaces above me. I jumped out of the car, locked, the door and took off. About halfway in the back of said truck, I caught a movement. The driver evidently hadn’t checked behind him. What is that mirror for, in your truck and on the doors? I picked up my walk to a run, then jumped out of the way. The truck missed me by maybe a whisper. I gotta tell you, the incident gave me quite a start. Lying on the road or in the hospital, flashed before my eyes. So, yes. I have much to be thankful for. I’m grateful the truck missed me…Or I missed it.
After I left Publix, I headed to Walmart. I think half the county was shopping that day. Finally I checked out with my meager items and headed home. About a block from home, my phone rang. Yep it was Walgreens. My prescription was ready. Drive through pick-up is wonderful!
Now it was around four, and by that time, since I’d forgotten to have lunch and being diabetic, I was getting quite shaky. Wendy’s is behind Walgreens, and easy enough to grab a quick sandwich. I ordered the junior hamburger, since I didn’t want to completely ruin dinner.
The voice from the speaker asks, “Will that be all?”
“Yes,” I say, because I still had part of a warm diet coke and was five minutes from home.
“We have free drinks for seniors today, would you like one?”
Warm coke isn’t tasty, so I say, “Sure, thanks.” I pull up, pay and drive to the next window. The young man hands me a bag with the burger, then the coke. I always check to make sure it’s sugar-free, so I asked.
“Yes, ma’am,” he says. “Oh and I put your drink in the wrong cup, but that’s okay,” he said with a huge grin.
I stared at the humongous drink, thanked him and drove away. There was enough coke in that cup to last all night! When I got home, I opened the bag and found a loaded regular sized hamburger, not the junior I’d ordered. Surprise! I sure hope those kids hadn’t been filling orders wrong all day. Is it any wonder businesses are losing money? A little mistake, if ongoing, can add up!
Yes, I was thankful for the larger burger and coke that would last all night. Ha!
It’s the little things that matter.
I know most people serve turkey at Thanksgiving, but if you’re having a roast chicken, here’s a side dish that will go well with your other dishes. Of course this dish is good any time of the year.
Chicken, Rice, Broccoli, Cheese Casserole
Yield: 10 servings – Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or butter the dish.
Nonstick cooking spray or butter for the baking dish
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 stalks celery cut into thirds
1 large yellow or white onion, quartered
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
2 large bay leaves
1 medium head broccoli, cut into small florets
2 cups cooked white or brown rice
One 10-ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice
10 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 1/2 cups) (Or cheese of your choice)
1 roll Ritz Crackers, crushed
1 stick butter, melted
If you prefer, use 1 ½ cups Panko bread crumbs instead of Ritz Crackers and omit ½ the butter
In a large pot, cover 4 large chicken breasts with water, add 1 tbsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 quartered large yellow or white onion, 4 stalks celery, cut in thirds, 4 large cut-up carrots, and 2 large bay leaves. Bring to a boil, cover and turn down to a simmer for 30-45minutes or until tender. Drain chicken, discard water and vegetables. Let cool. Shred. Refrigerate if not using right away.
While chicken is cooking, cook enough white or brown rice to make 2 cups of cooked rice.
Cut broccoli into florets, discard remainder. Drop into generously salted boiling water and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and place on paper towels, gently pat dry to remove excess water.
Mix 1-10 oz can cream of chicken soup with 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice and 2/3 bag of cheese. Gently fold chicken with soup mix.
Crush 1 roll of Ritz crackers, melt butter and mix well with crackers.
Spread 2 cups cooked rice on bottom of buttered, or sprayed, 9X13X2 baking dish.
Layer drained broccoli over rice.
Spread chicken and soup mix over broccoli.
Sprinkle remaining cheese over chicken.
Spread crushed and buttered crackers over cheese.
Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes or until bubbly and crackers are browned and crunchy.
Let stand for 5 minutes and serve. Enjoy!
My mom made the best fudge in the world. The following recipe is a cake icing that has the flavor and texture of old-fashioned fudge.
1 cup white sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup milk (Fat free or Whole)
¼ cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
Combine all ingredients, slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat. Cool 1 minute. Beat with an electric mixer or by hand for 3 minutes or until cooled and mixture begins to thicken to spreading consistency. (I beat this by hand so it won’t harden too quickly.)
Use either a chocolate or yellow cake, your preference. Make sure your cake is cooled before making icing because it will set like a soft fudge. Cook icing, then spread icing over cake.
Note: If you really love fudge icing, double the recipe. Before cooking icing and after cake cools, use a toothpick to punch holes in the top of the cake. Cook icing and after icing cools for one minute, beat icing halfway, then spread some over cake before icing sets completely, then spread so the icing can work down through the cake. Working quickly, continue to beat icing until it begins to thicken, (probably another minute or so) spread remaining icing over cake. Enjoy!
My book in our newest “Christmas at the Inn on Main Street” boxed set is “Christmas at the Granger Inn.” I have never written anything with a ghost, but one of the other authors mentioned she has a ghost in her story. So, intrigued that I was, and after a lot of thought and a lot of what if’s,” my ghost emerged. Writing this story has been so much fun!
All the authors have new books in the boxed set. You can find the book offering at Amazon. http://amzn.to/2f5eyd9 Grab a copy and settle in for some heartwarming Christmas stories.
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Please check out these links to my books, available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, Apple and Smashwords. http://caroldevaney.weebly.com/my-books.html
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I wish you love, butterflies and music.