Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thankful to be able to gather together another year!

We had our annual Hicks/Wallace family dinner today and it was so good to be able to see everyone once again catching up on what has been happening in lives since we last met. Some of our family couldn't be with us this year for various reasons and we certainly missed them. Especially Samantha and her husband who are in Korea and Rachel and Steve who were in St. Louis at another family dinner and son Tim and Kat and her husband and sister Carol to name a few. Everyone has a place around the table and when they are gone they are missed!

This year besides the turkey I tried a couple new meat dishes with Pork Tenderloin. One was smoked in the oven and one was cooked with Cranberry sauce/Orange Juice. Both were excellent. And of course we had ham which Rachel was soooo sorry to have missed! But she can be thankful her momma saved her some back!

This is the first year we had so much food that I had to use the counter on both sides of the kitchen. We had to put the salads and desserts and drinks on one side and the main dishes on the other. All the food was so very good!

Rachel wasn't here to make Lonnie's (Mule Skinner) favorite salad so Jennifer made it. Good thing cause he asked where it was first thing!
And sister Brenda brought her salad that I love! Has sour cream and powdered sugar mixed with butter and lemon juice as the sauce and you pour it over apples, bananas, nuts, oranges, coconut and probably whatever else you want to put in there. Working on a family cookbook and of course this will go right up front!

This picture does my heart good. Jim's mom and dad and my dad and Jim's sister and her husband all enjoying the good company as well as the food. Does it get any better than this? It's important to honor those that brought us into this world and I enjoy that we can have both sides here at the same time. And I hope the younger generation realize the importance of carrying on the tradition of family gatherings!And of course we must save room for dessert!
We had tables set up everywhere. It was a beautiful day so we could eat outside as well as in. Here's my son Kevin with his family. Can you tell Luke likes having his picture taken?

Here's my niece with her fiance.
and my sister with her family in the entryway eating on my Great Aunts dinette set. I am sure that over the years this dinette set has seen many family dinners !
Kat made this beautiful dessert. Gorgeous as well as delicious

And niece Samantha gave me this secret recipe just cause I am family. They'll be home for Christmas and hoping to get to see her and her husband then.

And to end the good times we had to once again blow the Hunting Horn or whatever it is called. My dad used to call his dogs back with one of these.

The end to a beautiful day! Hope you enjoyed sharing with us! Mule Skinner blows this every year and it has became a tradition. Calling all the family together once again!
Hope you too have special times where your family gathers together over food with much laughter and good times. If they don't someone has to start the tradition and you might as well be the one! You'll be glad you did some day!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Grandpa Art

I love looking at old pictures not only of the people but the buildings, the animals and the surrounding countryside. Here's my Grandpa Art sitting on a stump with his dog, his guitar and his wife by his side. Hope the importance to him was not in that order. I think my brother has the guitar. Love looking at my grandmothers clothes, shoes and particularly that hat.
Grandpa and his horses. Grandpa always walked with a limp and my dad said a wagon ran over his leg when he was little but his mother would not let the Dr. amputate the leg - a fact which he was very thankful for later.

And this picture shows he raised sheep. Fascinating. Take time to listen to your ancestors tell their stories before it is too late. I plan on visiting one of my dad's cousins who is in the nursing home to see what he can tell me about this side of the family. Hope his memory is still good enough to be able to do that. My dad and his one sister are the only children living of Grandpa Art and Grandma Lizzie.

I've heard stories about how famous my Grandpa was for his huge watermelons and after looking at this picture I can see why. Now those are heirloom watermelons is my guess!
I only knew my Grandpa after he moved into town. But my favorite memory of him is teaching me as a little girl how to play a game called Fox and Geese. He made his own game board and we would play it every time we got together.
He always promised me his railroad watch and told me it had diamonds in it. Never did know what happened to that watch after he passed away but I do have the railroad watch belonging to his brother.
Now that I think about it I don't guess I can think of a singe thing that I have that belonged to either my Grandmother or Grandfather and I have a house full of ancestral treasures. I guess I need to see if my dad has any mementos left that belonged to them that he's willing to pass along. Hmmmm......

Grandma Lizzie and her chickens--we're kindred spirits

Grandma Lizzie's Mackerel Patties

As a little girl I have wonderful memories of going to dinner at my Grandma Lizzie and Grandpa Arts house in town. They lived at the top of what seemed like a very steep hill especially when trudging up it after swim lessons which I remember as being awfully early in the morning and always cold. I remember Grandma as being a good cook and I can still see her lifting a giant granite pan full of patties out of the oven.
Here's the recipe from my sister Carol for Grandma's patties:
For each can of Mackerel, Salmon or Tuna (which has been drained well and deboned) add 1 egg and crackers that have been crushed up very fine. Salt to taste. Mix well into patties and fry slowly in hot oil till brown.

Kick it up a notch by Granddaughter Joyce- Add green pepper, celery and onion and wrap a piece of bacon around each patty held in place with a toothpick. Then fry till brown.

Sister Carol assures me Grandma fried them so I can only think she must have put them in the oven to keep them warm until family arrived.

I also remember eating Sour Kraut with wieners, the most wonderful homemade rolls, Lemon Pies and another favorite was baked pie crust sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. May have been during hard times but I remember the food tasting wonderful!