Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Leaves dance through the sky and land on the tarmac with a brittle, paper-like sound.  Exposed branches have turned a lonely grey and brown.

This morning, another "V" formation of gypsy geese starting their journey south, pass overhead squawking a vocal farewell.  With hesitation, I wave my goodbyes, telling them I will see them in the spring.

A few remaining red apples hang on forgotten trees, perhaps a later treat for scavaging, hungry critters.  The weather has turned cold, a preview of coming temperatures that will soon challenge man and beast--at least those who choose to remain behind--while others escape winter's wrath.  It's November in New England.

This is the month of thanksgiving, starting with the harvest for which we are so grateful.  Food is the mainstay of any culture and nowhere is it more apparent than in New England.  From dairy to fruits, vegetables and grain, we see crops rotated, planted, growing and harvested from early spring until late fall. quotes from A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth by Edward Winslow--describing the first Thanksgiving in New England--as a three day affair involving 90 Indians and a group of early Colonists at Plymouth in 1621 with feasting and game playing for three days.  The menu probably included deer, fish, carrots, acorns, chestnuts and stewed pumpkin.

Most Americans probably don't know that Thanksgiving is celebrated in Canada on the second Monday of October.  And, our first president George Washington, stated in his proclamation of October 3, 1789:

*"...Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint
Committee requested me 'to recommend to the People of the
United States a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer, to be observed by
acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God,
especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of
government for their safety and happiness.'"

And so, a Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

You will find the first president's entire message at:
* Proclamations/Thanksgiving1789.html.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Most people don't know that some Butterball turkeys come
 pre-stuffed and don't even need defrosting. 

Just run under hot water, remove packaging and gravy packet, place in a dark roaster pan, insert a meat thermometer, set the right temp on the oven and a few hours later you have a perfect turkey and stuffing. (Make sure and check the directions inside the package.)

I highly recommend that you do not use the turkey drippings to make gravy.  College Inn Turkey Broth has no fat and quickly makes a tasty gravy.  Make your favorite recipe only use two 14.5 ounce cans of broth in a saucepan and add 1/2 Knorr chicken bullion cube.  If it gets lumpy, just pour it through a strainer.   
Or, you can just buy Heinz Roasted Turkey Gravy and just heat it up! 
It has NO fat and Target has it for only $.79 a jar through Saturday!

Since canned cranberries have 22 grams of sugar per serving, I like to cook them up fresh.  Just rinse the berries well, add 1.5 to 2 cups of Splenda and follow directions on the bag.  These are tart but eliminating all that sugar is a  good idea.  With no fat, no sodium, only 6 grams of carbs and 20% of your vitamin C, these berries are really good for you.

Think about substituting sweet potatoes for white ones.  They are loaded with vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, B6, Riboflavin, Copper, Pantothetic Acid and Folic Acid.  And, they taste great when mashed with light butter and topped with Splenda and cinnamom.  Corn has no fat either, so that's a good choice. Along with an apple pie made with Splenda, you can top off any meal without a sugar/fat/salt overload. 

Of course, a long walk after dinner with people you love will help your heart and make you feel great any day.

Here's a tip for Christmas giving:
Bring your digital camera to the Thanksgiving festivities and snap lots of photos.
Later, you can pick the best ones, print them out and frame them for a gift.  People really love these! 

What are your Thanksgiving suggestions?
Comment below by clicking "comments."
Thank you!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Season changes in New England are always very dramatic.  When nature begins preparing the landscape for long, dark, cold days ahead, she leaves a special pallet of colors and designs that are barely noticeable but can, in fact, be stunning.

Grays of stone surround the pale rust of leaves.

These stones glimmer in the soft morning light.

Dried pods dot the hillsides ready to spread their seeds.

Shades of misty blue are even more dramatic when set behind a darkend forest.

Acorns cast their own tawny hues along the roadways.

Storm broken branches and cat tails form their own woodland sculptures.

Pine cones and leaves cover the forest floor with beautiful designs
painted in burnt umber, ochre and shades of beige.

This is my New England!

Please leave comments by clicking "comments" button below

Friday, November 6, 2009


Country folks shop a bit differently than their city counterparts.  I don't know about other residents but we hit the malls about twice a year and that's mainly to look at the decorations.

We need satellite dishes more than chafing dishes, generators more than gems and chain saws more than gold chains.  Out here, we buy boots that keep our feet warm, as well as preventing us from sliding on mud and ice.  No pointy-toed, high-heeled things that may make our legs look great.  Here in the hills, it's more important to keep our legs from breaking.

And, when we wear tights, they are not a fashion statement.  It's to keep our legs warm.  Fleece is big in the northeast but we can also get Romney Wool right from the sheep at Maplehaven Farm.
We can purchase eggs right from the chickens at Maplehaven, too.

Fitch's Corners sells milk right from the cow, if you don't need it to be pasteurized.  Shopping for maple syrup, vegetables, fruits and baked goods is easy, too.  And, we know exactly where our food comes from!

A lot of folks shop for tractors instead of lawn mowers.  Cut "grass" is rolled up and taken to feed cows and horses.

One thing we do have in common with city types--firearms sell well here.  Hunting season spans several time frames but we only need pepper spray for the bears that knock-over bird houses and bees' nests.

We also have a general store in town.  All that's missing from it are woven baskets that women used to carry their supplies home in.  On a cold day you can grab a cup a coffe and a hot lunch along with your milk that comes in a real carton.

So, where do you live?  Is it this great?

Please click "comments" below and leave me a message!