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psalm 56 3
11-07-2006, 01:02 PM
I have finally gotten a little reprieve from those nasty migraines. OMG, I was getting at least 3-4 per week. Of course with those you become incapacitated. So not having them these past 2 weeks has been awesome!

I hope everyone is doing well. I have not been around lately because of the changing weather! It is wonderful!! I was able to weed my gardens and put in all new plants. It has been a welcoming change after being stuck in doors for so long. Wow, just to be outside and breathe in the fresh air.

I am excited for the holidays. They do seem to come up on us very fast this time of year. But there is so much to look forward to. With all the cooking going on, the house will be filled with wonderful aromas. The best part is I will not have to cook again for awhile! By the way, I need suggestions for finger foods to serve at a Christmas party. I would be very appreciative to any suggestions!

MARYCAIN
11-07-2006, 06:30 PM
I'm glad you were able to enjoy some nice weather. It has been so rainy here that gardening has been out of the question - too muddy. It has also gotten very cold at night, which is unusual for us. But like you, I'm definitely looking forward to the holidays - my house is already covered with christmas projects in process.

Is your party for grown-ups only, or are you expecting kids too? And do you want to serve hot appetizers, or something more casual? Living on the coast, I imagine most people enjoy seafood, so mini crab cakes make a nice hot appetizer.

littlered
11-08-2006, 10:16 AM
I'm ok for an ok day, I guess. Still having tons of pain from the esophageal ulcers, but I called my internal medicine doc and he is calling in a prescrip for me to take an hour before i eat. It's narcotic, but it will at least allow me to eat more than a few bites. I am beginning to think most of my nutrients are coming from Malox, lol! the protonix isn't really helping yet that I can tell, but I will see him tomorrow and get a better idea of what's happening there. He did say that the steroids would make the healing take longer.
My best friend and I are doing Thankgiving together. All our families live too far away to travel for such a short time and I am not up to travel at all right now. Sad, as I would love to see my family.
BUT....with just 4 people coming to dinner and two of us cooking, it'll be a breeze to put together. And she is such a dear, dear friend.
Wow, do I ever have some great recipes for finger foods for you! If you'll email me (klopez3@hotmail.com) I'll be glad to send them to you. I have a recipe for stuffed portabellos that I never seem to make enough of. My crab spread is popular, too. among other things...you know, I am a foodie. Guess that's why I'm so sad because I can't EAT right now :(

MARYCAIN
11-08-2006, 10:24 AM
Hey, littlered, I had much better luck with nexium than protonix - so you might ask your doctor about switching if the protonix doesn't seem to be helping. You've got to get that ulcer healed up before Thanksgiving so you can enjoy eating! How is the quest for the wig going?

psalm 56 3
11-08-2006, 11:08 AM
It is amazing that just yesterday I was doing great. We are having unseasonably warm and humid weather right now. I am struggling with every breathe. I try to stay indoors but I have to venture out and pick up the kids from school everyday. I hate how I feel, but I know it could be worse so I will stop complaining.

On a good note I believe I have found the source for those migraines I had been having. I think it was the Prevacid. I had a bleeding ulcer from taking so many meds and my doctor put me on it. Since I have stopped taking it the migraines have stopped. So I can deal with a little pain verses a migraine.

My party is for adults. Actually it is for my husbands family. I hate doing the Christmas party for them. They are the most superficial and pretentious people I have ever had the misfortune to be around. Yet every year I keep my mouth shut and try to play the best hostess I can. I keep praying that I will be gracious and not show my frustration. It is so hard when I know my sister in law is just waiting for me to fall on my face and that is NOT what the holiday is supposed to be about.

So, I am going to concentrate on making wonderful food and providing a proper Christmas atmosphere.
P.S. I will be serving hot and cold foods.

littlered
11-08-2006, 11:37 PM
You know, one year my hubby and I had HAD it with the "you parents do all the work holiday stuff" and feeling unappreciated. His other daughter, who hates me because I'm not her mom, never fails to say something negative, and my tongue was raw from biting it.
so, a few years ago we took all the money we would have spent on most of Christmas, and booked a 10 day trip to NYC, where we had never been but always wanted to go. We sent them each a ham (which they raved over, so we send them every year now) and a card saying we loved them, but they needed to start their own traditions with their own families that year. And we went. And had a marvelous time, doing all the dumb tourist stuff. Stayed in the Waldorf Astoria and pretended we were rich for 10 days. Took in two Broadway shows. Went to Radio City. Went to Madison Square Garden and saw "A Christmas Carol." Ate wonderful food, met interesting people, and just had a blast. I have never really seen real snow on Christmas, and it began to snow christmas eve, so we went to mass....so beautiful. Of course, walking arond in snow after a few hours is ugly, so I'm glad it doesn't do that here in Houston, but it was different. Central Park was so unearthly beautiful after the new snow!
we got memories we'll NEVER forget, had a romantic Christmas, and the kids learned a lesson. Now we alternate. His son will host this year.

psalm 56 3
11-09-2006, 09:43 AM
I love the idea of packing up and leaving for the Holidays! Reading your account of all you did makes me want to go there. Especially given I am not too far from N.Y. Wish I could do that, but I would not be able to handle Christmas without my kids and grandbabies. It is just the in-laws. I have been married for almost 31 years and they still are hard to deal with. My mother in law is very critical. I had a hysterectomy several years back. I never said anything to them about it. She happened to come over when I was in the hospital. She told everyone in her family about it. That upset me and I told her if I wanted the entire family to know about it I would have told them myself. She said I was prideful. I told her pride did not have anything to do with it, that particular surgery was personal and private. Needless to say it all falls on deaf ears. So I make certain to keep my health issues to myself.

Knowing my Lupus is very active right now I had reservations about doing the party. It is so much work for me not to mention stressful. When I told my mother-in-law that I felt someone else in the family should host the party this year she got upset. She went on about how my house was the best one for it due to better seating, it can accommodate the kids better etc. So rather than cause a rift I will be doing it again. I am going to email you for those recipes!

I meant to tell you I read your story about your hair loss. Your writing is very good, I could almost envision being there and watching by the wayside. So far I have held onto my hair. I do lose a lot of it, but it grows back in as quick as it falls out. If you run your hands through my hair you will feel a lot of stubble. I think my hair loss comes more from my thyroid. Right now I am not on any medications for Lupus and I am assuming that is where the hair loss comes in. Am I mistaken?

littlered
11-09-2006, 11:00 AM
Honey, do write me for the recipes. Most of mine are easy (i'm lazy in the kitchen that way sometimes) but I insist on using the freshest BESt ingredients and since cooking is one of the things I still do well, I do it as often as I can. Cooking is LOVE, as far as I am concerned.
I have a fantastic recipe for roasted red bell pepper soup that is the bomb also...serve it with toasted ciabatta bread.....lots of stuff that can be done ahead and people will say WOW. I'd do this for a living, but i doubt I'd enjoy it much.
Sorry you have such a witch for a mother in law. Mine passed on, but we were so close (even though she was CANTANKEROUS) that I miss her still. His daughter Michal I will NEVER be close to, or even like, but merely tolerate. Tell yourself, it is not YOUR problem, it's HERS. It's YOUR house, if she says something offensive, ask her to please respect your domain, as you have opened your home and heart. Not much she can say to that that won't make her sound like what she is.
DO email me for recipes. I wish I could be there to do it for you. Love, Kathy

psalm 56 3
11-09-2006, 11:09 AM
Look in your email box. Lord how I wish you could be here too. Cooking is not a love of mine. I cooked for 20 plus years. Having dinner on the table at 5 pm most every night. Doing that for years burned me out. With it just being my husband and I cooking is rarely done. I have been trying to make more of an effort here lately.

That man works so hard. Because of him I have never had to work. He has never complained either. So this is the least I can do for him. I think that is the main reason I tolerate his family and these parties!

MARYCAIN
11-09-2006, 11:55 AM
Psalm, have you ever ordered from Edwards over in Surry, VA - they have great Virginia hams, appetizers and other goodies, plus mail-order service - all you have to do is reheat and take the credit. I don't eat meat myself but frequently order from them for the holidays - my Dad loves their "uggli" cake and sausage chowder.

psalm 56 3
11-09-2006, 12:13 PM
No, I have never ordered from them, but I have been given some of their products for gifts. We have a lot of ham places around here. I usually buy one of those Heavenly Hams and serve that with bakery rolls. This is usually what I prepare.

Ham/Turkey with bakery rolls
Jumbo shrimp w/cocktail sauce
Lit'l Smokies
Swedish Meatballs
Cheese platter w/crackers
Cheese Ball w/crackers
Fried mozzarella sticks
fruit tray w/ dip made from 1 8oz cream cheese, 1 jar of fluff,2 tbs orange juice and some zest.
Black olives, dill spears, nuts, chips.

I also do a dessert buffet which usually consists of very large 3 layer double chocolate cake, Cheesecake, brownies, cookies and a variety of chocolate candy.
I have kept to this same menu for the last 3 years because I don't know what else to fix.

MARYCAIN
11-09-2006, 01:02 PM
I always have baked ham and turkey for the meat eaters in our family - then usually Black skillet cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole or an apple/yam casserole, green beans with almonds, skillet fried corn, and some kind of cold salad, either a strawberry pretzel salad or a frozen banana salad, or sometimes both. Not very creative, but Michaels's family are very picky eaters, and don't like to try anything different. I bake rolls from scratch if I feel up to it - otherwise, I get the Sister Schubert brand from the grocery. My boys love my fried apple pies, so I usually have those for the kids. Sour cream pound cake and bread pudding with whiskey sauce for the grownups. If I'm really in a cooking mood I will make fresh coconut cake. Very Southern, but I grew up in Alabama, so it's the only way I know how to cook. Everyone usually brings a side dish and a dessert, so there is plenty of food - too much, usually. My sister is a 911 dispatcher, so we usually fix a big tray of goodies and take it down to the city building for the police, fire and EMS people to enjoy.

I usually have some small appetizers before the sit down meal - sausage balls, cheese straws, spiced nuts, a fruit plate, things like that. I love baked brie so I usually go off the vegan wagon for a couple of days. The kids love Chex mix so I usually make a big bunch of that and add dried cranberries, nuts, and other goodies to make it more festive. We have lots of kids in the family, so I try to steer clear of anything that has to be kept warm in a crock-pot like meatballs when it's a kids-too meal.

littlered
11-14-2006, 12:57 AM
Well, not only will we be doing Tgiving dinner with my best friend andher hubby, but ericka (an ex-student LONG ago who we have "adopted" because her family is soooo toxic,) will be with us also. She is a great girl, 23 yr old college student who also works for my husband's school, and lives with us...helps me TREMENDOUSLY, but that's not why I love having her here. Anyway, she's seriously dating a marvelous Muslim man. He's very westernized in some ways, but very devout and traditional in others. (they have dated for two years and NO SEX---he believes in waiting until marriage. RARE and PRECIOUS!) Anyway, we have grown to love him. He served for the U.S.in the gulf war, and is employed and going for his civil engineering degree.
ANYWAY, he has never had a traditional Tgiving dinner, but he's coming to our house for it! I feel so honored, and so want it to be special.

MARYCAIN
11-14-2006, 08:43 AM
I know observant Muslins do not eat pork or pork-derived products such as lard, also no alcohol. Are there any other dietary restrictions that might be an issue? I am not sure of the Islamic stance on shelllfish and other dietary restrictions, but some of the Muslims on the forum might know.

It sounds like it will be a great time - hope you have fun!

peach224
11-14-2006, 08:50 AM
Marycain, can you please tell me about strawberry pretzel salad and frozen banana salad? They sound wonderful! We are having 16 for Thanksgiving here. But I am having lots of help cooking.

MARYCAIN
11-14-2006, 09:34 AM
I had the pretzel salad at a bed and breakfast in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and begged and pleaded until the owner gave me the recipe. The frozen banana salad is a family recipe - I have no idea where i came from. Both are super easy. If you want to be really festive you can make the banana salad in a pretty jello mold.

Pretzel Salad

2 1/2 cups finely crushed pretzels
1/3 cup butter or margarine (softened)
3 tbsp sugar
one 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 cup sugar
one large carton Cool Whip
Two 3 oz. boxes strawberry jello
two cups boiling water
two 10 0z. packages frozen strawberries(unsweetened)

Combine crushed pretzels, butter, and 3 tbsp sugar -mix thoroughly. Press into the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, mix cream cheese and one cup sugar; add Cool Whip amd mix well, Spread cream cheese layer over cooled pretzel crust.

Finally, dissolve jello into boiling water; stir thoroughly. Add frozen strawberries and break apart with spoon while stirring. Chill until slightly thick, then pour jello layer over cream cheese layer. Chill until firmly set. Cut into squares and garnish with more cool whip (if desired) to serve. This makes a lovely layered salad and is always very popular!

---------------------------

Frozen Banana Salad

4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 can (8 1/2 oz.) crushed pineapple, including juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 6 oz. jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 cartons (8 oz.) sour cream

Combine all ingredients and mix thouroughly. Press into 9 inch square pan and freeze until firm. Cut into squares to serve, This also works well as a molded salad.

Hope you enjoy![/b]