Behind My Red Door

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thankful Thoughts

fall header

Happy Sunday before Thanksgiving peeps! Are you all feeling ready for the big day? My menu is typed up. The table is set. The place cards are made. The groceries are bought. I made my cranberry salsa and it is chilling. Over the last few years, my family has pared down the menu for every major holiday to the foods we really love and that are special to us. We’ve eliminated extra’s like the rolls and a lot of junk food. Everyone pitches in and helps who ever is hosting the meal – which has been and will be in the foreseeable future – ME! But that is fine because I enjoy our home being “celebration central” as my friend Colleen calls it. There will be 12 of us gathering around the new harvest table for dinner this this year. I love that Thanksgiving is just about being together with those that we love!

Thanksgiving Behind My Red Door

Cranberry Salsa w/ Corn Chips

Thanksgiving Blessings Mix

Roast Turkey with my mom’s famous Meat/Bread Stuffing

Potato Kugelis w/sour cream – Jay has taken over making this traditional dish

Butternut squash

Sweet Potatoes – my sister Chris handles these

Petite Peas

Olive and Pickle Platter – my sister again

Homemade Cranberry Orange Relish –Jen makes this each year

Dessert ~ Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie

and for a special treat for Mr. Red Door – Coconut Custard Pie.

I am so thankful that our table will be full and I can send goodies home with the family and I won’t have to cook again until Saturday!

So what is on your Thanksgiving menu this year?

For our cranberry relish and Thanksgiving blessings mix recipes and to read my November musings , click HERE

Cranberry Salsa

6 oz cranberries (1/2 bag)
1 red bell pepper- seeded
1 small onion -peeled
2 small green apples - cored, skin on

1 can petite diced tomatoes - drained
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin

Process first 4 ingredients in food processor until finely chopped. Pour into a bowl. Add tomatoes and seasonings. Make a few hours before using to let flavors blend well. Great with corn chips or on celery for those watching their calories! I often double the recipe as it freezes well.

I am thankful to my friend Jenn (aka StampinAngelJenn) for sharing this with me a few years ago. It is one of my all time favorite recipes! It’s great because it doesn’t have the kick that some folks object to.


Instead of my usual prim decor chat, I’d really like this post focus on some things I am thankful for. On the very top of my list this year and always, after God, is my family. But I think this year it is even more evident with the birth of our first grandchild.

This little Beanut, (Bean and Peanut combined) as her mom and dad call her, has brought more joy into my life than even I could have imagined. When I am with her, the rest of the world disappears. IMG_6706

Liliana, or Lili as we call her, turned 5 months old this week and it is such a blessing that she is so happy and healthy and alert and active and just so darned cute! Grammy and Grampy love you to the moon and back sweetie!!

5 months

This year my dad who is almost 88, has had some significant ongoing health issues and my mom, who is 80, has had to pick up even more of the chores around the home. I am so thankful they are still with us and can sit at the dinner table again this year!!


Mr. Red Door’s mom and dad also have some significant health issues and while they won’t be with us in person, they will be with us in spirit at Thanksgiving and every day.


And of course I am so thankful for the rest of my wonderful family – Mr. Red Door, Jen, Jay and Ang and our siblings and their families. They are my reason for getting up each day!


It’s long overdue, but I need to thank Jennifer Bowman of The Bowman Homestead blog. Many of you will recognize her home all decked out for Christmas in the Country Sampler November 07 issue. Jen Bowman

Back in the fall of 07, it had been recommended that I keep pictures of our home online so that in the event of a fire, I could easily access them from any computer. I frankly had no idea where to even do that online until the article in Country Sampler mentioned Jen’s Webshots Album.

Jen Bowman 2

I was mesmerized seeing more pictures of her home and then realized if I clicked on the PEOPLE tab, I could find the links to other prim homes and albums. I uploaded my photo’s and from there is just snowballed. I ‘met’ so many wonderful gals who also loved primitive decorating. Some of them introduced me to forums and other prim websites and eventually that is how Country Sampler and Mercantile Gatherings magazines found our home.

Some of the those gals have become true friends and we have even met in person. Kathy from Home on the Hill is one of them. She and I met when she visited the area with her husband Stephen in the spring of 08. Mr. Red Door and I traveled to their home in New Brunswick this spring and we have plans to travel there next fall as well. I treasure our friendship!


And Kathy introduced me to my first blog – Karen’s My Yellow Farmhouse Blog – now My Red Farmhouse! WOW - I just fell in love with Karen’s blog and her home and her crafting and quilting and her life. I was totally hooked! Her blog was THE inspiration for mine. I have followed along as Karen quilted and appliqu├ęd and decorated and traveled and cooked and then started her online business Farmhouse Woolens. I watched as she and Mr. Farmhouse built their dream home and now I am excited to watch as she starts her storefront business early next year. I am very thankful to Kathy for introducing me to Karen’s blog and for Karen's friendship as well! You can now see how Jen’s Webshots link in Country Sampler eventually led to me to some wonderful new things and people in my life and having my own blog and meeting all of you!! I could go on and on telling you what else I am thankful for because my list is long but I’ll stop here and say meeting so many wonderful bloggers and peeps is near the top of that list! Thank you for sharing your ideas, crafts, tutorials, recipes, resources and your world with all of us. Thank you to the wonderful folks who take the time to read my blog. Thank you to those who take even more time and leave me such kind comments. I am so thankful for each of you!


I am ever so thankful that my freedom to practice the religion of my choice this Christmas is protected, thanks to our troops! But sometimes I do say Holiday Season instead of Christmas because while Christ and Christmas are proudly celebrated Behind My Red Door, that isn’t always the case. Several of my friends and several of my peeps do not celebrate Christmas. In fact, some of Mr. Red Door’s extended family celebrate Hanukkah. His late Nana was born in Sweden but her parents were Russian Jews who fled to Sweden with her older siblings. Nana married outside of her family’s religion but her siblings practiced and and their families still practice Judaism. In addition, I live in a very culturally diverse town. My neighbors come from all corners of the world and from very varied cultures and religions. I respect them all as long as they do not support terrorism. I am not trying to take Christ out of Christmas, but I try to include everyone.


During this Holiday season, there are a few ways we can show how thankful we are for our troops and Veterans.

The Red Cross program Holiday Mail for Heroes is back!

Taken from the website:

“In this season of hope and giving the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes, Inc. have joined forces to invite Americans to “send a touch of home” to United States service members and veterans across the country and abroad. In its third year, the Holiday Mail for Heroes program is an opportunity to share joy and thanks with our service members throughout the holiday season by way of a greeting card.

Today over 1.4 million men and women serve in the U.S. armed forces and over 24 million veterans have served in the past. The holiday season is the perfect time to honor and extend a warm holiday greeting to those who’ve served and continue to do so.

How Holiday Mail works~

We have established an extensive process to ensure all cards sent to our service members are safe and arrive in time for the holidays. Holiday cards will be collected through a unique P.O. Box address from Monday, November 2 through Monday, December 7*.

First, cards from across the nation must be sent to this address:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and distributed to participating Red Cross chapters nationwide. Once the cards arrive at the Red Cross chapters, they are sorted and reviewed by volunteers who then distribute them to service members, their families and veterans in communities across the country.”

Click here to find out even more about this program!



Xerox has a special program called Let’s Say Thanks.

From their website: The mission of Let's Say Thanks is to provide a way for individuals across the country to recognize U.S. troops stationed overseas. By submitting a message through this site you have the opportunity to send a free personalized postcard greeting to deployed servicemen and women.

The postcards, depicting patriotic scenes and hometown images, were selected from a pool of entries from children across the country.

All you have to do is click on your favorite design and either select the message that best expresses your sentiment or draft a personal note. The postcards are then printed on the Xerox iGen3® Digital Production Press and mailed in care packages by military support organization Give2TheTroops®.”

You can also donate directly to Give2TheTroops by clicking on that link.


After Thanksgiving I will be busy decorating, cooking and preparing for my Gathering with prim friends on Sunday the 29th. I won’t be posting again until sometime after that. When I come back, I’ll have some Christmas Decor to share and some goodies that I received in the mail as well.


When we count our many blessings it isn't hard to see

that what we value most in life are the treasures that are free...

For it's not the things that we possess that signify our wealth,

but the blessings that are priceless like our family, friends and health.

Favorite memories, fun, and laughter, simple joys of living -

May all these fill your home with warmth,

your heart with true Thanksgiving.


Thank you as always for stopping by and making Behind My Red Door part of your day!

Until next time – hugs, Grammy Linda