Friday, November 20, 2009


Regular readers probably recognize my youngest granddaughter, the one I call Plumpkin. She is four years old and quite the entertainer. When her older sister got married last month this little girl kept approaching the microphone at the family dinner. She wanted to share a story like everyone else. She never did get the nerve to say anything, but she was so tempted!

Yesterday I got an e-mail from her. She composed it and her daddy typed it out. It said:
Dear Grandma Marcie,
I have missed you for a really long time. I wish I could be with you.
I really want you to come visit. I wish you could be with me, so I decided to visit you. And now I decided when I get there, I should surprise you and sneak in as a mouse in the morning.
In the morning I might surprise Grandpa too!

Love, Kathryn

I think that is the cutest, sweetest e-mail I have ever received!
She lives in Montana, so I am not likely to see her for quite a while.

Thanksgiving is all about family traditions at our house. Even when our house is empty and devoid of our children, the traditional foods must be prepared. Here is what we will be having. Seriously, we have the exact same thing every Thanksgiving:
Turkey, of course!
Chestnut dressing --a favorite from my side of the family
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Scalloped corn --a Patch family favorite
Cinnamon rolls --Patch family
Green jello with pears and cream cheese --Patch family
Stuffed mushrooms --my family
Apple pie --American family favorite!

The chestnuts, pictured above, have been coming to us for the past several years from Spangler, PA, where my daughter-in-law's parents live. They have chestnut trees. For years my mother bought chestnuts and my dad cleaned them for our Thanksgiving dinner. (Not horse chestnuts, mind you. Those are different!) Now we look forward to the package we receive from Pennsylvania with the wonderful chestnuts that we love.

In the photo you can see what the chestnuts look like. They are not as big as those that you find in the grocery stores for $3.99 a pound. Those come from Italy, and you never know what you will get in terms of quality. Sometimes they are wonderful and sometimes not so much. The PA chestnuts are small and sweet. This year's crop cleaned up beautifully!

First you take a sharp knife and cut an X in the shell. Then put a small amount of water in the bottom of a pyrex dish and add 6 to 8 chestnuts. Place in the microwave for 45 seconds. When they come out the shell is partly opened where it was X-ed. Peel back the rest of the shell and the brown skin. Chop the nuts. At this point I put them in the freezer for later, then get them out for Thanksgiving. Saute them in a skillet with chopped onions and celery with a stick of butter. Add about a loaf of cubed bread and stir it together to soak up the butter. Salt this mixture as well. Try not to eat too much as you stuff the bird. All the ingredients are based on personal preference. One and a half to two pounds of chestnuts is usually about right for the stuffing. Well, that is the way we do it at our house!

With grateful hearts and helpful hands, have a wonderful, peaceful Thanksgiving!


*karendianne. said...

What a delightful post, Marcie! I really love the heart that came thru this note from Plumpkin. I bet it brought a tear to at least one of your eyes.

I never knew a thing about chestnuts (except horses) and I read all the way thru so now I'm up-to-speed. What I learned today: Try not to eat too much as you stuff the bird. That's where my trouble would be. There and the Apple Pie. I'm such a sucker for Apple Pie!

SandyQuilts said...

Oh she is adorable.

I suggest for Christmas you give her a webcam ... like Hue WebCam.
They're fairly cheap $20 and work great. Then both of you need to download Skype
it's very cheap FREE

Then she can talk/see you anytime.

We live in WV and talk to all our family via Skype/Hue all over the country.

Karen said...

You have a different Thanksgiving meal than what we traditionally have. I have never tasted a chestnut let alone chestnut dressing.

Sheila said...

I have never heard of chestnut dressing, and I've never eaten one either. But, thanks for the recipe... I will save it and try it sometime. Chestnuts look amazingly like (Ohio) Buckeyes. Being next to PA, I imagine they must be in the same family.

Your granddaughter is so precious!

paulette said...

Your little Plumpkin is adorable!! I bet she stole the show!

Julie in the Barn said...

Aren't grandkids the best? It warms the heart to read your post. I especially love the holiday food traditions. Thanks for the lesson on chestnuts. Our family always had oyster dressing for my Dad. He was the only one who loved it so it no longer graces our table. Giblets flavor our dressing now, with celery and onions sauteed in plenty of butter. We'll be enjoying Grandma's punkin' pies, too, although they are better the next day for breakfast. Happy turkey day to you and yours.

Janet said...

I grew up with chestnuts, my grandparents had a tree, but only ever had them roasted or boiled. Your GD is simply adorable.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

That email is cute...I love what kids honest! :o)

onlymehere said...

I'm thinking I'll try this recipe at Christmas. It sounds so yummy. The email is so adorable. It will be fun when my granddaughter starts to put words together and I can actually hear or read what she wants to say to me. Right now it's pretty much just jibberish (only 16 months old) but she does say a few words. Did she ever get to tell her sibling what she wanted to say at the microphone? She's a doll.

Karen said...

What a sweetie pie!! Innocence and honesty is such a blessing. It comes mostly from the hearts of children. Your Thanksgiving meal sounds very yummy! :0)

sewprimitive karen said...

Plumpkin could be a Movie Star so easily. She is beautiful. You make me want to try to prepare and cook chestnuts; never have tried that.

Libby said...

What a delightful e-mail . . . I would be checking the walk today, just in case. She might just be out there *S*

I love the traditions of the holidays. Like you, now that we are just two - I MUST still do everything the same. It wouldn't be the holidays if I didn't *s*