Well, I have to admit this blog is getting done during the last hour of last day before Thanksgiving. The turkey is thawed (for the most part) in the refrigerator waiting to be taken out and cleaned then stuffed. Yup I'm a stuffing type guy, and I make a sage stuffing. I like my stuffing moist and full of turkey flavoring, I find that when I have attempted to do a dressing, it gets way to dried out and does not do as well in the left over category. The wife is doing her well known cheesy green bean casserole, we can never go back to the standard recipe as we all love her recipe to much. The cheese just takes it over the top. And pumpkin pie, that recipe comes comes from my mother and should better be called a spiced pumpkin pie. After you have had a piece of this pie, all other pumpkin pies seem as bland as flavorless cardboard, really. It is out of this world. So we will eat well then use the food saver to package up left overs to through in the freezer for dinners over the next couple of months. I could also talk about the breakfast rolls, football and the sales that start for us at midnight, but really? What is Thanksgiving all about, being thankful for unity that first year with those who had already come and moved in first. Thankful, for what we have, (then get slapped in the face with what we don't on Black Friday and for just 14.95 you too can have it.) Much of the issues today that we have, stem from being ungrateful, unthankful, prideful, greedy, ill tempered and the list goes on. If we stopped with the attitude of having to keep up with the jones maybe we would find time to give thanks and look for ways to give back instead of finding ways to rip off or one up the next person in line. Thanksgiving for health, for what you have not what you don't, for those around you who really do care about each one of us, and for being able to celebrate
I love going to fairs, festivals and arts and craft shows. I went to Cape Cod Tech Arts & Crafts show in Harwich, the turned around the following week and we did the Upper Cape Tech school Arts & Crafts show. At these shows you get to meet so many of our local artisans and crafters and the ideas for any holiday gifts just go through the roof. So I will give you three of some that caught my eye.
First up is Obsessed with Owls Woodcarving Studio, with carver Mark Madden. If you like owls or know of someone who does this guy is for you. Go to Obsessedwithowls.com, he has these wood carving that are, let's facing are freaky realistic, beautiful, unbelievable craftsmanship. These works of art are some of the finest carvings I have ever seen, and anyone who enjoys owls would find it a privilege to own one of these owls. And he has then in all sizes and all prices, you can buy what he has or he will do a commissioned pieces. On his website he does keep up his events page as well so you can see where he will be next. He is out of Wareham, Ok so that is technically off Cape, but close enough for me with an artist this good.
Second up, Mah Jongg Remade, Hand Crafted Jewelry and Gifts made using Mah Jongg tiles of all sizes. This has got to be one of the more unusual crafters I am seen lately but they are really cleaver and all are very practical, from earings to necklaces to cuff links to other non wearing items. This stuff really stood out as something different from all the others. You will want to go to etsy.com/shop/mahjonggremade
or at mahjonggremade.com
. Want something unusual, something that will add color, something that most likely will not be duplicated anytime soon, check this one out. Oh ya they even have menorahs made from Maj Jongg tiles. And yes they find themselves out of their Mashpee Studios.
Third and final is called Brewster Tackle Co. find them at facebook.com/brestersackleco
, out of, you guessed it Brewster. If you want a really neat piece of jewelry for that fishing partner of yours this is the place. they are shinny, unique, and look really nice. This is a gift that I think your loved one or special whoever will both get a kick out of but find it a conversation piece they can wear and enjoy. This stuff is fun, fun, fun.
I've heard that this old guy that keeps the guard station going and the light tower sparking and looking so good and seasonal is suppose to be in his 80s or older, I have a hard time believing this cause I'm seeing kids in there teens that can't keep up with this fellow. Jumpin Jiminy Crickets this dude constantly full of energy, totally on the go and does not look as if he is going to slow down let a lone stop any time soon. He is a lot like my Dad who is 90 1/2 this month, been to Hawaii this year, going to Florida for his Grand-daughter in law's graduation from University and to see his Grand-son and son-in-law in December, has speaking engagements set up, still teaching Sunday School at the church he attends, still does the cooking for him and his wife. Ok so what's the difference between these two? Guess that's why I like this guy so much, he is always on the go, does not believe in slowing down, tells me the day he does he might as well give up the ghost, cause life would not be worth living at that point. He enjoys seeing people smile and having a good time and he enjoys being part of that. The old only difference is this old seaman and my Dad, is this guy has just a little more gas in the tank than my Dad. But the minds are still as sharp as ever and have been blessed with wonderful lives. Our seaman, lighthouse keeper, station watchman, yup, story teller, grounds keeper, life guard, search and rescue team leader, and the list goes on. I'm still trying to discover what this dude doesn't do? Ok I've seen him turn up his nose at edamame peas, and I can not repeat what his exact words were in mixed company. But as far as jobs, he does it all, and tells me he will continue to do as long as he can. He keeps running past me, either with some kids tagging behind or going the other way with ornaments or cookies in his hands. He keeps telling me he is coming, but I think he is having way to much fun entertaining the crowds, and me, well, there will be more quiet days coming up. So I will let keeper do his thing and catch him latter on. I am sure he would say, please come and see what is going on up here, even if the tower is not open, there is still things to see and do. Now have yourself a wonderful Thanksgiving, especially if you can do it right here on old Cape Cod.
Take a pound cake, do it in a bundt pan and I'm a sucker for it. Why, I don't know, I just like the taste of a good pound cake and or bundt cake. My favorite is a Vanilla Nut Pound cake that the wife makes or a Pistachio cake. But after examining the cakes I have enjoyed over the years it is any good pound cake, fruit flavors, liquor inspired or some other good combination. This one that I have chosen is a straight up seasonal pound cake. I know it may be a little late to add to the Thanksgiving menu, but we have the month of December and even into January to make this one. The flavors just go well for this time of year. So before I start drooling on the keyboard let's get this show on the road.
This week's recipe: Cranberry-Orange Pound Cake
2 3/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp grated orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter, soften
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350F. Generously grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan. In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk sour cream, orange zest, juice and vanilla. Beat butter and sugar together on medium speed in a bowl of a standing mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until blended. Reduce the speed to low and beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half of the sour cream mixture. Repeat with another 1/3 of the flour mixture and the remaining sour cream mixture. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in dried cranberries. Pour the mixture into the prepared bundt cake pan and spread evenly. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for about 10 minutes before inverting on rack. Let cool completely.
2 cups powdered sugar
3 - 4 Tbsp orange juice
To make the orange glaze ; whisk together powdered sugar and orange juice, a tablespoon at a time, until it becomes thick and smooth. Pour over cake.