Home for the Holidays | Living the Country Life

Home for the Holidays

December 1, 2014

I flew to Maryland for Thanksgiving this year. Back in Iowa, Caroline cooked a turkey and all the fixings for Bob and Warren (who says she is a better cook than me, and I'm absolutely fine with that).

It would be hard to beat my mom in the kitchen. I especially enjoyed the creamed mushrooms, as well as the sugar cookies, orange rolls, and cranberry relish. When I left to fly back to Iowa she was baking fruitcakes. One will arrive by mail soon. I can't wait.

It snowed the day before Thanksgiving. Right before I took this photo there was a clap of thunder.

By the next day, most of the snow had melted. Mom's Christmas cacti are unbelievable.

Dad found this tiny wooden yoke (for a goat?) in a local antique store. I bought it for him as a Christmas present and he hung it over the fireplace.

A second after I took this photo, the white rooster flew up and attacked my head. I screamed and then had a good laugh. The relative who owns the chickens (I will call her "Laura Jensen") wondered about his breed. I put his photo on the Facebook page for Living the Country Life and got hundreds of guesses. He's a crossbreed.

These mushrooms were picked fresh in Oxford, PA, and delivered to Mom's front porch one morning. She made creamed mushrooms and mushroom-pumpkin soup.

Fruitcake production began at 7:00 a.m. Fisher prepared the many pans while Meghan mixed the nuts and fruit. Mom handled the sugar, flour, butter, and eggs. Mom keeps a list on her fridge of who gets each fruitcake. When I called her from Iowa that evening she still had the last batch in the oven.

Close up of the nuts and fruit. The night before, I chopped the dates, figs, pecans, and walnuts.

Raspberry jam and blackberry wine gives the raw dough a purple color.

The final product.

We did our Black Friday shopping at the local estate auction.

I rolled out the refrigerated dough for Mom's thin, crisp sugar cookies, decorated with sprinkles by grandchildren. A tin of these made it to Iowa in my carry-on bag.

We visited a local artist and found this wonderful sculpture on her porch.

My friend Robin came over one night to cook a special mulled cider brew on Mom's stove.

Mom deserves a good book and a nap after the busy week.


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Comments (2)

lothringen wrote:
What a great photo essay! And good to see your Dad back on his feet.
dashousepoms wrote:
The Fruitcake's look fantastic. Would your mom give out her recipe? My husband loves Fruitcake and I would love to make this for him. Also the Thumbprint cookies. Thanks, Deb

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