Friday’s ritual

The bread machine takes up half a lower cabinet’s shelving. That’s a lot of space to give up for a convenience used once a week.

It’s with Friday’s cooling loaves that I’m reminded to be thankful I have a home and a kitchen in which to open cabinets filled with an array of the goods necessary to bake the bread that will grace the evening’s table.

Bread is its own prayer.

Tie One On…an apron, of course!

Thanksgiving Out of a Can

I was interviewed yesterday on The Recipe Box about National Tie One On Day. During the show, the host, Barbara Howard, read an email from a listener that basically said, I don’t cook, I open cans, which I think was her excuse for not participating in NTOOD. “You’ll have to do better,” I answered, “because when it came to opening a can and calling it cooking, my mother was the champ.”
And no meal lent itself more to Mama’s can cuisine than Thanksgiving. The green bean casserole? 1 can condensed mushroom soup + 1 can drained green beans + 1 can French fried onion rings = voila! Cranberry sauce? Straight from the can onto a lettuce lined plate, it bore the indentations of the container.
Years into adulthood, when the Thanksgiving meal became my domain, that casserole was laid to rest and fresh cranberry sauce replaced canned. This year’s recipe is as easy as opening a can, but tastes so much better: 2 cups cranberries + 1 cup orange juice (not from concentrate) + 1/2 cup sugar, stirred over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken (15 minutes or so). Chill & serve on a lettuce lined platter, an homage to my mother.
A cranberry log atop leaves of lettuce was traditional to more Thanksgiving tables than just ours. When I first saw this 1942 Thanksgiving snapshot, I immediately noticed the log in the glass server. I remember laughing because it so reminded me of my mother. Then, I took in the scene: a family with four military-serving sons home on leave for the holiday.

My Dad was also in the Navy. I don’t know where he was Thanksgiving of 1942, but according to this newspaper clipping dated May 20, 1941, he was due home in late June on a ten-day leave. The handwriting on the clipping is his mother’s, my Grandma Birdye. She kept it in an envelope, along with a photo of her sailor boy.
Over the next four years, there are more clippings, but none suggest he returned to SC on leave. His discharge card is dated October 8, 1945, and then he shipped home, in time to spend Thanksgiving with his family.
What with the scurrying taking place today and tomorrow, by so many traveling home for Thanksgiving, my mind is stuck on the military, and the empty place settings at too many tables in far too many homes.
Before carving the turkey and diving into a heavenly blob of mashed potatoes, it should be law that each and every one of us gives thanks for those in the service, and prays for their homecoming, which is a world of difference than home on leave.
Now, let’s all tie one on…an apron, of course! and get ready for National Tie One On Day!

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

Expressing gratitude through words isn’t so easy for many of us. Personally, I absolutely dread that round-the table thing where everyone tells what their grateful for. Waiting my turn is agony, as an adult goes overboard and a child gets the laugh with a blatant expression of love for a Nintendo.

I’m just more comfortable expressing my gratefulness through a gesture, like wrapping a loaf of bread in an apron, writing a note of encouragement, and delivering the bundle to someone who could use a lift or just a bit of recognition. That’s what National Tie One On DayTM is – showing appreciation for our bounty by sharing it.

Press Release #3


National Tie One On DayTM Expresses Gratitude

PUEBLO, Colo. – Of all the special days throughout the year, Thanksgiving is the most personal. A time when we feel thankful for the joys and blessings in our lives, for many of us, words of thankfulness can be difficult. National Tie One On DayTM offers a unique expression of gratitude when words fail us.

Celebrated on the eve of Thanksgiving – November 25 this year – National Tie One On Day is an opportunity to share our bounty by wrapping a loaf of bread or other baked good in an apron, along with a note of encouragement tucked in the pocket; then “tie one on” (an apron, of course!) and deliver the wrapped bundle to someone in need of a kind gesture.

“What with technology replacing face-to-face communication, the act of writing a note and hand delivering it with an offering, is an expression of kindness in itself,” says EllynAnne Geisel, creator of National Tie One On Day, “and bread is the ultimate expression of this, because it is the basic comfort food.”

“Give us this day our daily bread isn’t just a prayer,” says Geisel. “The words are also a reminder that to have more than daily bread is to be blessed.”

ea Tie One On Day bread delivery (Medium)

Bread Machine Challah

Place ingredients in machine pan in this order (water first, yeast last)

1 cup warm water

2 eggs, beaten

½ cup vegetable oil

4 ¼ – 5 ¼ cups bread flour (reserve ¼ cup)

2 ¾ teaspoons salt

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon dry yeast

Process on Dough/sweet program. As dough forms into a ball, add additional flour if it seems wet/sticky.

Divide the dough into *three sections and braid into a loaf. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put bread on sheet. Allow to rise until about double in size. Brush with egg wash (1 egg + 1 yolk, beaten).

Bake at 350 degrees 30-35 minutes, until crust is nicely browned.

*For 2 smaller loaves, divide into 6 sections

For additional information about National Tie One On Day visit Geisel’s website

Recognized by Chases Calendar of Events, National Tie One On Day is sponsored by Mom Bloggers Club, American Sewing Guild, The Women’s Museum, McCall’s Pattern Company, Stampington & Company, Aunt Martha’s Colonial Patterns, Inc., Simplicity Pattern Company, National Association of Baby Boomer Women, Creative Machine Embroidery, SewNews, Apron-iCity and The Fabric Shop Network.


The wonderful sponsors of National Tie One On Day have filled six goodie bags to giveaway. Easy Entry here! Thank you for sharing your plans for National Tie One On Day, which I’m sure will inspire others.


Tie One On…an apron, of course!

Holiday Miracle

As late shoppers scurried, my brother-in-law’s aorta shredded. A healthy fellow who began his day with self-directed yoga on an ocean-side deck, he had no inkling of a health crisis, much less his aorta peeling like a Vidalia onion blossom. But that’s exactly what occurred and he is now one day into recovering from open heart surgery. ‘Tis a miracle that he is alive.
This is a photo of Dave and Carol that I took Thanksgiving, both the picture of health and happiness. Prayers appreciated this picture is their future.

Tie One On…an apron, of course