The 2nd Annual Twenty Days of Thankful (now with words!)

Last year I jumped on board the happy, cheesy, month of thankfulness train by posting a picture a day of things I was thankful for. I thought I might like to do it again, but like last year, I couldn’t get myself together enough in time to start on November 1st… can we just say that I’m fashionably late to the party?

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While I’m not sure I wholly endorse the thankfulness project (as I rarely endorse anything that’s trending with stay-at-home moms on Facebook), I will say that my attempt last year was fun, and cathartic.

For me anyway.

I hope you enjoyed it to.

Then again, honestly, blogging is a selfish pursuit so even if you didn’t like it I’m going to do it anyway.

Last year’s 20 Days of Thankful was housed in this other blog – which is more conducive to micro-blogging and posting single photos. This year I’m upping my game (which might be a little crazy considering my schedule, but what the hell). I thought it would be fair to evolve the project and actually, maybe, explain why I’m thankful for that thing you’re seeing.

It’s going to be a challenge. I mean, I blog a lot (like, a lot), but the Crafty Lady often gets neglected while I pursue those things that you know, are going to advance my career. The point is, I’ve blogged every day for 20 days, well, never. Here’s hoping I can make it happen, starting now….

Day #1: Leftovers

photo-3I’m staying at my mother’s house in my home town for the week taking care of her  dog while she and my step-father are in Hawaii (way to go, champs!). While Crystal Lake is not a realistically commutable distance for me, I figure I owe the lady a favor for bringing me into this world.

There is a feeling about coming home, and I’ll be honest, I’m old enough and far enough removed from this town that I no longer think of it as “going home.” It’s my Mom’s house. My bedroom was redecorated 10 years ago. The only things that remain is a bunch of my childhood toys in the basement in boxes and bins that I don’t have room for in my apartment, but which nobody wants to part with.

But then, the first night I arrived, there were labelled leftovers in the fridge, and I got an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. Taking care of this dog is pretty inconvenient, but I’m sure that, like, 20 years of my Mother’s life were inconvenient because of me. Like how she used to fix me dinner, pick me up at school, drive me to dance class, pick me up again, drive me to band practice, pick me up again, and console me as I cried over Algebra at midnight. These labelled leftovers were a little reminder of what it takes to be an awesome parent, and also a reminder that I don’t have that in me now, if ever. So thanks, Mom.

Creamed Corn is Actually Delicious!

This post comes from my Mom, Cheryl, who I’ve finally coerced into giving up her recipe for creamed corn.  I know what you’re thinking… Creamed corn? But there’s nothing quite like this.  It’s a staple at my family’s holiday table, and perhaps you’ll add it to yours this year too…

A little history on this recipe:

When I was growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area my Dad had a favorite restaurant called Gullivers.  He would love to gather the whole family there as often as budget and time allowed. It was a meat and potatoes place and designed along the lines of King Arthur’s court.  It was a huge beamed room with wooden tables and benches and everything was served on pewter dishes.  They served the best prime rib around.  All the servers were dressed in period costumes and the food was awesome, the atmosphere loud and bawdy and it was a great fun place to go.  As we got older and our family grew, we went to Gullivers less and less simply because it was too hard to get everyone there at the same time and no one had the money. We were all starting our families, buying houses etc.  So my dad got the idea to create Gullivers at home!

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He could do the prime rib and the Yorkshire pudding and the garlic mashed potatoes,  and serve the wine, but he simply could not recreate the best side dish ever.  Gullivers made a creamed corn that was to die for.  My dad tried and tried and it just wasn’t the same.  So he went back to Gullivers and simply asked for the recipe.  The manager claimed that they could not give it out.  My dad did not give up easily once he got something in his head.  So, my dad being my dad, simply charmed one of the female servers and she gave him the recipe!
It became a Clements family tradition that every Christmas my dad served prime rib, garlic mashed potatoes, and Gullivers corn.  When I moved to Colorado and wasn’t near my family for the holidays, I asked my dad for the recipe so that I could continue the tradition for my own family.  All these years later,  it is still a staple at our Christmas table and is so popular that it even shows up at Thanksgiving alongside the turkey. I have now passed the recipe along to my children so that they can continue to carry on the tradition.  Literally, every time I make it, I think very tenderly of my dad!  I hope you will enjoy it as well!

Gullivers’ CornCorn 1

Ingredients:
  • 20 oz frozen corn
  • 8 oz whipping cream
  • 8 oz milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tsp sugar
  • pinch of white pepper
ROUX:
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  1. Mix corn, cream, milk, salt, sugar, pepper in a sauce pan.  Cook on LOW heat until bubbly.
  2. Watch carefully so it does not boil.  Cook about six minutes. Longer is ok as long as you keep the heat on LOW.
  3. Make the roux and add in small batches.
  4. Continue to stir to mix in roux and keep the heat low until the mixture becomes thick and creamy.
Makes about six good size servings.  I don’t know if it freezes well because I have never had any leftovers!