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Member since: Thu Mar 4, 2004, 08:30 AM
Number of posts: 2,657

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Things I have learned about Thanksgiving cooking over the years

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. This weekend I will celebrate my 70th birthday, and I will be cooking for our family get together tomorrow. Last year was the first year since my divorce (in 1977) that I did not spend all Thanksgiving morning cooking for the afternoon/evening feast because of the pandemic. I sat on my daughter's patio and talked to her through an open window while she cooked and then gave me a loaded plate to take home. This year we are all vaxxed and will have the feast at my son's house a few miles away. I am so thankful for that! Anyway, here are some things I have learned over the years:

1. Fresh is always best. I love cranberry sauce and make it from real cranberries. It's really easy and the recipe is right on the package. That canned stuff is an abomination. Same goes for whipped cream.
2. For a truly moist turkey (unstuffed) that is browned to perfection, roast it breast side down for the first half of the cooking time. This will baste the breast in the natural juices and will keep it from drying out. Then, flip the bird for the rest of the time to allow it to brown properly. You won't be disappointed.
3. Instead of using canned pumpkin for your pie, try using one of those small sweet pie pumpkins. Just cut it in half, remove stem, seeds and pulp and place it cut side down on a greased baking sheet. Roast it for a couple of hours at 375* F until you can pierce it easily with a fork. You can also cut it into smaller pieces and roast it in a large crockpot set on High. Let cool and scrape the meat of the pumpkin out of the skin. Use that instead of the canned stuff, which is hubbard squash and not pumpkin anyway.
4. The addition of sliced baby carrots to the onions and celery in the dressing adds great flavor, vitamins, fiber and looks pretty as well.
5. A tablespoon or two of the wine you are serving at dinner added to the pan drippings will help deglaze the pan and add a tremendous amount of flavor to your gravy. The alcohol evaporates during the cooking and leaves behind a richness that nothing else can match.

Well, there it is. Make of it what you will. I wish you all a Happy, Healthful, Delicious and Enjoyable Thanksgiving!
Posted by Trailrider1951 | Wed Nov 24, 2021, 01:52 PM (21 replies)

Big storm here in western Washington

We just lost power. High winds, heavy rain, lightening and thunder, unusual for this area. Please stay safe, my West coast peeps!
Posted by Trailrider1951 | Sun Oct 24, 2021, 04:37 PM (23 replies)

Amtrak has a sale on their USA Rail Pass, reg. $499, now $299

30 days, 10 different rail travel "segments". Restrictions apply. You can read about it here:


This is an excellent way to see the USA on a budget. If you've never taken a long-distance train trip, now may be the time. Sale ends June 22. Cross post from the Travel group.

Hmmm, where can I go in October?

Posted by Trailrider1951 | Thu Jun 10, 2021, 10:50 PM (7 replies)

Amtrak has a sale on their USA Rail Pass, reg. $499, now $299

30 days, 10 different rail travel "segments". Restrictions apply. You can read about it here:


Hmmm, where can I go in October?
Posted by Trailrider1951 | Thu Jun 10, 2021, 10:13 PM (1 replies)


I've always hated mayonnaise. On anything. Even the smell is enough to make me hurl. So, what do I put in my tuna and potato salad? Answer: Buttermilk ranch dressing. The Buttermilk formulation of most ranch dressings is the least mayonnaise tasting of the ranch dressings. I usually add enough of the dressing to hold the salad ingredients together without drowning it. So, if you dislike mayonnaise like I do, this may be an acceptable substitute. It's also an excellent dip for veggies, and I even put it on my (steamed) broccoli, as well as on my salad. Try it!
Posted by Trailrider1951 | Thu Apr 8, 2021, 05:38 PM (24 replies)

Well, I just spent more than half of my stimulus money

and I haven't even received it yet. Late Saturday morning I was eating my favorite breakfast: veggie sausage patty with a buttered biscuit and cup of cinnamon tea. I had nearly finished when I bit down on a portion of the patty that was a bit chewy and CRUNCH! I fractured a tooth, the premolar on the upper left side. Today was my first opportunity to visit my dentist. 2 hours later, and $775 lighter, I feel like I've been kicked in the teeth by a mule. 2 ibuprofen and some whisky and water later, I'm feeling a bit better. Fortunately, the fracture was such that they think I can get by with just a crown, and not a root canal. I now have a temporary crown, some gum damage, and with the applied antibiotics, I am on the way to healing. Sux to be me.
Posted by Trailrider1951 | Tue Mar 23, 2021, 06:54 PM (20 replies)

If you missed the broadcast of Oprah interviewing Meghan and Harry, you can watch it here

on CBS.com, with commercials:


Posted by Trailrider1951 | Mon Mar 8, 2021, 03:42 PM (4 replies)

Flute duet in space, courtesy NASA

Starring Cady Coleman and Ian Anderson. Enjoy!

Posted by Trailrider1951 | Thu Feb 25, 2021, 12:04 PM (10 replies)

Cancelled again!

I had an appointment for tomorrow morning to receive my first shot of the Covid vaccine. Last night I got a text from my provider that the vaccine is not available for my appointment, so it has been rescheduled for next Sunday, Feb. 28. My original appointment was for Saturday, Feb. 13. They called me Wednesday, Feb. 10 to tell me that it wasn't available for that appointment, and rescheduled me for Saturday, Feb. 20. Mind you, I have been eligible to receive the vaccine for over a month now, as I am 69 years old with severe asthma. So I wait at home for my next chance at vaccine roulette. This is so frustrating! But, at least I can stay home and wait. Both of my children married teachers, who have been ordered to return to work in March, but cannot get vaccinated until July as they are under 50. If I could, I would forgo my vaccination (both doses) to give it to them! This all just sux so badly! Where the f**k is all the vaccine doses going? To assholes like Ted Cruz, that's where. I'm done here.
Posted by Trailrider1951 | Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:09 PM (9 replies)

Happy Valentine's Day, my lovelies!

And a hearty THANK YOU, MUCHAS GRACIAS, DANKE SCHOEN to the people who gave me hearts!

Thank you for being my friends. I love you all!
Posted by Trailrider1951 | Sun Feb 14, 2021, 12:34 PM (0 replies)
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