Life on Regal-Hill: Nov. 19, 2008

It is rather chilly here at Regal-Hill today. One can tell Thanksgiving Day is almost here. Being that is so late this year there won’t be as many days to get ready for Christmas. Apparently this hasn’t stopped many stores from getting decorated and stocked for the Christmas season way before Thanksgiving.
Farming here continues as usual no matter what the weather is or holidays.
The heifers had gone back outside after the storm and the temperature warmed up. Yesterday it seemed rather cold outside so George got all ready to put the heifers back in the barn, but they never came down off the hill. However they were down here this morning and he put them in. George seems to keep them in rather than feed them outside. He thinks they don’t waste as much hay when they are fed inside. I think he likes having to care for them even though that means running the barn cleaner and taking the manure out every other day besides feeding them several times a day that now includes silage, grain and hay. Otherwise he has to get the tractor out and take bales of hay up into the pasture for them nearly every day.
Most of the other fall work is done. Some of the machinery and tractors have been put inside for the winter; there is still more to put away.
If it warms up again I still have some flowers to clean up and some perennials to cover to protect them from the cold and snow. I had hoped to have that all done way before this. Since Wednesday was warmer I took time to finish preparing the perennials for the winter and cleaned up the flowerbeds even though my hands got very cold before I got finished. I am glad to have that done. I suppose some flowers should be fertilized but I don’t know when I will do it.
We shouldn’t wait until Thanksgiving to begin thinking of all we have to be thankful for. Every day we are reminded of blessings we have: a warm home even if it is heated with wood; plenty of food, much of it that we raised ourselves and stored for winter; power to run all the appliances and lights as well as the water pump; good health; enough income to pay for whatever we really need and, most of all, that we know God and He is always there for us whenever we need Him so we can always have hope — hope for the present and hope for the future. And that will never change no matter what else does.
Happy Thanksgiving.
We all have our favorite recipes we use over and over for Thanksgiving. However if you are looking for something a little different to serve this Thanksgiving try these recipes and see if you don’t like them enough to use again next year. So that you can have time to get all the ingredients you will need to prepare your dinner I am writing about Thanksgiving dinner early.

Apricot-Glazed Turkey Breast
1 bone-in turkey breast (5 to 6 lbs.)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tbsp. sliced fresh ginger root
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup reduced-sugar apricot preserves
1 tbsp. spicy brown mustard
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
With fingers, carefully loosen skin from turkey breast. With a sharp knife, cut 10 2-in. long slits in meat under skin; insert a garlic and ginger slice into each slit.
Place turkey in a large bowl; pour 1/4 cup of broth under the skin. Secure skin to underside of breast with toothpicks. Pour remaining broth over turkey. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
In a small bowl, combine the preserves, mustard and soy sauce; set aside. Drain and discard marinade; place turkey on a rack in a foil-lined roasting pan.
Bake at 325 degrees for 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees, basting with apricot mixture every 30 minutes (cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly). Cover and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.
Yield: 12 servings
Country Woman December/January 2009

Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 egg
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup hot water
Filling/Topping
2 cups cold milk
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon rum extract
In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and egg. Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with water, beating well after each addition.
Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut gingerbread into 1-in. cubes; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand 2 minutes or until soft-set. Combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon; stir in pudding. In another bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and extract; beat until stiff peaks form.
Set aside 1/4 cup gingerbread cubes. In a 4-qt. trifle bowl or glass serving bowl, layer a third of the remaining gingerbread cubes; top with a third of the pumpkin mixture and whipped cream. Repeat layers twice. Crumble reserved gingerbread; sprinkle over top. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Yield: 16 servings
Country Woman December/January 2009