Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thanksgiving & Completed Refinishing Projects

It's been a while since I've been around blogs and in fact have been neglecting my own!  I guess I've not had much to talk about that I thought would be of interest to anyone, and with the garden dwindling, and no trips out anywhere, things have been a bit ... hmmm ... slow here.
 
 
This past weekend was our Canadian Thanksgiving.   Thanksgiving is not what it used to be in my family, and although there was no huge gathering of 25 people like there used to be (and I don't want to get all melancholy here), we did have a big dinner for my own family on Sunday.  My daughter came home from university for the weekend, so we were all together again.  My son has enjoyed helping me with these big meals the last couple of years, and this year he was again willing.  It's just a lot more fun when someone is in the kitchen helping out, and we had some laughs as we threw things together.  We cooked a nice big 15-pound turkey, homemade sausage stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, candied yams, scalloped potatoes and this year a pot of baked brown beans.   I also made a pumpkin pie for dessert to round it all off.  It was epic I tell you! 
 
Morning glories taking over the back corner ... Heavenly Blue
 
My Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner don't vary much.  I kind of like it that way because it's easy to prepare all the dishes in a very streamlined way, since I prepare everything the day of (which is probably not the easiest way to get it done).   A while ago, I picked up a very nice bean pot at the thrift store, and I decided that this year I would add some old-fashioned baked brown beans to the Thanksgiving dinner.  I used a recipe that my mom used for years.  I don't believe she followed the recipe after a while ... really, it's so simple, it's barely even a recipe!  But I thought I would share it with you now, because it worked out really well. 

Here's my mom's original recipe card:

 
Bean Pot Beans
 
2 cups navy beans
1/4 lb bacon*
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/2 c chili sauce
1 tbsp. vinegar
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cups hot bean liquor
 
Cover beans with water* and soak overnight.  Add bacon** to the beans, cover and simmer (do not boil) until just tender (about 1 hour).  Drain, reserve liquor.  Remove bacon and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.  Pour beans into 2 quart bean pot or casserole.  Bury bacon cubes in beans.  Add remaining ingredients.  Cover and bake in slow oven (300'F) 6 hours.  If necessary, add bean liquor or hot water.  Serves 8
 
*NOTE: A notation on the back suggests 3 cups water/1 cup beans. 
 
**NOTE:  I used a small package of "pork bellies" and I felt it was safer to cut the bacon up into cubes & fry it up a bit first before adding to the beans.  I added it to the beans once they were well into a hot simmer.
 
So there you have it ... a very traditional Canadian winter's meal :)
 
Zinnias still out in bloom ... what a great flower this has been!
 
 
But that's not all I have to share with you today.  I also wanted to show my completed refinishing projects that I started a while ago.  I have the rocking basket all finished and with a lining that I already had made for it:
 
 
 
 
Once the second coat got on it, I was much happier with the results.  The first coat always seems to look dreadful doesn't it?
 
Next on the list was the wooden breadbox that I sanded down and painted:
 
 
It just seems sort of dull painted all white, but I can't decide what else to do with it.  Maybe just paint that front bar a different colour?  Not sure.  I sanded the entire interior as well, but didn't paint the interior.  I'm not using it as a bread box, just for storage.
 
I also finished up the little wooden stool that my great-grandfather made:
 
 
This will go back into my bathroom, but I realized afterwards that my bathroom's trim is all off-white (including the cupboard doors), so I think I have to now paint the trim & cupboards.  They're due for a bit of touching up anyway, so I don't mind doing that.  I think the stool needs a bit of a cushion on the top, and I like the look of something quilted ... what do you think?  I need a quick & easy sewing project ... I've been far too long away from my sewing machine.
 
 
The smoking table is still in the works as I haven't had time to sand down the fussy little corners yet.  My husband suggested I take the door off to sand it down quicker, but I'm afraid that if I take out all those screws, it won't go back together as snug as it is now.  These are the little indecisions that stall me for ages.  But I've got these three above projects completed, so I'm confident I'll get this last table finished up soon (at least before Christmas!!).
 
And while I was waiting for paint to dry, I decided to sand down yet another little piece ...
 
 
A small magazine holder.

 
I think I might do this one in colour.  I'm not 100% sure I like the white painted things now that they're complete, but I'm not going to do them over again (at the moment anyway).  I'm more of a colour person, as you can probably tell by my putting bursts of colour on the pieces I painted white!  So something more to ponder.  I also have two major (for me) redecorating things I have lined up and waiting.  I'll reveal more on that when I get my final ideas sorted.
 
Anyway, I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful fall weather in my area.  We've had about three weeks of sunny bright days with temperatures in the high teens.  Not your typical fall days!  I've still got all my windows opened during the day and the soft breeze is blowing through the house ... so very nice!  I've spent many days out on the patio soaking in the sunshine as the winter tends to drag on a bit longer here once it starts. 
 
Thanks for stopping by, it's always so nice to hear from you!
 
Wendy

The grasses around the pond are looking so pretty!
 
Some plants have been brought in now for winter.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

30 comments:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving! Your meal sounds delightful. My little guy has had an interest in the kitchen recently. It is so cute. And moms always have the best recipes.

    I love how your rocking basket turned out. The liner is just adorable! I like white painted items and furniture. It is just so fresh and contemporary!

    So happy that you are having beautiful weather up there. We are having quite the lovely week here too!

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    1. That meal WAS delightful ... and we're still enjoying the leftovers made into pot pie & soup! My son has helped me in the kitchen since he was small too ... standing on a kitchen chair beside me. My daughter would rather us wait on her, but she's figuring out some cooking skills on her own at university ;) I'm glad you liked my painted pieces ... you have such excellent taste, so your compliments mean a lot to me.

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  2. Hasn't the weather been fabulous (well, except Sunday)?! We've been crazy busy and I haven't been keeping up to date either...ah well, that's life.
    Jane x

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one letting things slide. I've just been getting things ready outside for winter, and I guess that's been keeping me away from the computer. Sunday was a surprise, wasn't it! So much rain ... I felt badly for the folks getting in the last weekend of camping (as this was the last weekend for many campgrounds to be open). I saw a lot of trailers on the hwy heading out.

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  3. A lovely post Wendy! That meal sounds amazing, mmmm, i'm imagining turkey and cranberry sauce sandwiches!

    You've been busy with the paint pot, love your work! Wish you could get Annie Sloan though, then you wouldn't have to faff about with sanding and priming and extra coats! I've just discovered you can use AS to paint on fabric, the possibilities are endless!

    Thanks for popping over to me earlier, you're always welcome!

    Love Claire xxx

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    1. Hello Claire, always good to see you ;) I haven't actually looked for Annie Sloan, and wonder if they might have it at a proper paint store. We have a really good family-owned store in town that I could check out there. I had the white leftover from painting my daughter's kitchen chairs, so decided to use it all up. But I do hate to have to prime things! Looking forward to seeing what YOU are going to paint on fabric! Have you ever tried cutting out a stencil from "freezer paper" and then ironing it onto fabric (it's slightly sticky on one side). Then you paint in the stencil for a really clean graphic. Easy & Fun!!

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  4. I wrote a long message, and then the computer said no! All lovely though. xx

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    1. Oh dear ... I have that happen more than I like with my laptop!! Thank you for taking time to send me another message Amy ... it's been so nice hearing from you :)

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  5. Happy Thanksgiving, Wendy !!
    I do love the how the rocking basket has turn out, very chic!! You still have those pretty flowers and foliage.
    have a wonderful week,
    - Gaia
    I missed reading your lovely posts :)

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    1. Thank you Gaia, I hope you enjoyed your long weekend too. I like the rocking basket a lot better with the lining in it. I'm so glad you enjoy reading my posts!

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  6. Well Happy Thanksgiving Wendy! Here we don't celebrate until the last Thursday in November so we still have a few weeks to go. We also used to have huge gatherings with the family but the last couple of years it's just been us making our on traditions and it's been nice every time. Hearing about all the yummmy dishes that were made has made me extremely hungry for turkey!!!
    Hugs to you.....Shari!

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    1. I'm glad our Canadian Thanksgiving is in October, as it gives a long breather between that and Christmas. The meal was excellent, and although I do miss my family all getting together, times have changed with my mother dying and their home being sold. Their place was in the middle of my three sisters and I, so it was always convenient for us all to meet there. Now it's a lot further to travel & not everyone is as willing as I am to do the travelling or host the dinner. But it's still fun for my little family of four to be together and cozy up in front of a fire and a good movie after the huge meal. Enjoy your week, and it's always nice to see you here Shari :)

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  7. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Wendy! I've been feeling a little un-bloggy lately and am catching up on posts from the past few days myself. Your dinner sounds delicious and how nice to have that old recipe card of your mom's to use. All of your projects look really good and I think the magazine rack would look really nice in a light green or blue, but that may because I've been painting everything that color lately and it's just stuck in my mind. :)

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    1. Thanks Jennifer for such nice comments. I really do want to paint the magazine rack in a colour, but I'll first decide which room I'm going to put it in and coordinate it for that room. I like both light green & blue too! Nice crisp colours. Enjoy the rest of your week :)

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  8. Hey Wendy!! Happy Thanksgiving to you friend! Your meal sounded so delicious! And thank you for sharing your bean recipe..I am always looking for new ones for the holidays and this would be perfect for our Thanksgiving! And how awesome that your son joined you in the cooking! That makes for great memories! Your pieces are looking fantastic lady!! They are so fresh and new!!! Keep us posted on how you are coming along with them all and have a wonderful week! Oh and your morning glories about knocked me off the couch!!!

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    1. Thanks so much Nicole. Let me know how the beans work out if you try them. I found that 6 hours of baking was maybe a bit too long, and would probably add a bit of water part way through the cooking as they were just a tad dry (could've been the oven was a little hotter than suggested for the turkey cooking as well). My brother makes his with beer, but I haven't tried that! Glad you liked my finished pieces! Aren't those morning glories something!! I think they'll be going strong until frost hits. Have a great week :)

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  9. Lovely Post Wendy! And happy thanksgiving! We don't celebrate that in Australia but having an American Mum meant we often had a Thanksgiving dinner growing up and I've been thinking of doing the same.....Great job on all your bits and pieces too. I'm loving that rocking basket! Have a lovely week. Mel x

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    1. Thanks Mel! I always loved Thanksgiving growing up, and I think our kids enjoy it too. My sisters & brother and their families would all gather together and the cousins all played down in the woods in the leaves, and then it was sitting by the huge fireplace before we sat down to a feast. Very good memories! Enjoy your week!

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  10. Enjoy your Autumn Season! That is the most important thing.

    But thank you for sharing some of what's going on, and some lovely photos.

    Tessa~

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    1. Hi Tessa ... oh yes! I am enjoying autumn this year! It's been so warm and sunny that we can't believe we're half-way through October already. Even today it's a steamy 18'C! Crazy. Glad you enjoyed the photos. I hope to post a bit more often now that my big chores outside are finished. Enjoy your week!

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  12. Wow, your Thanksgiving is early! Dinner sounds great to me, gosh I can't remember the last time I had baked beans! I just don't know where you get all that energy! :D To give you an idea of the breadbox being in two different colors I thought I would show you a picture of mine which is cream and barn red... maybe it will help you to make a decision... Well, I was going to give you an idea but it won't let me add the picture so if you email me at elizabethstudio54[at]gmail[dot]com I can send the pic to you as an attachment.
    Ah, you are sure right about those little squares, might take me a while for the blanket... LOL!
    Hugs,
    Beth P

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    1. I like having Thanksgiving in October, we're in proper fall weather, not winter weather. Winter weather is for Christmas ;) I know these comment boxes are limited ... won't even let you send a link! I'll send you a line. Thanks Beth!

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  13. You are a busy girl! I'm glad you had a nice Thanksgiving dinner, and I enjoyed seeing all of your projects.

    "Winter tends to drag on." Truer words were never spoken honey! Boy how I dread it. ;)

    Jo

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    1. Yep, I'm a non-stop whirlwind ... sitting here on my laptop with a tea beside me ... yawn ... Well let's hope winter won't be so severe on us this time. We bought a snowblower this year (me & my shovel have been replaced), so I'm sure we'll get nothing from the sky after dropping $$$$$ for that!

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  14. I have a magazine holder like yours, Wendy! but mine needs sanding and painting too...

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    1. Ha! I can give you inspiration then Ana ;)

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  15. Hello Wendy
    I'm glad we have our Thanksgiving earlier than the date for the US. Our dinner has pretty much the same vegetables with turkey each year as well. I made 2 each of pumpkin and apple pies which turned out to be too many. Oh well, we got into one pumpkin pie not long after it came out of the oven.
    The colours travelling north were not as vibrant as previous years and we did manage to have everyone present for a change.
    Your painting projects have turned out well, now that the gardening has come to a close I'm into a couple of small projects myself.
    Judith

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    1. Yes, I like having an October Thanksgiving as well ... it just feels right with all the fall colour. Four pies!! That's a lot of pies, and I don't think we would've finished them off either, even if my whole family was here helping. But I do love pumpkin pie! It's sort of nice to put the gardens to rest and not have to see bugs eating this & that for a while. I look forward to seeing your projects then Judith. Enjoy the rest of the week!

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  16. Hi Wendy, I am definately slow in catching up with my blog reading.
    Your Thanksgiving sounds nice-sometimes just the immediate family is always good too.
    You will love your bean pot, a friend here was out antiquing and found a old pottery one for a gift for me. I really love it as it holds the heat of the beans for a long time.
    You did a great job on all of your projects. Do like to use stencils? Perhaps that would add a little color to your bread box without being too much. I like the quilt just sitting there on your little bench.
    we just had our first killing frost last night-but warming up next week again

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Thanks so much for leaving a comment, it's nice to know when you've stopped by! :)

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