Sauerkraut, soufflé, and the smells of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is next week.

Shocker, I know. (I mean, we haven’t even finished our candy corn yet.)

But speaking of side dishes…

Robbie and I have been married for 33 years. It’s only been in the past decade, though, that he has fully enjoyed Thanksgiving with me. The first 20 years? They were sort of trial-and-error (more error) on the Turkey-Day front. But then, about 10 years ago, I produced my first perfect sauerkraut.

I know, I know. Who eats sauerkraut at Thanksgiving? Nobody normal, if you ask me. But we learned, back when Robbie and I did our pre-marriage counseling, that we’d have to “adjust our expectations” if we wanted our marriage to thrive. And so, even though I expected a house to smell like turkey on Thanksgiving Day (hello?), I adjusted. I started fixing things the way that Robbie’s mom did. Or trying to, anyway.

Which meant…sauerkraut.

And, like I said, it took 20 years. And more than a few apologies to my side of the family, who would come over on Thanksgiving, walk into our house, and do this:

And honestly? My mother-in-law is an amazing woman (and a fabulous cook), but nobody has ever asked me for her sauerkraut recipe.

Folks have, however, asked how I make carrot soufflé. And if you’re looking for an alternative to sweet potatoes, consider putting this one on the menu. In addition to being something the children will eat (it’s basically sugar, with a few carrots thrown in), the dish comes with two other big holiday plusses: 1. You can make it the day before, and 2. It doesn’t have any overpowering smell.

Here you go:

Want that recipe in a printable form? Click here.

And if you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, “Wait. What? Jodie’s not a food blogger…” you’re right. I only divulge about one recipe per year (and, some would say, even that is too much).

I do, however, love to share BIBLE VERSES. And if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to add the “bread of life” to your Thanksgiving table, I hear you. I want that, too. And so every year, I light a few candles, break out the real napkins, and add a serving of Scripture to every place:

If you like this idea and you want to download some ready-made Thanksgiving verses, click here. I must warn you, though. I always include a verse or two that’s designed to extend grace to the cook, and if you’re soufflé falls flat or you accidentally roast the turkey upside down (been there, done that), just point your guests toward Ephesians 5:4.

Here’s hoping your Thanksgiving is filled with laughter and joy, and a big helping of gratitude. As I count my blessings in 2018, Philippians 1:3 comes to mind. I really do pray for you–my real life and my digital friends–and as the Apostle Paul said: I thank my God every time I remember you.

Truly. ❤️

Leave a Reply


Bake Up Some Love

This blog is not, normally, a place where you’ll find culinary tips or new recipes. And for good reason. Remember the Mac-n-Cheese post last summer? Drain the fat and then add it…

Yeah.

But with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought we might venture into the kitchen once again and bake up a little love. Because who doesn’t love cookies? Or, perhaps more to the point, who doesn’t love easy cookies? (Particularly when the Bible verse that you would be holding up, if you ever got on TV at an NFL game, is Leviticus 3:16: All the fat belongs to the Lord.)

DSC_0014

Anyhow.

You can whip up these simple shortbread hearts in minutes, and then let em chill for an hour or two before rolling them out. (And here’s some good news for the busy baker: NOTHING BAD WILL HAPPEN if you get distracted and forget you are making cookies, and you wind up leaving the dough in the fridge overnight.)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • a heart-shaped cookie cutter

Here’s what you do (and I use a stand mixer, but a hand-held will work just fine):

  1. Mix the butter and powdered sugar together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the flour and salt, and then the vanilla, and beat well.
  3. Gather the dough into a ball (scrape down the sides of the bowl) and wrap it in something like Press-n-Seal. (Wax paper works, too, or even a zip-lock baggie.) Put the dough ball in the fridge for at least an hour. Maybe even two. Or whatever.
  4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. (Some people like fatter shortbread cookies, so 1/2-inch is fine…you might just need to bake em a little longer). Use your cookie cutter to make heart shapes and place the cut-out cookies on ungreased cookie sheets.
  5. Sprinkle the cookies with granulated sugar.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes (you don’t want shortbread to “brown” so take a peek at about the 17-minute mark).
  7. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool, and dust with additional powdered sugar if you like that look.

Depending on the size of your cookie cutter (mine is about two inches long), this recipe yields at least 30 cookies, meaning that you can show the love to at least one other person. And if you don’t have a heart shaped cutter, no worries. Hillary (who requested the theme from Jurrasic Park as part of her wedding prelude) got a set of dinosaur cookie cutters as a shower gift, and I am sure they will work just fine. Better, maybe. Because nothing says I love you like a plate of shortbread stegosauruses and a night at home with Netflix.

 

 

Leave a Reply