When Families Merge

PictureGrowing up my family had their own set of traditions.   Jeff’s family also has their own traditions.  So, as you can imagine and I’m sure may have experienced yourself, the merging of traditions into your own family can be difficult.  Growing up we decorated the day after thanksgiving (I should add that christmas is my favorite holiday).  I went all out, garland up the banisters and stockings on the mantel.  The tree could light a whole room with all its lights!  I tended to love and take over christmas decorating, except the outside lights.  I am terrified of heights and I am not to be trusted on roofs.  My dad always got chosen as the unlucky victim of putting up the outside lights.   This brings us to the long standing debate of when is christmas really over.
As a kid we took decorations down around the 6th.  My husband Jeff however, thinks that new years day is the best day.   In an effort to merge our traditions I caved to christmas being over on New Years.  I do however decorate for christmas the day after thanksgiving (except for the tree since we now use real trees).  This brings me to merging traditions.  I was intregrarted into my new family while still holding onto my own family’s traditions, I urge you all to remember that love, compromise and communication is key.  Keeping those things most important will get you through the hard times.


Home is where the love is…

     Growing up we spent many vacations in Oklahoma with my grandparents.  I would always look forward to certain things, for instance my dad’s mom makes awesome rum cake.  My mom’s mom she always made us spatzle, which all of my cousins loved.   We would joke that we were going to make her a 50 gallon drum to make enough soup for everyone.  This year I am spending New Year’s  with Jeff’s family and volunteered to make spatzle.  I think that homemade food is made all the better by the memories it brings while cooking.  My chicken in currently getting a spa treatment in my stock pot with his friends the onion, carrot, celery, rosemary, thyme, garlic, and black pepper.  My entire house smells like the holidays with my family.
People tend to say “Home is where you’re heart is” well that means that mine is in a lot of pieces.  My heart is with all of my family and not just through the holidays.  Jeff often makes jokes about how food obsessed I am.  Food for me tends to bring back all those wonderful memories of family and all the love we share.

Fried Pickle Heaven

Flour Dredge
1 1/2 C Flour
1/4C Parsley
1 1/2 T Garlic Powder
1 T Oregano
1 1/2 T Onion Powder
1 T Salt
1 T Black Pepper

1 T Dried Dill
1 1/2 T Paprika
1 t Coriander
1 t Ground Yellow Mustard
Zesty Pickle Dip
1/2 C Sour Cream
1 t Salt
1 t Ground pepper
1 t Cayenne pepper
1 t Garlic powder
​1/2 t Celery Salt

 Preheat oven to 400*F.  Put 1/2 cup milk of choice in bowl,  Combine 1/4 cup milk (of choice) with 3 eggs.  In a third bowl, combine flour dredge ingredient, as listed above.

First, take pickle and dredge through milk dredge. Then, through flour mixture, as listed. After the first flour dredge, the pickles should be treated with egg treatment, and finally through the flour mixture once more.

Place all pickles on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes at 400*. Serve with Zesty Pickle Dip.

Sunday Night Date Night

     Jeff and I decided to spend today at home together and spend time together.  I got a lot of small things on my list done and Jeff spent some quality time on the couch with Gus.  We decided today would be a great day to get some of the rabbits smoked.  I dumped a bunch of spices into a bowl and made a spice rub.  We used lime olive oil and honey to rub on the rabbits with their spicy rub.  Jeff decided to use apple wood chips, and I made salad and biscuits to go with the rabbit.

Spice rub
1 T Cilantro
2 t Cayenne Pepper

1 T Black Pepper
1 T Salt
1 T Onion Powder
1 T Garlic Powder
1/2 T Ground Cumin
1/2 T Ground Paprika
1/2 T Ground Coriander
1 T Dried Cilantro
1/2 T Chili Powder
1/4 C Honey
1/4 C Olive Oil

Mix honey and oil in bowl.  Mix spices in bowl.  Cover rabbits with honey and oil then rub spices onto the rabbits.

     I used the water that we soaked the chips in to put in the water pan.  I also used a hard cider to add the apple flavor to the rabbit.  When we put the rabbits in the smoker there was leftover spice in the bowl so we dumped that in the water pan as well!
     We cooked the rabbit at about 225 degrees for three hours.  The biscuits I made were from an earlier post (click on the link provided _  ).  We hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday with their families.