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So I had a little bit of a meltdown this last Sunday afternoon while I was making dinner. Each week I sit down and I write out my thoughts and memories for this blog and I realized that the way my family celebrates holidays has forever changed. I guess this is what happens when your children get older, start spending time with their significant others and their families, and your parents and grandparents pass away.
My job has been the main contributor to ruining this holiday that is supposed to be about family and spending time together. Several years ago one major retailer decided to open on Thanksgiving, trying to get the jump on raking in those holiday dollars. The next year most stores followed suit, including mine. Why can’t people just wait a day to shop? There are no relaxed Thanksgiving preparations, there is only truck after truck, stress, and anxiety.
Another factor is my brothers and their families don’t come up to spend the holidays anymore, due to things that are going on in their lives.


I sat and thought, what’s the point of even making Thanksgiving dinner this year when the ones we love ALL can’t be together? Yes, I was feeling sorry for myself, and yearning for how it used to be when my grandparents were still here and we would have huge family get-togethers. After a telephone conversation with my mom, a few things dawned on me... I cannot change what other people do, I can only control what I do. Every now and again, I have to have a big dose of that hit me in the face. So, I will be making Thanksgiving dinner, on a Saturday after everyone else has celebrated. I will be making it in my own home and using my grandma Ivys’s beautiful Spode China. I will be spending the day with two of my three boys, my parents, and my wonderful husband, I am grateful for all of them.
I have a lot to be thankful for this year, even with two pretty serious injuries I endured. I still took a fabulous trip to Poland, with the most amazing family and friends. Times that will forever be etched in the history of my life as some of the most fun I have ever had. I got to have one of my cousins from Poland come and spend time here in Washington with me. I have a new four-legged baby to love and cuddle. I am so blessed to have amazing people in my life who I can rely upon no matter what. You know who you all are, and I love you!
I also know that I am going to try to change some things in my life that have prevented me from enjoying the holidays as I used too. Working in retail has sucked so much of the joy out of me, and what I used to love about this time of year. So I’m making my New Years' resolution early, and that’s to make whatever changes I can in that area of my life. I don’t know what lies ahead, but I do know that I am the only one that can make it happen.
I am very thankful for this year of writing my stories and my recipes for all of you. I am eternally grateful for Twila for giving me the opportunity to do so. I hope that all of you have a wonderful holiday! If you do decide to go out and go shopping this Thanksgiving Day, maybe take a moment to look around and see all of the people working, and not be frustrated that the lines are long, or the store is out of something. I can guarantee you that all of those people working would much rather have been home, watching a parade or football, and eating dinner with their families too, I know I would.
This week's recipe is for amazing yeast bread that will be so delicious to make a sandwich out of with your leftover turkey. It is an easy but long process, so make sure you read the recipe all the way through. I just came upon this recipe a few months ago, and I’ve been making it weekly since. It is being presented on one of the most versatile pieces of pottery you can own. This Cherished Friends 17.75 inch cutting board/cooking sheet exudes beauty. Regularly $133.99 and on sale this week for $106.99. It is a must-have piece for so many reasons! I let the dough rise in this stunning, mouth droppingly, beautiful 10 inch Champagne mixing bowl, regularly $229.99, and on sale for $183.99. If you 3ver make one of my recipes, I hope you try this one! It’s really really good!

All of the pottery pictured is available for purchase at The Pottery Avenue by Pangaea website at www.potteryavenue.com. Use the search button and type in the pattern name and it will bring up all of the pieces available in that pattern. Can’t find what you are looking for? Just send a message and Twila and her team will be happy to help you.

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From my heart to yours, Smacznego!

NO KNEAD CRANBERRY-ROSEMARY BREAD

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 3 cups + 2 tbs bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • 1¾ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tbs granulated sugar
  • 1½ tbs freshly chopped rosemary
  • ½-cup dried cranberries
  • 1½ cups water, room temp

Directions

  • To a large bowl add the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, rosemary, and whisk well to combine. Add the cranberries and mix a few additional times to incorporate them.
  • Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the water. Stir together with a spoon until a scrappy dough forms, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in a warm (about 70°F), draft-free place, and let rest for 12-16 hrs.
  • Carefully remove the dough from the bowl and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. This is a very wet dough, so sprinkle a bit of flour over the top. With floured hands, gently grab the edges of the dough and fold it onto itself about 2-3 times. Sprinkle the dough with a little extra flour if the dough seems too sticky to work with, then form it into a ball.
  • Transfer the ball of dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Grab both edges of the parchment paper and transfer the dough, still on the paper, to a large clean bowl. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let rest for 45 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 450°F, place a 3.5 qt. dutch oven on the center rack, and let it heat up there for the full 45 minutes during which the dough is resting. With the lid on!

Very carefully, remove the dutch oven. Using the edges of the parchment paper, drop the dough, still on the paper, into the dutch oven. Place the lid back on, and place back into the oven. Let bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and let the bread bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until golden brown, and hollow-sounding when tapped. For extra security, you can use an instant-read thermometer to check if the bread is done, the bread is ready when the internal temperature at the center reaches 205-210°F.
Remove the dutch oven and use the parchment paper to transfer the bread to a cooling rack. Let the bread cool for about 1 hour before slicing with a serrated knife.