Holiday Sangria

A house full of family for Thanksgiving week meant afternoon puzzles and evening card games. And maybe a little sangria. Maybe enough sangria to enjoy for a second night. The recipe said to make it and put in the refrigerator overnight. Jessica mixed it in the morning and we sampled it late that afternoon. It wasn't bad, but it was a little unimpressive. It really did need the be mixed the night before.

It was a night after Thanksgiving that we had a nice cheese platter and this sangria. Made our supper of leftovers feel more like a party. The next night we poured up what was left. And that sangria had pizazz. The cinnamon and fruit flavors were bright and full. It really did need more time in the refrigerator. This was the easiest recipe to put together. Instead of adding sugar, the gentle sweetness came from adding apple cider to the wine. 

The end of last year's Christmas napkins.

This drink looks like a party. It tastes like a party. I'm saving the recipe for Christmas because I'm sure we will make it again. If you're having a very small party. Make a single bottle batch for a very small party. Just allow enough time to let the flavors develop.


2 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon
2 cups apple cider
4 cinnamon sticks.
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 red apple, sliced (don't peel it)
1 orange, sliced & seeded (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve in a wine glass, being sure to add some fruit to each glass.

Some apple ciders are bolder than others, I like the stronger kind for this mix. But use the one that suits your tastes. Or, the one that you can find in your store.

Thankful For Memories

I wish I had kept notes last week. We had the entire family here for Thanksgiving week. We had no heat for the first few days. We had lots of cooking and cleaning up in the kitchen. We had wild games of UNO. We had crazy post-Thanksgiving workouts. (Well, they did.) We had that precious kind of family time that is the stuff memories are made of.

But most of that is only a memory now. One thing I can share from last week (thanks to Mommy for making pictures) is a kid-friendly recipe that Mommy found. One rainy afternoon after Thanksgiving she let her little ones bake a treat for the rest of us.

Little Sister told us that the recipe said to spread "one-slash-two" of pumpkin. That's a 1/2 cup for those of you who are not fluent in kid speak. (The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of pumpkin.)

And the twists are sprinkled with "cimmanon"—but not sugar. (It actually was pumpkin pie spice.) It was kind of nice to have a non-sweet treat after our holiday indulgences.

Baby Girl had her turn sprinkling pumpkin pie spice over a pan of pumpkin twists.

She performed that task like she does everything—at full speed. No timid approach to anything she does.


1 (8-oz) can refrigerated crescent rolls (that makes 8 rolls)
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 375º.  Press triangles together to make 4 rectangles. Use a spatula to spread pumpkin over 2 of the rectangles. Top each pumpkin covered rectangle with another rectangle of dough. Cut the rectangles lengthwise into skinny strips. Twist up each long strip. Put parchment paper (or silicon baking mat) on baking pan. Put twists on pan. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice. Bake for 12 minutes, or until twists are brown. Serve warm.

After they made these, almost by themselves, they served the warm twists to all of us as we watched football on TV. I liked sitting down and being served!

Now, being a Southern grandmother—and Southerners love their sweets—I probably would drizzle a little glaze over the tops of these. But goodness knows we didn't need more sweets after chocolate pound cake, pumpkin pie and prune cake. And keeping the recipe simple was just right for little hands to be the bakers. Hang on to this idea for a good grandchildren activity.

There Is Still Time To Bake

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie

I'm baking this morning. A pumpkin pie for tomorrow. And I nearly panicked when the recipe was not here on the blog. And it wasn't in the family cookbook that we use all the time. That book is so well loved that everyone's copy is falling apart. Then I remembered the original place I kept my favorite recipes. It was a blank book with a red plaid cover. My mother gave me the book for Christmas a zillion years ago with no particular purpose in mind.

And back in 1979, it became my recipe book. Yes, I dated the recipes as I added them and made notes about where I served a recipe, and if it was part of a meal, I even listed the guests in attendance. I do similar things here on the blog now. But nothing will take the place of this tattered little red book. It's nearly a history of my life—the early edition.

Anyway, to keep things where I search for them now, I'm adding my pumpkin pie recipe to the blog. This pie is very close to the classic one on the pumpkin can label. But I adjusted the spices years ago and added a little flour to give the filling more body.

Oven ready.

If you have the ingredients on hand, you've got time to do this pie for Thanksgiving. It's super easy. Just stir it all together. I used a refrigerated pie crust in a 9-inch pie plate.


2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 15-oz can of pumpkin (NOT the pie filling kind)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
12-oz can evaporated milk
9-inch deep dish pie shell

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix filling ingredients in order listed. Pour into pie shell. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

I find it helpful to measure out the spices before I start the rest of the mixing. And I stir together the spices with the sugar and flour before adding to the pumpkin/egg mixture. (That was a good job for my helper #1.) Seems to me that everything is easier to blend that way.

My helpers

Good luck with your Thanksgiving cooking if you are doing it this year. If something doesn't work out right (and I've already had that happen) just move on the the next thing. Either no one will remember, or it will be the story that everyone loves to tell from year to year. It works out either way.

UPDATE:  Mercy, I'm trying to do too much. This pie recipe was posted here last year. But without photos. Surely next year I can find it on one of these two blog posts!

There’s Always Knitting

Pattern:  Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Yarn:  Lollipop Yarn Quientessential, color way Christmas Carol
Needles:  size 1.5

Just popping in for a quick hello while our Thanksgiving visitors are still asleep this morning. This week will be more about family and food than knitting. But there is always knitting happening along the way, I cast on a pair of Christmas socks this weekend. Socks are a small project that can be tucked in a purse or bag and worked on in bits and pieces as life swirls around you. 

I call this a "side project." I'm using a perfectly plain pattern. The yarn does the design work. For most of the sock, I'm just going round and round and round. No counting, no thinking.

Pattern: Piper's Journey, by Paula Emmons-Fuessle
Yarn: Quince Chickadee, color way Barolo
Needles: sizes 6

I finished this small shawl last week. It's a lovely project designed in two parts. The body of the shawl is all garter stitch so it is great for "public knitting." That means you can knit and talk at the same time. The border is knitted after the body is finished and the pattern for that isn't difficult, but you do have to keep track of where you are. So I knitted that part when I had fewer distractions.

Pattern: Maine Morning Mitts, by Clara Parks
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Worsted, color way Grey Mix
Needles: size 7

These fly off the needles. Larger yarn. Bigger needles. I can make one fingerless mitt in an afternoon. So a two day project. And who doesn't need a pair of mitts? Whip out a pair for someone on your gift list. There's time. It's a free pattern.

Now. Back to my previously scheduled cooking. If I don't see you again this week, Happy Thanksgiving!