As this Christmas week begins, my thoughts have been on remembering the people and places where Christmas was celebrated. I looked forward to every place we would visit. I didn't have a meal or reunion at my own home until all my grandparents and Gene's parents left earth for their eternal home. Now that we have so few close family members to feed, it brings me many smiles thinking of meals that needed two tables to hold it all.
The great big turkey took my mother over 12 hours to prepare. Dressing (stuffing) would have never fit in a turkey cavity. Two dishpans barely held all she made. Sides included: mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, lima beans, purple hull peas, corn, devilled eggs, macaroni and cheese, brown and serve rolls and fruit salad. The Rials family, the Tolbird family and the Prince family banquets were a sight to behold. It never got old because every family cook seasoned differently. My daddy's sister would come from Michigan to prepare the Tolbird clan some 'city food.' She made stuffed dates, rum balls, and scalloped potatoes to stretch our palates.
All this and desserts, too. Coconut cake, jam cake, fruit cake, pecan pie, chess pie, egg custard and candy. I feel that I let my children and grandchildren down when I followed newer traditions and stopped with four sides and two desserts. We decided to only have finger foods and punch this year. I am making several varieties of cookies and candy through this week. Kate is bringing sausage balls, pinwheels, some sandwiches and Chex mix. I am considering a vegetable pizza because I like them so much.
I am so thankful for every year I was allowed to be with my extended families. Those days were the very, very best. But 2020 will represent who the Princes are now. I would feel bad if we enjoyed the food that Gene loves most. He will not be able to come home for a holiday meal due to quarantine rules. These are difficult days for nursing home residents, hospital patients and all their families. I intend to take some of our goodies to share at Countryside. The greatest gift anyone can give this year is the gift of heartfelt prayers. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come but right now, in this minute, God is ready to comfort and love every hurting and lonely person.
Vegetable Pizza: Using two cans of crescent rolls make a crust on a long cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely. Mix one 8 oz. container of sour cream with one pkg. ranch seasoning and spread over crust. Prep your favorite vegetables in bite size pieces. (Carrot strips, cauliflower and broccoli florets, cucumber slices, sliced radishes, halved cherry tomatoes, etc.) Arrange on crust where you can get a good selection in every serving. Cover with saran wrap and chill at least 2 or 3 hours before serving. Serve slices with extra ranch dressing.