Breakfast for Dinner

Few things satisfy the soul like a meal that is designed to start your day off right. Tonight I had a craving for breakfast for dinner. These usually hit me more in the winter months than in the summer I think because in the heat of the summer, I am more interested in a simple glass of tea and light veggies for dinner. In the winter, a more warming, filling meal hits the spot.

So off we go to get breakfast, and enjoy the boost a second time around today. YIPPPE.

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What’s on your neighbor’s plate?

Hungriest States of America

#9 North Carolina: 15.7% According to the Food Research and Action Center, Winston-Salem is the metro area in the U.S. with the most “food insecure” families, or households that have a hard time putting food on the table. “You say ‘hunger’ and people think of children in a third world country. They don’t think of the person next door,” says Tammy Caudill of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC. “But it is the person next door.”

Taken from http://takepart.msn.com/fighting_hunger/?section=gallerylong_4#section=gallerylong_4

If you use simple logic on this one, and everyone participated and helped their neighbor we could ease this crisis.  Everyone has a neighbor.  Some are four feet away between city building and brownstone windows.  For some their nearest neighbor is 15 miles east on the next farm.  BUT we all have at least one.  Wasn’t there a great command to love thy neighbor as thy self?  If you were hurting, and needed medicine or food, in today’s climate of self sufficiency, the very effective YOU would see that YOU got it.  We should all think the same about the people who live near us.

I have been fortunate to have (for the most part) excellent neighbors throughout my life.  I wish there were more time to spend with them.  Back when folks sat on their porches in the evening to unwind from the day, we knew more about each other.  We could share our burdens and in doing so find out that our burdens are similar, that they are our common ground more often than not. 

When we had one of the worst hurricanes in the last 20 years to hit our town, Fran I believe it was, our neighbors cooked together and ate together from the collective freezers as things thawed up.  It was several days if not weeks before some folks got power back, so we had to share, no we were able to share our water, our shower, our cook stoves and refrigerators.  Did this mean that we quit trying to do for ourselves, and expect others to care for us?  Certainly not!   In times of need, rise to the occasion to do the thing that most will not.  Show up.  Have some good food with you, and the most important thing of all, a nice smile and a good ear.

It is amazing how much good can come from doing simple things.

When Christmas is stocked alongside Halloween

I used to say to my husband, they put Christmas decor out so early in the stores that one day they will put it out before Halloween.  Well we walked into the local superstore to get dog food the other day.  Low and behold there it was Christmas on one aisle and Halloween on the other… So my mind is on the upcoming holidays… forced there before the kids in costumes arrive at my door, and the horror movies on my cable tv.  UGHHH

AND.. I am that woman who doesn’t have kids, who everyone assumes has a leisurely evening, full of flipping through magazines as I watch the latest hit TV show.  SO NOT TRUE most of the time, but I digress… tonight I have had largely a leisurely evening.  My husband has a bad back strain and it rained.  So, I have been writing.  The thing I absolutely love to do.

Tonight I was asked to donate a gift basket with my book Carolina Wine Country Cooking and some other goodies to a local event called the Fur Ball which supports the humane society.  Another love of mine, puppies and kitties…So, I am thinking of a special personal touch I can put in the gift basket that will be at the event in mid November.  Everyone will be thinking of the week to come when they will be serving, or sharing the Thanksgiving meal.  I think that I will share a new holiday recipe now with all of you, and put another new one in the gift basket.  A little exclusive preview from the upcoming Carolina Wine Country Cooking Vol II.

This would be really good for Thanksgiving, and the ingredients can be found in any grocery store.  If you cannot find scuppernong blush in your grocery store, use a moscato rose instead.

Cranberry Swirl Corn Bread Pudding

1/2 (15 ounce) can cranberry sauce

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup scuppernong blush wine

1 (8-ounce) package corn muffin mix (Jiffy)

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, steep the dried cranberries in the wine until they plump, approximately 30 minutes then strain out the cranberries and add them to the half can of cranberry sauce.  Discard or find another use for the wine.  Mix well.  In a large bowl, stir together the corn muffin mix, sour cream, and melted butter. Pour into a greased 9 by 13-inch casserole dish.  Pour the cranberry mix over the top in a zigzag pattern.  Using a kitchen knife, zigzag the cranberry mixture in the opposite direction.  Bake for 50 minutes, or until golden brown. Let stand for at least 5 minutes and then serve warm.

I hope you enjoy this dish, and your upcoming holiday season.

When November Comes

Isn’t it amazing when you have a story line in your head, and you find something from real life that is even better, that is even more inspiring.  That is how I feel tonight.  There have been several characters developing and their eventualities roaming around in my head.  Tonight their result is sure in my heart.  After witnessing the love my nephew has for his new wife and her son it came to me in a flash what the ending of my characters would be.  I’ve chosen one of the outcomes and it was even a surprise to me.  Maybe one day very soon you will be able to meet these characters and in them see a glimpse of the real love of a family bonded by these words, spoken by my new great-nephew.  “Jim is a great parent, and I am happy today to shake his hand and say welcome to our family Dad!”

I feel so blessed to have been able to witness this love today.  There is nothing like “true” love.

Many blessings to the Unverferth’s