Switching gears…

So, the turkeys have been stuffed and pumpkins taken down, now Christmas trees and greenery do abound.  Switching gears is a lot of fun, and this year as the days between the Holidays seem fewer, the Holiday spirit feels bigger.  Then again, after having a delicious leftover sandwich, how can you not feel happy?  This year I changed my favorite sandwich just a tiny bit, but the results have been big flavor!  Usually it is pretty traditional in our kitchen the days after, and that is a good thing…sliced roast turkey and butter lettuce sandwiched between sourdough bread, Duke’s mayo (so sorry if you’re a Hellman’s fan, but in our house it is Duke’s only), cranberry salad, sometimes toasted and sometimes not.  So this year I really stepped out on a limb and I have been making my sandwiches with a chipotle mayonnaise.  It is the perfect kick and bite married with the layer of sweet cranberry salad, you almost don’t even need the turkey, almost.  And speaking of, cranberry salad gets a bad rap sometimes, but maybe that is the canned cranberry people talking.  My mom shared her recipe with me a few years ago for her amazing cranberry salad, and let’s just say our holidays aren’t the same without it.

This picture is cranberries growing, still green…aren’t they beautiful?

If you know my husband and I, you know we are big oyster lovers.  For us Thanksgiving and oysters just go hand in hand.  My mother in law had a change of plans and was unable to come up this year, and along with her not arriving neither did those beautiful clusters of low country oysters.  So, it was a true gift when friends shared some beautiful oysters with us.  Typically when we do oysters we are serving A LOT of them, and we use our big steamer pots.  Instead, since it was just us and a couple of neighbors, we roasted ours on the grill and the results were equally as yummy!  Paired with our hot cocktail sauce, a glass of wine and a roaring fire inside, the day after Thanksgiving sure was tasty too!  And who said change is a bad thing?

Now we will all be switching gears to get ready for December and the next 24 days of crazy!  I know for most of us it will be like a race has started and we are all trying to cross the finish line before the 25th with a little sanity, grace and patience still in tact.  Nothing can challenge your opinion of yourself, or others, quite like waiting in line for a sugar cake, and trying to get in and out of Thruway to do so.  I won’t even mention the Hanes Mall area for those of you who actually attempt that.  Instead treat yourself to sugar cake the old fashioned way from Winkler Bakery.  There will still be a line but for some reason it just doesn’t seem as mentally challenging when you are in Old Salem, maybe it is the simple beauty around you and how time seems to stand still there.  I try to support local businesses throughout the year, and what I now realize about doing this is that it makes me feel much better in a few days, when I am cozily tucked at my house with a hot cup of coffee, no crowds and rude people, as I order away on Cyber Monday.

I’ll close with wishes for a fun December of preparations, great memories of the past few days of Thanksgiving, and best of all great family and friends to share our blessing with.  Enjoy the best of food and life, all year long!

3 thoughts on “Switching gears…

  1. Julie McBride says:

    Julia, if only I had known! We returned from Myrtle Beach less than 2 wks ago and had access to select low country oysters, ($35 a bushel I’m thinking). We LOVE them as well, and I’d be happy to bring some back anytime. I think we’ll be going again in Jan. if you’d like some! Julie

    Sent from my iPad

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