My Sweet Marie

Archive for the ‘Poignant and Inspirational Phrases’ Category

There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.
~ Christopher Morley ~

 Life is meant to be lived.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~

“Every little thing you do adds up, and before you know it, you’ve created your life.

And how you create your life ripples out and affects everyone and everything that crosses your path, known or unknown to you.”

Kathy Freston

This one is dedicated to my hubby who loves to do stained glass…

People are like stained glass windows,
They sparkle and shine when the sun is out,
but when the darkness sets in,
their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within.

Elizabeth Kubler Ross

I will bet most of you will be gathering with friends tonight for a big party, or maybe you and your sweetie will go out for a fine dinner at a white tablecloth establishment. Whichever your plans, have fun, drive safe or better yet, don’t drive. Grab a bus, cab or walk, please!

Having worked in the restaurant industry for so many years, I cannot go out for New years. When I have, all I can see are the staff working hard, hoping you will just gobble up and leave so they can get to their parties! So for many years, we have done our own thing. Denis and I have a neat tradition that we do every year, and I think I will share with you! No, no, not that! Jeesh!

After a great meal of many courses, we will retire to a comfortable spot, get out our 2013 calendar and we sit, sip and reflect. Some years we’ve cried over the memories, some laughter and sometimes, like this year, I plan to burn that sucker! I mean the calendar, not Denis! It really amazes me how much we do in a  year, what we see, who we spend time with. When it’s all there in black and white, and blue and red…well you get a great sense of who is important to you and what is.

When we’ve finished with the calendar, we will refill those glasses then spend some time on making predictions, talking about our hopes and plans for the New year. This is my favourite part of the night, aside from the yummy food of course! One year I remember predicting that my brother in-law and sister in-law would get a baby, as they’d been hoping for many years and it wasn’t long after that they did in fact adopt a beautiful little girl, Nicole. One of my favourite predictions ever! One year we predicted we’d maybe get another grand-child and not only did we get one that year but we got two! I think this year, I will predict we win the lottery, let me re-phrase, the big lottery, the jackpot of all jackpots!

When the children were small, we’d make them a special meal, which usually they asked for hot dogs as that was a rare treat to them but whatever they think is special, then we’d set the clocks up a few hours and at midnight (really 9 p.m.) we’d have our countdown and go on the porch with sparklers! They had champagne, (ginger ale) in champagne glasses and yell and holler, and in no time, they were in bed so that we could have our celebratory meal and get our New year’s eve going!

Whatever your traditions are and whoever you share them with, may they be filled with great fun, lots of love and a little sparkle!

Please don’t drink and drive! HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!

Sweet Marie

Have you seen the movie Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase? Well that family has nothing on us! Surely if those directors and producers knew our family they’d be making movies about us! We are large and no doubt, in charge! I have seven siblings and when we all gather for holidays with our spouses and children, and their children we are now 55 or so people! It really is something to witness. Our family has a tradition where we take turns hosting the Christmas party. The host gets to choose the date, the venue and the menu! Sounds like a good deal doesn’t it?

This year was my turn and I chose to have a comfort food theme. You see when you have a hall, you have to plan ahead and book the hall early and make arrangements with people for different things.  I have to say that I was completely in awe of the food that showed up on our buffet table! We had two long tables set-up just for the food and we had to be very creative to get it all to fit! We had stew, cabbage rolls, even a vegetarian cabbage roll, Kapusta, chicken and sliders, shepherds pie, mac and cheese of three types, two types of meatballs, salad, sweet potatoes, squash, mashed potatoes, gravy, buns, corn bread, appetizers and desserts! Let’s just say if someone went home hungry, they have an issue!

Hosting is a lot of work as you’re the one who arranges everything, delegates odd jobs and gets there early so the hall is ready to go when the crowd rolls in. I was lucky to have my hubby’s help and my sister Monique and her husband Gaston showed up early too to lend a hand, thank you God for them! I can take a deep breath now knowing I won’t be hosting again for 8 years! Phew! I have passed the torch to my brother Denis and I heard a rumor he already has a theme picked out but I won’t let that secret slip….yet.

When hosting there’s the children to think of and we usually have a table set aside for them to do crafts, play games etc, but really what they like best is running wild. There’s plenty of room to do and as long as they stay out of the kitchen where they could get hurt, we’re all OK with it. They get to see cousins that they don’t see very often and it doesn’t take them long to warm to one another. They also usually get gifts from some of the generous aunts who love to see those kids smile!

For Mom it’s a busy day that wears her out but it’s a day where her entire family is gathered and everyone is happy to see one another. This year was a bit tough for her, even if she didn’t complain, it was her first Christmas without Fred and he so loved going to these functions. I feel he was there watching over all of us and making sure nobody burned the cookies!

Thank you all to my siblings, my nieces and nephews for all of the contributions and mostly to Mom for having such a large family for us to enjoy. And now I shall have a nap!

Love to you all,

Sweet Marie

Happy thanksgiving to you all! Today is our Canadian Thanksgiving and people all over the country will be feasting on turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries, stuffing and likely a squash or two! That will likely be followed by pumpkin pie or in my case pumpkin pie cake! I hope you snagged an invite to at least one of these dinners!

On Friday I was talking with a young woman who had never cooked a turkey and this weekend was to be her first! She is only 23 after all so I’m sure Mom or Gramma has done the turkey till now! She asked me if I had any tips to not make it dry? This is the question of the day isn’t it? here’s a couple of tips I shared with her:

  • keep it moist by basting it every 30 minutes or so
  • I use gluten-free chicken broth or white wine to baste mine. Some people use butter but I find that too oily and fattening!
  • Do not overcook it! For a 10lb turkey, it should be just less then 4 hours. The biggest mistake people make is overcooking!
  • Stuff an onion in both ends of the turkey and some chopped garlic under it’s skin, that’s right, get under his skin!
  • In the last 30 minutes, remove the lid to get it nice and brown.
  • I season my turkey with paprika, salt and pepper and the garlic under the skin, that’s it!
  • when the drumsticks easily pull away from the body, it’s ready! Eat it  now, don’t leave it in the oven waiting for the late comers or it will dry out! If they’re late, they can have it dry!

Enjoy your turkey, remember to go around the table and take turns saying what you are thankful this year. I for one am truly thankful for my family, my husband, my children, my precious grand-children, my siblings and their families, my Mother, my in-laws and all of my dear friends! These are the people that keep my world going and are always there for me in times of need!

Happy Thanksgiving people, hope it’s been a good one for you too!

Sweet Marie