Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Dinner: Remembering Christmas Past

Today we celebrate another birthday, this time my sister-in-law, Danielle. She requested a Chocolate Coca Cola cake. I made one earlier this month for my daughter-in-law and it was a hit and I added it to the family favorite recipes.

On Christmas, my nephew woke up at 11:57, but this year Santa was smart - he wrapped all the presents. His parents sent him back to bed, where he had to wait until morning.

When we were little, my parents would put Dad's alarm clock in the bedroom I shared with my sister Dawn. We had strict orders not to get up until 6. I remember waking around 4 am and painfully watching each passing minute, until that magic moment when we could all run downstairs to see what Santa brought.

Light Bright - one of my favorite toys (Dawn, Connie, Randall)

Cowboys on bicycles (Dennis and Randall)
One year we all four got bicycles and we were outside Christmas morning in our pajamas riding up and down the street in front of our house.
Grandmother and Papa Rodgers
This picture was taken at Christmas at my Grandmother's house, the floor would be covered with torn wrapping paper. Grandmother would squeal and ooh and aah as she opened her gifts. Papa would grunt and occasionally smile.

Christmas was a magical time. We got wonderful presents. Christmas dinner was similar to Sunday Dinner, but bigger with more variety. I don't really remember the gifts, but the time we spent with family, going from house to house - seeing grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Christmas is about the birth of our Savior, he gave us life and he gave us family - the greatest gifts of all.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday Dinner: Happy Birthday Dennis

My little brother, Dennis was born the day after Christmas. He often had a Christmas themed birthday cake. This year he requested a banana pudding.
Several family members do not like bananas so we have cookie pudding too.

Banana Pudding
1 Box of Nilla Wafers
1 Box Jello Vanilla Pudding (mix as directed)
Cool Whip
2 to 3 Bananas

Make vanilla pudding, but do not put in refrigerator to set.
Add 1/2 tub of Cool Whip and mix thoroughly.
Line the bottom of a casserole dish with Nilla wafers.
Slice banana add place over wafers. Cover with pudding.
You will have at least three layers.

For Cookie pudding, you do the same minus the bananas.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Preparing for Sunday Dinner

As I walked into the grocery store yesterday, I had a mental picture of my Mom and Grandmother. My Grandmother never learned to drive so it was my Mom's duty to take her grocery shopping every week. And here I was years later doing the exact same thing, except I was alone and missing both of them terribly.

I planned to visit my aunt Doris (Grandmother's daughter and Mom's sister) later that day and I knew that she would really appreciate Grandmother's applesauce cake. Sometimes it is just nice to have a little taste of something your Mama used to make. And she squealed with delight when she saw what I brought her. I'm not sure if she was more excited about the cake or that I had brought Daniel with me.

For me it isn't Christmas without  Grandmother's applesauce cake so I'll make one for my family to enjoy Christmas Day.

When I was a kid, we always had to go to Community Cash on Saturday mornings. Grandmother and Mom had their preferred stores and rarely deviated from them. Groceries always came from Community Cash.

In the 70s, there were bagboys for every register. They would load your groceries up and carry them to your car. Most of the young men were extremely courteous and talkative, but that may have been my Mom, she talked to everyone. It used to embarrass me terribly, but of course I find myself doing the same thing.

This Sunday I am taking it easy before all of the Christmas crazy. We're having baked ziti, a salad, and my sister-in-law is bringing dessert.

This is the only Sunday this month we won't be celebrating a birthday. Next week will be my little brother Dennis and the following week his wife, Danielle.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday Dinner: Happy Birthday Ryan

My due date was November 26, 1986. Every week in November I would make the trip to the doctor's office for my checkup and the nurse would say, "This is probably the last time we'll see you before you deliver." She said this to me four times before it was true. My son was in no hurry. He arrived on December 12th - my little brother, Murph's birthday. Murph was only two years old and at times they were more like brothers than uncle and nephew. They went to high school together and Murph loved being called Uncle Murph in front of his classmates.

Birthdays were always huge to my Mama. She loved to make birthday cakes and of course there was always the requisite birthday picture with the cake. But this year, Ryan requested something different and of course as his Mama, I'm happy to do it for him. He wants peanut butter pie. Of course he always wants cubed steak, rice, gravy, and biscuits - and he'll have all of that because that's what Mamas do.

No Bake Peanut Butter Pie
• 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
• 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
• 1 cup Jif peanut butter (only choosy moms choose Jif)
• 1 cup milk
• 1 (16 oz) whipped topping
• 2 (9 in) chocolate prepared pie shells

Beat together cream cheese and confectioner's sugar.
Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth.
Fold in whipped topping.
Spoon in pie shells. Cover. Freeze until firm.

* I also like to drizzle chocolate syrup over the pie before serving.

Happy Birthday Ryan and Murph.

Murph, I'm sorry you're too far away to come and enjoy, but I'm sure Ellen will be doing something special for you.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Write Now: My Own Novel Writing Months

I failed at NaNoWrimo in Novemeber. I had all these great intentions, but I fell miserably short of my goal. I can make excuses. I was busy - school, work, family, and of course the list can go on and on.

With my fall classes complete, I am starting my own novel writing months. School does not begin again for me until February so I am going to focus on writing my novel in December and January. I will be checking back on Fridays with my word count for the week. Today is the first day and I will end it on February 1. My goal is to have my first draft completed and I may just do a little sharing along the way.

I also plan to read some great books this month: In the Garden of Stone by Susan Tekulve, Life After Life by Jill McCorkle, and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I know there will be others, but these are the three I am really looking forward to over Christmas break.

Please check back on Sunday as the month of birthdays continues - up next (December 12) my son, Ryan and my little brother, Murph.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday Dinner: Happy Birthday Casey

December is a big birthday month for my family. My daughter-in-law, Casey is on the 3rd. My son, Ryan and my brother, Murph share the 12th. My brother Dennis's is the day after Christmas on the 26th. His wife and my sister-in-law is New Year's Eve on the 31st. And of course we have Christmas in there too. I also have some great friends with December birthdays too. It is a busy month.

Casey loves chocolate. She is perfectly happy with just a simple boxed cake from the grocery store, but I wanted to do something special for her. When this post popped up on my Facebook page, I knew it was the one for her - a good ol' Southern Chocolate Coca Cola Cake.

If  you want the recipe I used pop on over to Sweet Tea and Cornbread's blog where you will find it. I have also posted it on my Pinterest board titled Sunday Dinner.

Birthdays were always a big deal to my Mama. She had a birthday banner she would put up on Sunday and she would make their favorite cake. She always insisted that we take a picture of everyone surrounding the cake and the person celebrating their birthday.