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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

A Very Tree-Riffic Tuesday!


This is what was going on at Quiltville Inn yesterday!

More Asplundh tree removal.  By the time they are done, there won’t be any more shade trees left at all!

I know it’s important.  We don’t want trees taking down power lines in storms.  We don’t want trees falling onto the porch and damaging the house.  But I love the trees!

There was a time in my life where I lived where there were very FEW trees….open fields and farms for miles, but trees were few and far between.  I love being in wooded areas surrounded by trees in every direction.  So let’s hope that they leave us SOME to shade the side yard at the retreat.  They mentioned the chestnut trees on the other side of the garage/shop may also need to be topped.  Sigh.

And then there is THIS tree action:


Trucks pulling trailers of Christmas Trees -

Tis the season!


Those are tree farms straight ahead of the truck -

The trees are planted in rows in sections – stadium seating style on these hills!  I love seeing them, and things are in full swing here with the harvesting that starts around Halloween – you know this weekend is the BIG BIG weekend for all of the “cut your own” tree type places.  We’ll be seeing not only trailers loaded like this, but passenger cars and vehicles with trees tied to their roofs as well.

I love living in an area with abundant Christmas tree farms and seeing how they are cared for and harvested. I love thinking of all of the homes that will house these trees over the next holiday season across the country! There is nothing like a fresh tree! If you find yourself behind a lumbering fully loaded tree trailer, slow down and say hello to your inner 10 year old and all of the excitement the holidays bring.

Also in line with our “tree” theme of the day:


In case you think there is nothing quilty going on here -

This is the runner I made from the worn out quilt – the blue binding does finish it off nicely.  Here it’s been washed, and I’m blocking it to dry on top of the back hallway rugs.  Love those 1930s trees!


Lunch in Boone!

I’ve been told for years that this was THE PLACE to get a meal.  It’s served family style.  Which means, there is no ordering.  You sit down, they start bringing plates and bowls of food.

Dad and I laughed and laughed – there was no way to EAT LIGHT here – it was soup, hamburger steak with gravy over mashed potatoes, fried chicken, corn, green beans, cole slaw, biscuits, more gravy, baked apples, ham biscuits, and don’t forget dessert!


I would consider this an “only need to go once in a lifetime” place -

Our appetites were just not that great for this amount of food, and by the time we added beverages it was a $50.00 meal between us.  But for the experience, and the fun we had while laughing at the WAY TOO MUCH food (that wasn’t really great, I mean how great can heated up canned green beans be?) it was worth it.


Little bit of back story.

This place gets PACKED during the summer months – and for those who really CAN make a dent in the “all you can eat” department, it would be worth it – but really, it was far too much of not that great for us.


Hiking off our carb overload!

Linville Falls is probably the most photographed waterfall in North Carolina. And there are several hikes you can do to get to one of many vantage points – but we went the most direct.  Parking lot to falls..4/10 of a mile down.  (And yes, back UP on our way out!)


These two falls plunge into a pool that is a bit impressive -

And then from the pool the water goes down another fall:


And down and around into the most amazing natural chute:

Click to Play:



Of course the most fun is watching dad set up his camera – and I enjoyed having him help me with settings for mine:


There are tricks to getting water photos to turn out just right!


I wish you could hear the roar of the water. 

It was magnificent being there just the two of us.


Thanks for the lessons, dad!


Starting our climb back up -

I LOVE the perspective of this fence and the steps…

More photography tips from dad!

We sang to Neil Diamond in the car all the way home.  Traffic getting back through Boone was horrendous – another reaffirmation on WHY I live in the middle of nowhere where I do.  NO ONE should want to subject themselves to that kind of traffic!

We were pooped out by the time we settled in to our evening at the cabin.  Some hand quilting for me, and we tucked in to watch more of The Crown.  SO SO SO GOOD!

And that brings us to today.  2 more sleeps and counting until we kick of FROLIC on Friday morning!  Are you ready?

Remember – all  parts will be linked under the Frolic Mystery tab at the top of the blog, and will remain there until February 1st.

Today’s plan.  I have MUCH computer work to do, but will do it from the cabin where I can be close to Dad.  He plans on reading and relaxing. We’ve had a busy couple of days.

The Hubster should be up at some point today – he arrived in Greensboro last night, back from our friend’s memorial service in Oregon.  I have a list as long as my arm for things that need to happen at Quiltville Inn before our retreaters arrive at 10am on Friday morning.  WE ARE DOING THIS!

Today is also for pie baking – are you starting your Thanksgiving food prep a bit early too?  What kind of things are a MUST HAVE for your Thanksgiving feast?  Let me know in the comments below!


Quiltville Quote of the Day -

So much is on my mind, the things that have transpired over the past year that ai am so grateful for. Even the tough times.

We learn how strong we really are by working our way through them.

Family and friends are at the top of my list!


65 comments:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving from a Canadian neighbour... Love your pictures and your storytelling. Blessings on your first weekend in “Quiltville Inn”.

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  2. I am in charge of always bringing sugared cranberries. They are whole fresh cranberries that are soaked (not cooked) in boiled sugar syrup over night then drained and rolled in sugar. The are so good!

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    1. Interesting! Are you willing to share recipe?

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    2. Sure! This is what I do - http://www.tablerpartyoftwo.com/sugared-cranberries/ . The berries aren't cooked, just soaked in the slightly cooled simple syrup. I usually leave them in the syrup overnight and in the morning before I have to take them to an event I put about a cup of granulated sugar in a jelly roll pan, drain about a fourth of the berries and put them in the pan and roll the berries. The sugar will coat. Then put a bit more sugar in the pan, add another fourth of the berries and roll, then again and then the rest of the berries. I sort of roll them to one end of the pan as they get coated, adding more sugar as the cranberries use it up. They should be pretty coated with sugar. Then I leave them in the pan to dry for a bit, maybe an hour or two, what ever time I have. Then carefully, I scoop them up with a spatula and set them into a pretty crystal bowl and serve! So pretty, and you will amaze your friends! I also have reused the syrup a time or two - as I make these at least 4 times between now and Christmas, just keep the syrup in the frig. One recipe I saw said they used the syrup in mixed drinks as well, I've not done this though.

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    3. Yum! I love cranberries, so that sounds amazing! I just googled it and several recipes came up, I am going to try this today. Thanks for the tip!

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    4. Sherry, are these 'sugared cranberries' eaten as a candy? Or as a very sweet side dish? So intrigued!

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  3. I've been trying to replicate my granny's banana pudding for years. This year recipe change is browning the butter before making the custard/pudding. If anyone has a homemade old fashion banana pudding recipe they think is unique please let me know!

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    1. https://cookiesandcups.com/best-banana-pudding/
      It is my family's favorite go to recipe now.

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    2. As close as I've been able to get to my grandmother's banana pudding is a vanilla pudding from the old Betty Crocker cook book, just with less sugar.

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  4. A family favorite was Cranberry and Raisin pie that my grandmother made for thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Neither of my kids like it so now I only make it every few years. Of course we need stuffing and cranberry sauce 😊

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  5. So glad DH made it out of Oregon before the big storm hit...good to see you and your dad enjoying the outdoors.. you have a hectic schedule ahead of you.......relax, enjoy the holiday
    MaryAnn in Oregon

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  6. Family and friends at the table , Amen!

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  7. At our place no thanksgiving is complete without green bean casserole and homemade sweet rolls. Even when we go totally nontraditional, those two things still have to be on the table! We are having homemade ravioli for the entree; I work at a grocery store and am making more than a dozen full thanksgiving dinners over the next few days. I'm tired of turkey already!

    You can always plant new trees at your Quiltville Inn...think how pretty it would be in the spring surrounded by flowering trees!

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  8. I love that your new camera has brought new things you can learn from your dad, and new things to share with one another. Dads always want to help their kids, no matter how old we all get. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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  9. Just unloaded my suitcase at my daughter’s in-law’ s Breckenridge mountain house! 6 pie tins, and baggies loaded and labeled with the ingredients for : pecan, pumpkin, strawberry rhubarb, apple, and raspberry cream! All were the answer to “ what Pies should I make?”. Yes I brought the rhubarb frozen from my garden as none to be found in the Denver area groceries. I guess it’s a Midwest thing! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  10. Our must have has been rice pilaf made with turkey broth ever since I was married to my Armenian husband. Times change though and tomorrow's small dinner will be catered from Trader Joe's. But we will be family!
    Your camera shots are really looking great!

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  11. A family favorite is Cranberry Bread.

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  12. With family spread to the four winds, my husband, his brother and I are enjoying an afternoon matinee followed by spaghetti for dinner. The traditional item for them is the cherry cheese pie -- cream cheese, lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk -- their absolute must-have. Easy-peasy for me. I hope everyone enjoys the day however they prefer.

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  13. The must have list is long because each family member has at least one favorite and "it's all about the sides"! And yes the prep has already begun. Yesterday I made the cranberry sauce (flavored gelatin, ground cranberries apple and orange. No nuts and reduced sugar, to accommodate family health issues. Cornbread for dressing and pies to be made today. A chocolate pie for BIL birthday, and must have cottage cheese and pumpkin pies. I'm trying to avoid having a whole pie for each attendee like we did once many, many years ago.

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  14. I am the turkey roaster in my family. Prepping the stuffing today so tomorrow all I have to do is pop the turkey in the oven and turn on the slow cooker that handles the extra stuffing. I also make the gravy when the turkey is done, but that's a no-brainer. The rest of the family will bring the sides and desserts. It will be the first Thanksgiving without my husband. Today the family is convening at the local botanical gardens, where my family has purchased a brick in his name which has just recently been installed. I have participated in your mystery quilt numerous times over the past several years, but this year I am beginning to understand completely how it is a place to put your energy when you are thinking about a loved one you have lost. Thank you for that, Bonnie.

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  15. Oh, those Asplundh guys! They're a menace around here. It's not that they trim the trees - I get why that's a necessary evil - it's that they butcher them. Not neat trimming, but just mangling and chewing and shredding, and they leave the trees in a mess, with no regard for their health. *smh* Here's hoping that the crews in your neck of the woods are more conscientious than the ones here.

    On a brighter note - it's been so fun seeing the progress on the Inn. It's like we all know that it's a big place, but maybe we kind of forget sometimes how big it is. And then that first photo at the top of the post is just - WOW! It really is huge. So much respect for the magnitude of this project that you've taken on. Your retreaters are going to have a great weekend!

    Thanksgiving - I'm hosting for the first time this year, instead of my mom. Eeeep! Along w the usual suspects, I'm not allowed to come to holiday dinners without my grandma's baked rice recipe. My dad will just about turn me away at the door if I don't bring it. ;) I hope you and yours have a great holiday.

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  16. We have Thanksgiving dinner at our older daughter's home - her husband is in charge of the turkey and stuffing, she does dinner rolls and green bean casserole, I bring mashed potatoes and caramel apple salad, Wade's mom brings sweet potatoe casserole and pies - a great feast. This year our younger daughter and her husband will join us :-)

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  17. In western nc my loca farm is having trouble getting trees. I'm sure you've heard on the news about the shortage, so that is a wonderful site to see!
    I'd love to swim in that pool of water in the summer , nothing like it here at places like that. That's a beauty of a fall(s)!!!!!!

    There's a family style place like that and I never go because I'm alone. I hope you were able to take home what was left!

    Gosh I haven't cooked thanksgiving dinner in so many years... I use to make homemade cornbread dressing and homemade cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole- miss it all!

    Happy thanksgiving!

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  18. My mom makes a Meyer lemon pie from the lemons on her tree! No merengue, but a pile of fresh whipped cream on top!!! It was my dad’s favorite when he was alive. It’s a must have for all of us at Thanksgiving now! The lemon curd part is a perfect mix of tart and sweet, so good!!

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  19. Wonderful photos!! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  20. Happy Thanksgiving! I am always the pie baker for Thanksgiving, Pumpkin and cherry with homemade crust using lard.

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  21. Pumpkin pie is in the oven now. Next up is the pecan pie.

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  22. My first gratitude yoga class tomorrow morning. I hope to make it a tradition.

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  23. This will be our first Thanksgiving as orphans. With Dad passing away this September and Mom 2 years ago August, it will be our first holiday ever without them. The family will gather at my house as usual, but I can't imagine that there will be anything "usual" about our day.

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  24. I passed the torch to my sons this year but they did it with the promise of homemade dinner rolls and pumpkin roll. They added "Mom's yam casserole" NO Marshmallows but candied pecans instead. Yummy.

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  25. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  26. Love you, Bonnie, so happy you're getting to hang with your dad! Your photos are lovely!!! Fun to get tips from Dad. Those falls and chute are amazing! My dad was from Graham, NC and growing up in Florida we escaped the summer heat every year to the mountains of NC, seeing family and friends or going to the beach at Nags Head. So it's fun to see you enjoying those mountains, too, just a little bit north. Mom always made mincemeat pie for Thanksgiving and a nice rum soaked fruitcake for Christmas, but people out here on the west coast don't eat that stuff, not even cornbread!!! I miss my mom's cornbread. So we have new traditions now, and they're great, too! Not the least of which is the mystery quilt!! Counting down the hours! 😁❤❤

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    1. Sharon - I see some British heritage there what with the mincemeat pie and fruit cake. We use muffin tins to make mincemeat tarts, some with and some without pastry tops. The fruitcake, do you make a couple months ahead and 'baste' with sherry every week (duh, just noticed yours is rum soaked)? It'll keep for months without refrigeration if stored properly. (Note to uninformed Americans, fruit cake is a traditional celebration cake, served at weddings, birthdays, and christenings. With wedding cake, the top tier is saved and eaten at first anniversary party by the bride and groom.) Serve as is or with a fruit jelly glaze, marzipan, and royal icing. Ours has so much nuts and fruits, the cake batter can only just hold it together. These west coast Americans just don't know what they're missing.
      Best wishes for a fantastic holiday season and your new traditions.
      Brenda (now living in Washington state for 50+ years but born and raised in England).

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  27. Happy Thanksgiving! I have to make cornbread dressing for our turkey dinner (my hubby's favorite) and for me it's not Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie!

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  28. A difficult holiday season this year as I lost my dear hubby a few months ago. He loved Thanksgiving! So it will be my two kids and grandson but we will have all the favorites. Today I will be making pumpkin pies from the fresh pumpkin my DD and I processed. Oh so much better than canned pumpkin. Of course there will be fresh cranberry sauce, and the rest will be made from what we grew in our garden this year. It will be a bittersweet time as we try to get through our first holidays without my dear hubby.

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  29. I am in charge of the turkey and cornbread dressing. Our group is much smaller now Just my hubby, daughter, and two teenage grandsons. The dressing was always made by my grandfather ( he cane to live with us when I was 12). My mother watched and learned until Granddad got to old. Of course there was never a recipe. Just a little of this & a pinch of that. My daughter & niece pestered me until I finally came up with a recipe that is close. Love family favorites.

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  30. Must-haves at my house include my grandmother's dressing with pork sausage, roasted brussel sprouts, party mashed potatoes (with sour cream, creme cheese and chives), and pumpkin layer dessert to name just a few! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, as well as to all Quiltvillians!

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  31. I made 2 pecan pies bright and early this morning. One for tomorrow and the other one will go in the freezer for Christmas. There will only be 3 of us so one pie is enough. My daughter went to Virginia to see a friend and last night my granddaughter asked me if her Mom gave me the directions for fixing dinner. I said to her; who do you think taught her how to cook the turkey and goodies. I've been doing this for over 50 years. LOL Happy Thanksgiving.

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  32. No cooking for me this year. We'll have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at K & W Cafeteria in Wilmington, NC. I'm going to the beach. Yay! Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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  33. Hi Bonnie, Happy Almost Thanksgiving! Hope you have an enjoyable time with your available family. We get that... we also have family in Oregon, Sisters and Eugene and Veneta also. But, we enjoy the ones we have close and share the time together that we can. Holiday musts for my hubby is Ham! He just is not a turkey eater. But, since we share Thanksgiving with a large extended family I will get to enjoy turkey also. Fruit salad is a must, also sweet potato's (although I don't need marshmellows on mine... I'm a bit of a purest when it comes to sweet potatos... I like to taste the potato's not the added stuff). But each to their own. Pies of course, all sorts... must haves are pumpkin, apple and cherry for one picky son in law. We want everyone to be happy! Looking forward to seeing the Frolic release. I'm not joining in but love to see what's happening. Guess it's that FOMO (fear of missing out) that pushes me. Ha.. have a wonderful holiday. Keep warm, and enjoy everything, everyone about it.

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    1. Jean - like you, I like my veggies unadulterated, maybe just a grind of pepper or some real butter but no salt.

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  34. Loved this post.....this year it's just hubby and me. kids are in Arizona, Missouri and oldest daughter living in Japan with her fed agent hubby. I am making Cornish game hens with mashed potatoes, green beans with bacon and onion, pumpkin pie and homemade rolls. it is so hard to cook for 2 when you are used to 10. Enjoy the Holidays Everyone and bring on the Mystery....so Excited...Big Hugs to all.

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  35. This year I'm making pecan pie and coconut cream pie. When the group is larger I add pumpkin and apple piesas requests come in. My brother smokes a turkey an bakes one in the oven. It is also our 66th Wedding Anniversary.

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  36. Happy Thanksgiving from another Canuck. When we celebrate in October..well...there just has to be pie for dessert: pumpkin or bumbleberry! (The latter is a mix of Saskatoon berries (like wild blueberries), apples, rhubarb and raspberries or strawberries.) Yum! Looking forward to your Frolic Friday, too! :-)

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  37. First time ever going to Thanksgiving dinner and not making a thing! Hope you get to enjoy! Marilyn Marks

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  38. The sugared cranberries sound wonderful. I also would love the recipe if you are willing to share.

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  39. I just made two cherry supreme pies with whipped cream, lemon juice, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and almond flavorings, and cherries on top. They are the go-to dessert for our turkey dinner, with homemade rolls.

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  40. That photo with the steps and fence is just lovely, Bonnie! I’m so very glad you’re taking time to spend quality time with your dad despite the to do list. Have a great time the rest of his trip!

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  41. As my family has gotten smaller over the years due to the passing of loved ones and with my mother's death in July this will be a Thanksgiving of sweet memories.

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  42. Just pulled the last pie from the oven about 1 hr ago. Salted Caramel Pumpkin and 5 Layer pecan...new recipes so will be excited to see how they turn out. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

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  43. My nana from Chester PA would do mincemeat. I haven't had that in probably 40 years. Lol

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  44. P S Just love the photo of Sadie with the quilt on the porch.

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  45. Our Thanksgiving meal, is the same as almost everyone else in the US, except in New Mexico we have to have our "Red Chile", yes Chile, it goes over our mash potatoes and anything else we want to put it on, so yummy!!

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  46. Such beautiful scenery as usual thank you so much for sharing. I had to chuckle at the amount of food on your table, I would never have been able to make a dent in it either lol. Shame about your lovely trees but safety has to come first, hopefully you’ll be able to put in some new ones that will help with your shade.
    Wishing you and your family and all the Quiltville friends a very happy thanksgiving from across the pond.
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

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  47. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Bonnie! I've very much enjoyed reading your blog as I've begun my quilting journey! As for a "special" part to the meal served here -- mom's fruit salad made with whipped by hand cream, mandarin oranges, apples, grapes, pecans, and bananas. Truly has been a favorite of mine since childhood!

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  48. Our "hafta have" for Thanksgiving is a traditional pumpkin pie and hubby loves my pumpkin cheesecake. New traditions since we retired to NC is having dinner with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law in SC. So glad your dad was able to explore yur camera with you. Happy Thanksgiving.

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  49. I had to laugh. We have been here now for 3 years. Finally one day when we had to go to Boone we ate at Daniel Boone restaurant. I could not believe it. The food kept coming. Evidently there is something in their food that did not agree with me. I spent half of the time running to the bathroom. Went to Daniel Boone ✓. Never ever again. FYI Ashe County is the 2nd largest producer of Christmas Trees in the United States. The other county is in Oregon. Frasier Firs grow extremely well in our mountains.

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  50. There will only be 5 of us at our table.Our friend always brings her "green rice", a combination of rice,broccoli and cheese.Turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean almondine and a winter fruit salad with pomegranite arils,mandarin oranges,apples,banana,kiwis and a sweet dressing.My Mom used to make her mince pies with a mix of up to 1/2 apples and the mincemeat.It was so good!
    Make the most of this wonderful visit with your Dad and Happy Thanksgiving to you from Winston Salem,NC.

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  51. Happy Thanksgiving! Turkey,apple pie and all the goodies enjoy!!!
    Your photos were great enjoy your day!

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  52. Don’t give up on family-style dining until you’ ve Tried Miss Mary Bobo’s in Lynchburg, TN. During the summer, they have fresh vegetables. A hostess sits with each tea table and explains the different food dishes and gives some local history, including about the Jack Daniels Distillery nearby. And as for the canned green beans, a good cook can entice even a toddler to like them! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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  53. We are going NON-traditional this year with a low country boil of shrimp and crab, potatoes and corn (but my grandson in law pointed out that the Native Americans and Pilgrims probably ate a lot of seafood on that event). Our greatest blessing this Thanks Giving was a surprise visit by our granddaughter and her sweet hubs from FL. All arranged by our son since June. I want to try that Cranberry thing!

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  54. Watching the parade 'til daughter arrives to roast her veggies - all prepped here & ready to cook or re-heat (sliced turkey). . . we MUST have cran-yam casserole for holidays. I've shared the recipe many times over the years & many moves. Kids loved it from day one! Sadly, plans have changed as yesterday step-Dad & step-sister had to cancel the trip here (2 hours) because he had "a little stroke." Hoping he bounces back, but @ 88 years you never know. Feeling hopeful & thankful for the good years this good man gave Mom for both of their second-time-around matches. All the Thanksgiving best to you & yours!

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  55. Happy Thanksgiving. You live in such a beautiful area. Nothing beats the smell of a fresh cut tree to get me in the mood for Christmas.Growing up on a farm in IA, my brothers and I would go searching for the perfect one and they would cut it and bring it home. Happy memories. My favorite Thanksgivin food is everything g but the turkey. Scalloped Oysters are my fav along with ham.

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  56. Nothing to do with our meal. If you need to replace trees, you might have suitable ones on the cabin property, though they would have to be fairly small for DIY. You would need to consider placement and mature size when planting. We have a bucket loader and my husband moved and planted some maples years ago and they have grown well in the yard. The view of the house seems much more open.

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