Over the River and Through the Woods

Lakepoint State Park, Eufaula, AL

Good evening, ya'll. Come on in the house and have a coke with me. I am baking muffins and will share a hot one with you for they are pretty good. It is a new recipe which I will share with you later in the posting.

I am a tad tired or rather a lot tired for we had a busy day. We wrapped up the Operation Christmas Child site at our church today and sent 452, filled to the brim, decorated, shoe boxes to Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child. They went to Northside Baptist Church in Tifton, GA to join thousands of other boxes in big trucks to go to Atlanta. There they will join with thousands and thousands of boxes to be packed to go all over the world and the US for boys and girls who will be overjoyed to have gifts to enjoy.

This has become a holiday event for us which lasts all year. We will begin collecting items for the boxes this week for next year for our goal is 1 box a month so we can have at least 12. Spreading it out over a year will make it easier and allow us to buy items on sale and maybe prepare more than 12. Each time I wrap and fill a box, I think of a bright, happy little boy or girl as they eagerly remove the top to see the gifts for these children have very little to call their own. They also receive additional gifts and they hear the life-changing message that God loves them. Wow, what a blessing to have a little part in! Dr. Franklin Graham and his foundation do a stupendous job in this ministry and many others and I thank them for helping us reach needy children with a little bit of joy.

Our church food pantry was also open today and I worked there this morning. We gave out groceries to 176 families and there was more this afternoon. There is a tremendous number of families in our small town who need food and it is such a joy to be a part of a church who tries to meet these needs. Alone, Roy and I can't do a lot but with our church we can feed many and what a blessing. It is a tad hard on the old back though but a nap this afternoon cured that, for a while. Getting old is not all it's cracked up to be and it has "cracked" my back big time.

Thanksgiving is almost here and I know many of you are frantically cleaning house and cooking great and a lot of food. Family will be gathering or have already gathered and many calories will be consumed, hugs and kisses exchanged, children laughing and playing, and many precious memories made and photographed.

Ovens and stoves will work overtime and dishes will be filled and then washed. Good china and crystal will be washed and shined and silver will be polished to set on the freshly laundered tablecloths. The cornucopia will be filled with fruit and flowers to place in the center of the table or a handful of wildflowers put in the best vase.

At our house we did it a little differently. For a few years I did all the china, silver and linen tablecloth and napkins and then we got smart. Our fine china became chinette and the silver became heavy plastic and the crystal became plastic cups and paper napkins was the wipe of choice. This gave us a lot more time to spend with each other and less time setting out, washing and putting up and I like the time together. After all, we are rather plain folk at our house and the good chinette is just fine. The only criteria is that they have to be big and heavy to carry all the food which will be piled on it.

Roy's family and mine made this decision many years ago and we still do it this way. Occasionally I get the wild idea of getting out the good stuff and then I stop, shake my head to clear it and say nooooooo. Spending my time on cooking the best food I can, talking with our family and catching up on all the news is more important to us than setting a fancy table. Maybe this year at Christmas I will try it one more time just for old time's sake. We'll see.

This year we are even going farther and beginning a new tradition. If you go over the river and through the woods to this grandparents' house, you will find it empty and no one home. We are going over the river and through the woods to Lake Eufaula in Alabama and spend the week at Lakepoint State Park. They have a beautiful lodge there and we have a room reserved and they will be preparing a Thanksgiving meal in the restaurant. It is going to be an old fashioned Thanksgiving meal served buffet style and our son and his wife will join us for a delicious meal which we won't have to cook or clean up afterwards. We can then go sit on the porch by the lake, take a nap and catch up on all the news. A walk may be taken but I kinda doubt it for it will probably be a "roll" not a walk after that big meal.

If this is a good as I think it will be, it may be the beginning of a new, Robson tradition. I think I could get used to that don't you. Ya'll come on up and join us. Look up Eufaula, AL and Lakepoint State Park and get your reservations in now and we'll look for you at dinner.

I said I would give you my new muffin recipe, so before I close I will share. They are really good and makes 24. I made them to take with us to eat for breakfast this week. Try them and enjoy.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup cooked pumpkin
1/2 cup cranberry juice cocktail
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cloves
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans

Makes 24
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl mix vegetable oil, eggs, cranberry juice and pumpkin. In a large bowl mix this mixture with the sugar and combine well. In a small bowl mix the flour. baking powder, soda, salt and spices. Add to the first mixture and blend together with a mixer on a low speed just until well combined. add the cranberries and pecan ,mix and let sit for 1 hour at room temperature.
Grease muffin tins or use cupcake liners (24). Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full and bake for 15-18 minutes. These can be frozen for later use.

I hope you all will try these and serve them with sweet butter and a glass of cold, sweet milk or good, hot cup of coffee. Let me know what you think.

Nuff said,

The Georgia Peach

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