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Deborah Guzzi travels for inspiration: China, Nepal [during the civil war], Japan, Egypt [two weeks before ‘The Arab Spring’], and most recently Peru. First published at the age of sixteen, she writes articles for Massage and Aroma Therapy Magazines. Her poetry has been accepted in the Literary Journals of Western CT. University, Inclement Magazine, Pyrokinections, Jellyfish Whispers, Grey Wolf’s Summer Legends Anthology, The Germ, Wilderness Literary Review, The Anthology Sweet Dreams & Night Terrors, Bitterzoet Magazine, haiku journal, Contemporary Haibun Online, Bella on line, The Autumn Sound, Eskimo Pie, and Ribbons, The Inwood Indiana Review, Five Poetry, Tanka Society of America Journal, and 50 haiku. She has published two illustrated volumes of poetry, The Healing Heart and Heaven and Hell in a Nutshell.

Thanksgiving in Maine

Blog Posted:11/19/2012 7:41:00 AM
I remember when I was a small child Thanksgiving at my Grandmother's in Maine. My gram and Gramps were very poor and pretty much all of what they ate came from the forest or their own garden. Gram 'put up' vegetables, and stored produce such as apples and potatoes in a root cellar. Gramp's hunted for deer, rabbit and did a good bit of fishing! Thanksgiving was full of good healthy food. Real home churned butter sat on your potatoes, greens of all sorts from fiddle heads to dandelions added to the richness of this meal. It's sad that as rich as we now are our food today doesn't taste at all the same! This was real food.

Grandma Myers' Homemade Mincemeat Recipe
[not my Gram but this is the real deal recipe!]

Recipe Type:
Mincemeat, Wild Game, Beef, Apples
Yields: serves many
Prep time: 60 min
Bake time: 2 hr

4 pounds venison, elk, or beef
2 1/2 cups suet, finely chopped or grated*
7 1/2 cups chopped tart apples
3 cups liquid (liquid from meat it was cooked in)
5 cups granulated sugar
3 cups apple cider
1 cup molasses
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3 cups raisins
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons ground allspice
2 tablespoons ground nutmeg
Juice of 2 lemons
Juice of 2 oranges
1 cup brandy or sherry

*Suet is firm beef fat. You need to
ask your butcher for this.


What are your best memories of Thanksgiving with the Grandparents?

Trim fat from meat of your choice.

In a large heavy pan over medium heat, place meat; cover with water and
simmer until the meat is tender. Remove from heat and refrigerate meat in the
cooking liquid overnight.

Remove from refrigerator and remove meat from liquid. Remove all fat from top
of liquid; reserve liquid. Separate meat from bones, discard bones. Chop cooked
meat into small cubes.

In a large pot, combine meat cubes, suet, apples, reserved liquid, sugar,
apple cider, molasses, cider vinegar, raisins, cinnamon, cloves, allspice,
nutmeg, lemon juice, and orange juice; simmer for 2 hours. remove from heat. Add
brandy or sherry and mix together.

Refrigerate or pack in hot sterile jars and seal. May also be stored in the

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  1. Date: 11/20/2012 8:25:00 PM
    Ohhhh YUMMY YUMMY maybe I will drive to YOU next year for Canada Thanksgiving!!!

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  1. Date: 11/20/2012 12:34:00 PM
    Now, my favourite holiday meal is actually a reinvented Coque au Vin. I call it "Poulet de Provence" I put mini potatoes, baby carrots, pearl onions, small mushrooms into a crockpot. I peel the onions, the rest just get a thorough scrubbing, rustic. I chop several pieces of bacon,fry them until semi crispy. Then add chicken stock. This is poured over the veggies. I coat chicken thighs in herb de provence spice, liberally, and pan fry until golden. That gets added to the slow cooker. Then I add a bit of extra spice ... sage, thyme, some basil, preferably fresh, a few chives (oh, I miss my herb garden!). I put garlic cloves in a tea ball and stick it in, too. Cook 8 hours. I thicken the gravy, serve with a bagette. I also make a salad for this meal with baby spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes, mini cucumbers and green onions. I make a homemade salad dressing. This is one of my favourite meals, and one I only have on special occasions. Because so little is cut, there is a feeling of... hmm... medieval faire about this dish? I'm such a muffinhead I even RIP the bread to add to this illusion. Though I removed the wine from the recipe, I serve it with wine. It feels so... classic? Filling without being heavy. Dang. I'm in the library, detoxing again, and now I'm fricking hungry. LOL.

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  1. Date: 11/20/2012 12:26:00 PM
    :) I still use the oven, hon, just not for hours at a time, which is scary, monkey is fast and I don't want her hands singed (the baby gate thing she takes as a challenge to scale or push down, and she has!). We do bake cookies, often, and she helps me make muffins, pancakes, salad (she rips the lettuce) and scrambled eggs. We will be baking BEFORE Christmas (including a Jesus birthday cake, complete with sprinkles.) It is only I enjoy treating Christmas as a Sabbath day, a real Sabbath day, no work, just rest and celebration. It takes a lot of prework to make that happen. I am in the kitchen usually 5 hours on Christmas Eve. I have a friend who does pizza on Christmas day. She's happy!

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  1. Date: 11/20/2012 7:09:00 AM
    It really doesn't taste like meat..really!

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  1. Date: 11/19/2012 10:19:00 PM
    oh, my , those old mincemeat recipes. My grandma died age 94 over 20 years ago but she never made mincemeat from real meat! Just the nice fruity one. I don't know if I could take that one with real meat in it, Debs!!!

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  1. Date: 11/19/2012 7:05:00 PM
    I truly agree with you Deb, half the fun of thanksgiving was getting and preparing the food. I was raised on a farm in Connecticut, if we didn't grow it, catch it, shoot it, raise it or milk it, we didn't have it. I miss the healthy home cooking, the genetically engineered foods of today cant compare. Deb have a great thanksgiving. peace, light and love

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  1. Date: 11/19/2012 3:10:00 PM
    Ohh my YES I forgot all about that OF COURSE mmmmm that was GOOD! I just made some baked beans from scratch with a huge hunk of fatback!

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  1. Date: 11/19/2012 2:06:00 PM
    No wonder food used to be better with all that fat in there---I remember my Nana cooking the eggs right in the bacon fat--hey she lived til 94! Killed off all the men though---perhaps she hid the healthy stuff for the females!!

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  1. Date: 11/19/2012 1:59:00 PM
    Now now now..teach the wee one a joy of cooking, really Christmas cookie making with kids or Gingerbread houes are the best fun! Dee

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  1. Date: 11/19/2012 1:59:00 PM
    Now I have to run and see the contest Craig!

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  1. Date: 11/19/2012 1:47:00 PM
    I did up a nice roast chicken, this Thanksgiving. I was too nervous for the past three years to use the oven much, but my girl is now listening a bit better to cautionaries. BUT, I have started a new tradition in the MacMillan household that was a hit last year. THE CHRISTMAS LASAGNA. Honest. I make a huge tray of lasagna on the 24th. We have a ham and potatoes for dinner on Christmas Eve. Then on Christmas day its muffins for breakfast, ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch, lasagna and salad for supper and everything on paper plates. I spend 1/2 hr tops in the kitchen. I want to spend the day with my girl, not cooking! Last year was sublime! Total family time. It will be annual...xox

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 11/19/2012 1:51:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    We went for a walk on Christmas Day in the local parkette. Brought some seed for the birds, made snowballs, came home sipped hot chocolate, played with my daughter's new toys, cuddled and read books and coloured pictures, made a collage.... it was so worth losing the traditional meal and being an oven-slave!
  1. Date: 11/19/2012 11:34:00 AM
    Wonderful---and I will try this recipe--and I've posted a new contest in honor of these thoughts

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  1. Date: 11/19/2012 11:34:00 AM
    Does he like Chicken? hating turkey! I bet there's a story there! Dee

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  1. Date: 11/19/2012 11:34:00 AM
    what your fav food on the day Joyce?

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  1. Date: 11/19/2012 9:29:00 AM
    Besides the laughter, the silly antics of my "Grandmere", I also remember my grandfather (6') who was the exact opposit of my petit (4'11'') firecracker grandmother and his quietness. While all chaos and conversation was occuring in their kitchen, I'd often just go into the living room where he'd be sitting on the recliner. I remember sitting on his lap and we'd just watch the birds from their front window. Food? So much, too much. Second thing I remember, the candles. My grandmother would light different colours to things, green for health, white for friendship, red for love...Christmas and Thanksgiving. We don't do turkey -- hubby hates it. xox

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  1. Date: 11/19/2012 8:17:00 AM
    I only had one grandparent whom I knew My memories are centered around my mom and dad and a feast like that at your grandma's table. My children get tired of my complaints about the ersatz food of the day. Love, Joyce

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