In the Kitchen with Karen

First, I will don my way cool apron that my friend from Canada sent me, and that has the Canadian word “Eh?” written on it in really flamboyant letters.  Of course, putting on the apron isn’t going to actually keep me from having flour all over me by the end of my culinary adventure – but I think I look sort of cute in it. And that’s the important thing.048

Next I will haul the turkey out of the fridge, where it’s been thawing since Sunday. I will dice home-grown onion and garlic, apples from our orchard (yes, apples – using apples in turkey stuffing is a Karen tradition – because I, traditionally and invariably, FORGET TO BUY CELERY!!! and then I find myself scrambling around the kitchen, looking for something crunchy I can throw in the dressing… and… yeah… well… apples …and, true to tradition, I just realized that I, once again, FORGOT THE CELERY!!!), and toasted Dave’s Killer Whole Grain Bread (the bread will be toasted, not Dave).  I’ll sprinkle sage and rosemary over everything that’s within arm’s reach (this includes the dog, the cats, and the sons). Then I will yank out the turkey’s innerds, and replace it with toasted Dave, and put the whole shebang in a pre-heated 325 degree oven.

Pie-making comes next. I love making pies. There’s something kind of comforting about pie-making. I especially love making pies when there’s rain pounding against the windows, and a fire in the woodstove – the rain adds a certain ambiance, and it looks like we might be getting a lot of ambiance today.  I’ll combine the flour (2 cups), and butter (2 tbs, plus 2/3 cup) and water (6 tbs) in a bowl, and then grab half of it and roll it out on a floured cutting board, and lay it in the bottom of my glass pie plate. The bottom crust will be a picture of perfection – it will be seamless and smooth. Next, I’ll put the frozen blackberries that I picked last summer into the pie shell. I’ll add 4 or 5 tbs of flour, and 6 tbs of sugar, and loosely mix the pie’s filling.  Now it’s time to roll out the top crust and place it on top of the pie. The top crust is the crust that everyone will see. It will have holes and tears in it. That is another Karen tradition. Once I’ve got my holey crust attached to the pie, I’ll lightly sprinkle sugar over the top, to make the pie look sort of sparkly when it’s done.

By the time we sit down for our feast, our plates will be full of turkey, stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes with butter and cinnamon, and cranberry sauce, and we’ll be half-way through dinner before someone – probably one of the sons – will ask me about the dinner rolls. And they will either be burning in the oven, or still sitting in the cupboard. It is another Karen tradition.

May your holidays be filled with a feast of love and laughter.  And don’t forget the dinner rolls.

– Excerpt from The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Christmas Book

2 thoughts on “In the Kitchen with Karen

  1. Hello Karen, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Mine was good,I planned on going to services at First Church Montgomery but did not get to but the rest of the day went well. It’s been awhile since I have left a comment but I still read every post and there have been some extremely good ones in the last months! I have just ordered your new book, I meant to when it first came out but I tend to get sidetracked at times . I am looking forward to having it. Congrats on all the good reviews! I have been busy myself, I have a Christian Scientist friend that I have known since childhood who lives in Mexico Beach Florida and he lost everything in Hurricane Michael and I invited him and his wife to stay with me while they sorted everything out with insurance etc, and so that was nice having them here even under the terrible circumstances of the visit. The Panama City , Mexico Beach area is part of the Gulf known as the emerald coast , stretching from Gulf Shores Alabama and into Pensacola and Panama City, and it has the most beautiful beaches in the world. It is very popular with Southerners and thus it has the nickname ” The Red Neck Rivera! “So I spent lots of time there growing up , and it was so strange to se it all gone, I guess sort of like the people in Paradise California feel right now. And I also rescued a dog that had been left on a chain in front of a old shack on a dirt road near my house. Well, she turned out to be pregnant and last Saturday she gave birth to ten pups, unfortunately one was still born but the other nine are healthy so we are busy taking care of them. I am trying not to get too attached as I have 5 dogs already and can’t possibly keep them all so I am searching for a good place for them to go when the time comes so keep them in your prayers that i find the perfect match for them ! Happy Thanksgiving once again! Take care! Rick

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