I stopped in Tupelo to deliver Monica and Bella's gifts (on time for once!). I also swung by Starbucks there for a lovely venti peppermint mocha (made with 1/2 syrup). (This is my alltime fav drink!!!) It was so good to see Monica and update her a little on why I haven't been calling anyone much lately. Kayla tried to eat packing peanuts at the UPS store and was SO happy to get to see her Monica. (or her half-Monica as she has lost so much weight this year.)
Then we made a big old elf stop in Fulton and visited with the Brandon and Lana...who were so much fun and so EXCITED for Christmas (they told me yesterday that they got exactly what they wanted and more for Christmas). Lana wanted me to stay or wanted to go with me to my Mama's but we convinced her it would be easier for Santa to find her if she stayed put.
Then I got to my Mama's house and shortly afterwards found out she wasn't getting off work as early as she had planned...here's where the fun started.
She called and said that she may be working until 4pm or later and that Jerry and I would need to start dinner. The dressing (yes real cornbread dressing) was thawing on the counter, she had pre mixed the ingredients and frozen it well in advance and that would need to go in the oven about an hour before we wanted to eat it but we had to make: sweet potato crunch, mashed potatos, dumplings (chicken and), english peas, and green bean cassarole. I peeled, Jerry made the mashed potatos all by himself. I peeled the sweet potatos and we kind of made that together while I also put together the green bean cassarole (I don't really like green bean cassarole but others do and that's what Mama wanted...it was almost all eaten). Mama told me the green bean cassarole recipe was on the side of the French's onions. She also said that she had plenty of ingredients for it. I put together what was on the can and AFTER I had it all mixed and ready to put in the oven thought "this isn't a lot for the amount of people that are coming, should I have doubled this?" but went on with the sweet potato crunch which was at a standstill (Kane was stirring everything while we dumped it in his bowl.) because Jerry couldn't find the Nutmeg. I told Jerry just to dump in the pumpkin pie spice in place of the individual spices but he said that Mama had said to follow the recipe and we had already put in some extra sweet potato because we cooked more than needed(LOL men!). We then pulled all the spices out of the cabinets (there was NO nutmeg). When Jerry turned around I dumped in some pumpkin pie spice and told him I was now in charge of that dish and it would be fine and no one would know the difference (I think he was still worried, he kept asking me how I knew it would be allright and didn't I need measuring spoons).
The dumplings were easy, except my mom likes to use those pre frozen already rolled and cut ones and I don't, these were frozen in a block for some reason and we had to use a knife to seperate them LOL. But the best thing EVER was the dressing.
Remember I said it had been assembled and frozen beforehand?
Well it was on the counter, all thawed and ready to go in the oven, so I uncovered these huge pans of dressing and they were like shallow lakes. All the chicken stock was floating over the cornbread portion. I had Jerry help me slide these in the oven when the green beans and potato crunch came out. and we almost lost one pan...chicken stock everywhere over the bottom of the NEW OVEN (lol...they did get a self-cleaner). I was just guessing that it would soak in while it cooked (I had never cooked frozen dressing). Mama gets home and I tell her about all the stock and she said "It had that much even after you stirred it up?"
Then I said "Stirred it up? I didn't stir it, I didn't know I was supposed to do that."
Needless to say, everyone had a big laugh and I think this is just as funny right now as when it happened.
Then she said she didn't teach me to cook as well as she thought she had. I told her I didn't even remember her making dressing as I was growing up.
Then she said "I didn't make it then, Big Mama did" so it wasn't her fault after all LOL!
I love traditional holiday food at Mama's. I love when everyone comes in and starts really piling on their favorite things. I love that I will always get: dumplings, dressing, red velvet cake. I love that we always have turkey and ham for Christmas. I love that the cranberry sauce is always sliced but molded into the can shape.
I love the kids, the screaming, the squeals, the laughing and the hugs.
More on Christmas tomorrow.