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How Egypt, mad with superstition grown,
Makes gods of monsters but too well is known.
'Tis mortal sin an Onion to devour,
Each clove of garlic hath a sacred power,
Religious nation sure, and best abode,
When every garden is o'errun with gods!


Between the unpredictable weather and my unpredictable family members, yesterday I baked a ham, yams, the remaining purple potatoes, and half of a stalk of brussel sprouts. My oven is from the 1930's, and is also unpredictable, which resulted in everything being well-cooked. (A brief confession: I brought my version of my neighbor's cranberry relish over, and ended up having a three hour conversation with two of her adult children who had flown in from California. We had wine.) When I returned, I ate the burned baked brussel sprouts and need to make more today.

I had my husband peel a waxed turnip, since he needed something to do. He forgot what it was, in addition to the fact he has always loved turnips. That was the only predictable thing yesterday. Chopped up and boiled the turnip until tender. I'll probably just mash it and add some salt, butter, and a few pinches of brown sugar.

While the turnip was boiling, I remembered the bag of pearl onions, that I bought in memory of my grandmother, who loved creamed onions at Thanksgiving. I have actually never made them, but thank you, Martha Stewart online. I quickly read her exacting recipe, then threw the unpeeled pearl onions into a pot and boiled them too.

I went upstairs and promptly forgot about them for 40 minutes (according to Martha, only cook 12 minutes). When I could smell the onions all the way upstairs, I ran downstairs. Fortunately, there was still a bit of water in the pot, so not burned. It's been a long time since I made a bechamel sauce, but I'll being doing that soon.

In the middle of this, my daughter texted me, "What are the plans? What time are you guys eating?" I replied, "Last I heard, around 3 o'clock. Will text you back after I call Grandma." My daughter and her crew are having the main meal with her in-laws and tons of little kids, but planned to drop by for dessert and to hang out. I'm thankful we live so close.

So, I call my Mom and she tells me my younger brother is not coming despite her sending him a handwritten invitation. Okay, so that was predictable too. Then she says, "By the way, I think my leg is infected again, so I went to the doctor who took me off Coumadin for 3 days and he wants to biopsy it on Friday." (In the past, whenever she gets taken off Coumadin, good things don't happen.) "Oh, and your sister isn't leaving Virginia until Thursday morning." (I'm thinking WTF, need to call sister now.)

I call my sister who tells me my niece got accepted, unexpectedly, into Med School and wanted to celebrate with her Bible study friends, plus my sister was too tired to safely do the 8 hour drive after having to do extra work before leaving. We discuss my mother's leg situation, since my sister had planned to take my mother back to Virginia with her.

Thankfully, she relented on her previous stance; we're in agreement with each other, so I wished her a safe drive and not to worry about the food. (Ironically, she's a dietician and usually makes fabulous desserts that if eaten in large amounts, would probably kill you, laden with butter, sugar, and calories.)

My Version of Martha's Creamed Onions

Boil onions first, without peeling, drain and let sit overnight

Pop the onions out of their skins, discard skins

Make a bechamel sauce using:

2 T. butter

2T. flour

2 cups of whole milk

a dash of nutmeg (optional)

6-8 whole sage leaves

After the sauce is thickened, add the onions and remove the sage leaves.

Place in a pretty, microwaveable dish. Heat up just before meal.

Easy Baked Brussel Sprouts with Garlic

Using large fresh brussel sprouts, cut them from the stalk with a knife. Cut each sprout in half and place on an oiled sheet pan. Salt lightly, drizzle a little olive oil, add garlic cloves here and there, unpeeled. The garlic cloves can be popped out of their skins too, after baking. Cook at 325 F. for 30 minutes or until the bottom half of the brussel sprout is browned, not burnt.

note: These last minute vegetable recipes can be used any time, not just Thanksgiving.

(quote from Roman satirist, Juvenal)

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