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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

Buy one, get one. Free.

November 20, 2006

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Went out grocery shopping afterward just to get out of the house for a bit. Good time to go. In a day or two everyone is going to be out there stocking up for the holiday and the coming winter. The way some people load up, you'd think the Apocalypse is on its way and a full pantry just might prolong life as we know it.

It's pure joy to wander through a grocery store later in the evening when most people are home watching T.V. or reading the paper. I bought 20 lb of flour for baking, and fresh cranberries, and bread cubes for stuffing and green olives and Mr. Sundberg's favorite lefse. I'd like to say I make lefse rather than buy it, but what would be the point? Makes my life is a bit easier, and Mr. Sundberg has yet to complain about lefse. There were a lot of buy-one, get-one specials, too, so I came home with two rounds of ice cream (the Chocolate Toffee Monster was free) and two 5 lb sacks of potatoes (the red ones were free, too) and two turkeys (Yup, you got it. Buy one, get one. Free.)

Driving home, I got to thinking about those turkeys. One is for my mother to cook on Thanksgiving, and what on God's good earth am I going to do with the other? See, I'll let you in on a little secret. I've never in my born days cooked a turkey. It's on my list of comfort foods, along with corn casserole and homemade rolls and cream cheese crescent bars, but it's a comfort in part because I've never had to make one. My mother has always done it and I'm not ashamed to say I rather like it that way. I'm hoping by the time she's worn out, the kids will take over. I very well may live out my life never having made a turkey.

Anyway, I listened to the late evening news as I unloaded those groceries and put things in their places, and then a story came on about all the soldiers who won't be coming home for Thanksgiving, and all those who will never come home, and I got a bit tearful and thought about the word "comfort" and what it is we find comforting when we're far from home or lonely or scared. It seems to me knowing that people remember you and think of you and love you is the most comforting thing of all, and I had at that moment the strongest urge to do something for all those brave men and women.

Then I remembered then the words of my Great-aunt Wanda Frankowski, who always said, "Do what you know how to do, and put your heart into it." Well, that settled things. On Thankgiving Eve, after the pie social at church, I'll send the kids to bed a bit early and play some Bing Crosby or Johnny Cash and put the Turkey Hotline on speed dial. Silly as it may sound, I'm going to make a turkey with all the trimmings — stuffing, sweet potatoes, corn casserole, rolls, cranberries. I'm just going to do it, and haul it all down to mom's in Owatonna Thursday morning. And even though they won't be at the table with us, I'll make that meal for all those men and women who won't be coming home this year, and we'll light a few candles and say a prayer for them before we eat, a prayer that they find comfort, in some form, this Thanksgiving Day.

So I'm heading out today to find a baster and a thermometer and a big old roasting pan. I'll call Mom and tell her to hold off, that this year the bird is mine. Who knows. Maybe I'll cook up both of those turkeys and drop one off at the vet's office on Thursday. He prefers to spend the holidays alone, and who couldn't use a bit of comfort on a cold November day?

Cream Cheese Crescent Bars

2 pkg. crescent rolls
2 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk (save the egg white in a small bowl)
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9 X 13 cake pan. Spread one package crescent rolls flat, pressing edges up the sides of the pan just a bit. Mix cream cheese and sugar. Add egg yolk and vanilla. Spread over bottom crust. Carefully lay the other package of crescent roll dough over the cream cheese mixture and seal edges as best you can.

Beat egg white with fork; smooth over the entire top.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake for 25–30 minutes or until light brown.
Refrigerate and cut when cool.


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