26 November 2010

A Study in Tradition

Bob's family (on the Steffes side) has a Thanksgiving tradition that involves pie.  Specifically, mincemeat pie.  A review of the literature (research!) says that mincemeat pie is an English tradition, which does not jive with Bob's very German family, but it's true nonetheless.

While Bob was growing up, Aunt Lorraine would can jars and jars of mincemeat to be used in pies at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  When Aunt Lorraine passed away, a few jars of mincemeat remained but no one was worried, as Dianne took over the tradition of making and canning mincemeat.

The Steffes/Fessler crew celebrated Thanksgiving at Dianne and Jim's house this year.  This is the first time in my 33 years of being in the Steffes family that it was somewhere besides Uncle Slim, Uncle Smoky, or Irene's house.  Dianne's home was a wonderful place to hold our dinner.  Perfect for kids and adults alike!

I saw an opportunity to do a photo essay on the making of the Steffes/Fessler mincemeat pie.  Dianne is the pie baker in the photos.

Can't say all the Steffes/Fessler family members love mincemeat.... you can see Donna leaning away and I don't care for it... and very few of the younger generation like it (Eric does!), but as long as there are some around who will eat it, and Dianne is there to make it, I can see this pie remaining as one of the special traditions of the family.
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25 November 2010

24 November 2010

Tie One On

After our Thanksgiving dinner, Ashley and I had great fun modeling the aprons in my collection.  Here are a few to enjoy with us.

I have several vintage aprons, including one that my great grandmother made and embroidered.  It is a family heirloom.  The rest are fun ones, given to me by special friends or from special events. 

23 November 2010

National Tie One On!

This sounds like a great deal of fun!  I love aprons, I have a small collection hanging in my kitchen at home.  What a perfect excuse to wear one!  Click on the button on the right to learn more!

19 November 2010

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving!


Thanksgiving Week is right around the corner!  Ashley and Bob are busy planning our family dinner which will be on Tuesday night.  Ashley wants to make the following:



Butternut Squash Soup


Sweet Potato Gruyere Turnovers


Cranberry and Almond Pasta Salad

Baked Apples stuffed with honey, almonds and ginger


Butternut Cupcakes with Salted Caramel and Maple Brown Butter Icing


Cranberry Champagne

Pumpkin Latte

I think she has some of her dad's gourmand in her!  I'd like to see a grilled steak in there somewhere!

On Wednesday we will be heading to Marceline to have Thanksgiving with my family.  My mom and my sister are the main cooks although I usually do the desserts.  My mom will make potatoes, sweet potatoes, dressing, homemade noodles and green bean casserole and my sister will make the turkey and the rolls.  I usually bring a pumpkin pie, something chocolate and the leftover cupcakes from our house!

Thursday we will travel with Bob's mom, Irene, to Macon for a Thanksgiving lunch.  The Macon people are German and have similar foods, with a twist.  Here they like raisins in their stuffing, and the pie of choice is mincemeat pie.  Not my cup of tea but there are plenty of other good things to eat!  Ashley and Eric will be spending their Thanksgiving Day with Eric's family.  That is the trade off we make.

About the Movie - A Family Thanksgiving

A wealthy, successful corporate lawyer (Daphne Zuniga, “One Tree Hill”) is living the high life in New York City with little time for anything except her lavish lifestyle until a close encounter with a bizarre mystic (Academy Award® Winner Faye Dunaway, “Network”) drops her into an alternative reality to see what her life might have been like had she made different choices.

When we get home Thursday night, I have taped a Hallmark Thanksgiving show to watch.  I am sure Bob will be watching some football games but I am not a fan of pro football.  At least, not too much.  I do like the Packers and once in a while, I enjoy seeing the Chiefs.

Bob will probably do some Black Friday sales and I will begin to decorate for Christmas on Friday.  Bob and Ashley will get up at the crack of dawn to get great deals and I'll join them for breakfast!

My family wishes your family safe travels and Thanksgiving hugs.

17 November 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!


I subscribe to the
"Universe" and here was today's message....
Happy Birrrrthday to Youuuu,

Happy Birrrrthday to Youuuu,

Happy Birrrrthday Dear Terri,

Happy Birrrrthday to Youuuu!

A few years back, not so long ago, heaven and earth erupted into a major celebration with the news of your impending adventure into this very time and space. You see, someone like Terri Steffes doesn't come along all that often. In fact, there's never been a single one like you, nor is there ever ANY possibility that another will come again. You're an Angel among us. Someone, whose eyes see what no others will EVER see, whose ears hear what no others will EVER hear, and whose perspective and feelings will NEVER, ever be duplicated. Without YOU, the Universe, and ALL THAT IS, would be sadly less than it is.

Quite simply:

You're the kind of person, Terri,

Who's hard to forget,

A one-in-a-million

To the people you've met.

Your friends are as varied

As the places you go,

And they all want to tell you

In case you don't know:

That you make a big difference

In the lives that you touch,

By taking so little

And giving so much!

Terri, you are so AWESOME! For your birthday, friends and angels from every corner of the Universe, including buddies you didn't know you had, will be with you to wish you the HAPPIEST of days and an exciting new year in time and space. You won't be alone!


Who wouldn't want to hear that today!  Wowzer!

16 November 2010

Busy at work!

This is a busy time of year at work.  We are so involved in data analysis this year.  We have lots of meetings on using data to drive instruction.  It is a slow process but a fulfilling one.

We are also in Year one of PLCs.  Professional Learning Communities.  We are really enjoying the process.  I feel like I am closer to my Leadership Team than ever before.  We have lively discussions on education, which I find stimulating and thought provoking!

Can you find the turkey?  The kindergarteners camoflauged them so look carefully!

We are in our third year of implementing Comprehensive Literacy.  Our third, fourth and fifth grade is fully implemented and are seeing outstanding results. 

The Million Minute Reading Challenge is going WILD!  We have challenged several community groups and they are taking us on!  Our school averages about 35,000 minutes of reading a week.  Our high was 45,000 minutes.

Our Family Literacy Nights are fabulous.  We serve food at each of them which draws a big crowd.  We are having a chili supper in December and Santa is coming to read.  We will have cookies for dessert.

Our PTO is the best around.  We just fnished a Carnival, Extravaganza, and two movie nights.  The movie nights are so popular.  We have one this Friday and the fifth grade is sponsoring it.  I can't wait!

You can see our school is a busy place, and this is only a spattering of the things we do.  I love my work and consider myself very fortunate to be a part of this system!