Nov 012005

Cookin’ at the Keyboard with Shelley

A Mother’s Heart

ThenIt was eight years ago, in November 1997, that my oldest daughter, Sarah, and I played a duet at her piano recital. The program in her scrapbook indicates that we played a piece entitled, “Long, Long Ago.” Ironically, this mother’s heart remembers it being just yesterday.

But it was yesterday that I listened to Sarah perform the 1st movement of Sonata in c. Hob. XVI:34  by J. Haydn at the Classical Period Piano Competition. She played beautifully, and she no longer needed me on the bench next to her to fill out the bass notes and add some rhythm.

Time passes quickly. My mind can hardly grasp the fact that it has been an entire year since I saw a turkey in every cart as I walked the aisles at the grocery store. But the pictures in my camera remind me that my daughters truly are a year older.

The Thanksgiving season bids me to reflect on my blessings. I could list dozens of things, but if I were to prioritize them, I would have to put the relationships at the top. It’s the people that are really important.

NowAs an adult, I can appreciate the value of relationship. Looking through the eyes of my daughters, I become aware of their dependence on relationship. They need a mother, and no one else can fill that role as well as I can. Some days they need me to keep them on a steady beat, and some days they need me to sit back and applaud. But they need me. And I delight in being needed.

As we make our holiday plans, and plan our holiday menus, let’s celebrate the opportunity we have to invest our time and energy in the many relationships that are depending on us to make them meaningful.

Holiday Recipe

PumpkinCheesecakePumpkin Cheesecake

If you’re looking for something different to serve for dessert, this cheesecake adds an elegant flair to the traditional flavors of the holiday.



Software Suggestions

I received this email last summer from a fellow 30 Day Gourmet cook.

Hey Shelley! Just a quick note…we’re doing a pig roast Friday night. (Actually, we’re not roasting the pig ourselves, we hired someone to do that for us.) I’m in charge of the food, and we currently have 83 adults/teens and 20 kids coming. So I’m sitting down tonight to start putting my grocery list together, and figuring I need to make 4x my brownie recipe, and 2x my cookie recipe and 10x my baked bean recipe. As I sit there with pen and paper, at 10:30 pm, after a long day, trying to double my 5x column in my head, a light bulb goes off and I say “DUH!!! THIS is what my software is for!!” = ) Slowly but surely, I’m going to get this down to use my software all the time!! Thought you would appreciate my DUH moment! = ) Have a great day!!!

I love it when people discover how versatile the software is. You don’t have to be freezer cooking at the moment in order to make it useful. So, if you’re putting your Thanksgiving menu together at the last minute, let the software make your grocery list for you! I have a fast and furious method for entering new recipes that will have you braving the lines at the grocery store in no time.

  • Enter the recipe name and category.

  • Enter the recipe ingredients (but not the instructions!)

  • Print the recipe and slip it into a page protector.

  • Drop the recipe card with the cooking instructions into the page protector with the printed recipe. (Photocopy any recipes used from cookbooks.)

  • Create a cooking day in the software and add the recipes on your menu. Don’t forget to change the recipe quantities to reflect the number of people you’re feeding.

  • Print the grocery report.

  • Detour through the kitchen for a quick inventory. Eliminate any items on the grocery list that are already stocked in your kitchen.

At some point, you might need to go back and add the instructions to the recipe. (But then again, maybe not!) If you leave the Thanksgiving Cooking Day in your database, you’ll have a head start for next year’s dinner, as well as a reminder of what you served this year!

Click here to download a free trial version of the software!

Closing Comments from Shelley

Last month I mentioned that my daughters and I made several loaves of Pear Bread on our cooking day. After sending my recipe to her, Amy Duranto emailed to say, “This Pear Bread is AWESOME!! Can it be frozen? I have five loaves and would love to freeze some after I share a few. Thanks again!”

Some baked goods are better after they’re frozen, and I think this recipe is one of them. Click here to view/print/import the recipe for Pear Bread.


If you have comments, suggestions, or stories to tell, please click here to email me. It’s fun to hear from other freezer families.

Looking back, may you be thankful;

Looking ahead, may you be hopeful;

Looking upward, may you find strength;

Looking inward, may you find peace.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Carol Santee

Carol is the co-author of the Big Book of Freezer Cooking and the author of 30 Day Gourmet’s Slow Cooker Freezer Favorites, Freezer Lunches To Go and Healthy Freezer Cooking eBooks. She is a computer information specialist and works for a computer software company.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.