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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Monday, October 30, 2006


On the front of Family Circle magazine was the “teaser” for an article within. The “teaser” was “STUFF THE TURKEY, NOT YOURSELVES!!” I don’t know about YOU but Thanksgiving dinner is pretty anticipated around our household. We take our turkey dinner very seriously but I thought in fairness to our health, I would read the article.

I didn’t even have to read the article; I just looked at that little bitty dinner plate with the miniscule servings. I had seen enough; it hurt my eyes! Whomever wrote this article actually said to limit yourself to ¼ cup of mashed potatoes, 2 Tbls of gravy, ¼ cup of green bean casserole (what does that amount to…3 beans??), ½ cup of cranberry relish (WOW!!! A whole ½ cup of that!!), ¼ cup of stuffing (stuffing is the reason I make a Thanksgiving dinner!!) and I think you were allowed 3 ½ ounces of white turkey. Obviously there were no desserts on that plate or even close to the plate. I’m sorry folks, but I will endure the problem of over stuffing Myself and let tryptophan “ruin” the rest of my day! We waited 364 days for this day and by golly, we’re gonna get pleasure from it!

Our typical Thanksgiving dinner consists of a 22 pound turkey stuffed at both ends (plus a bowl of stuffing to put in the oven), obviously mashed potatoes and home made gravy, cranberry relish made with apples, celery and marshmallows, usually green bean/cheesy casserole, maybe asparagus, sometimes squash, homemade rolls and a relish tray. For dessert I make two chocolate chip pecan pies and two low fat pumpkin pies with lite Cool Whip (see, I DO try to get some healthy things in there!). In a normal year, our daughter and her boyfriend come up for the weekend and by the time they leave they are sick of left overs. We all are suffering, but what a magnificent way to suffer! No one is shy about unfastening their jeans or loosening a belt. AND DON’T TRY TO TELL ME IT ISN’T THE SAME AT YOUR HOUSE.

And, I’m sure the cooks of your family will agree; it seems you spend more time preparing all of this than time that it takes to sit down and eat your Thanksgiving meal…then there are the dishes to do. We are not fancy come Thanksgiving (or any other time for that matter!). I purchase HEAVY duty paper plates and pretty napkins.

We use to have a HUGE spatter ware roaster, but one time when Dan was taking the finished product out of the oven, one of the end handles broke off! Fortunately, he was over the open oven door so the pan and juices (and 22 pound stuffed turkey) did not go too far. We only used that pan once a year, but it was unsafe to handle, and hard to clean up. Last year I purchased a very nice, Teflon type roaster with a rack…big enough for a 25 pound bird! What a breeze to clean up…except for the rack. And last year, when Dan was removing the bird from the rack with two big turkey forks, one of the forks broke. Again we were lucky; he was still over the rack!

Anyway, I digress; to those who think any member of this family will be happy with a ¼ cup serving of any kind, you have got to be off your rocker! IT IS ONLY ONCE A YEAR!!! WE SAY ENJOY!!!!

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