Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Well, the Thanksgiving Holiday has past and it leaves behind a bounty of leftovers.

What to do, what to do? Well, I remember hearing stories of how my ancestors and in particular, my great-grandmother Anne Bell Johnson Green never wasted anything. My mother who resided in her home for much of her youth, tells the stories of how she created the most wonderful meals from leftovers and whatever food items came her way...be it raised, planted, bartered or some unfortunate creature that wandered into her yard.

As well, in my own youth, I remember my mother and older sister preparing delicious meals from the holiday leftovers. Lets face it, cornbread dressing tastes better the day after anyway!

With that in mind, I have been on a leftover meal mission! My target, the remains of the Thanksgiving Guest of Honor, "The Esteemed Turkey!

Day 1- Asian Turkey Breast Salad-A mix of romaine salad greens, sliced turkey breast, cranberries, mandarin oranges, chopped green onions, tomatoes w/an light asian dressing

Day 2-Turkey Pot Pie-2 empty Pies shells, one coated w/lowfat marg and sprinkled with herbs, chopped turkey mixed w/fresh vegetables, herbs, cream of celery soup foldered into pie crust topped with top crust which is brushed w/light margarine and sprinkled w/herbs and then baked for 1 hr @ 350 degrees.

Day 3 Turkey Salad-Chunks of Turkey blended w/fat free mayo, relish, olives, onion, celery, red bell pepper, garlic powder, paprika-raisins and cranberries optional. Can be served on a bed of lettuce or eaten w/bread or crackers

Day 4 Turkey Soup-Chopped turkey, Turkey Leg &/Or Wing simmered with fresh vegetables such as carrots, corn, green beans, potatoes,tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, garlic seasoned w/bay leaves, fresh basil, curry, savory. Eat hot with crackers. Can be slow-cooked in a crock pot.

Day 5 My favorite greens, collards, turnips, mustard slowly simmered until done with leftover turkey leg/wing and/or thigh. Just add water, seasonings such as salt, pepper, onion, garlic, Mrs. Dash herbal blend and eat. I prefer to simmer the turkey parts first to make a broth and add greens last to absorb the flavor.

So there you have it. This was my left over Thanksgiving Turkey week. So far, anyway.

Believe it or not, I still have turkey left. Looks like its time to come up with more creative leftover turkey recycling meals!

Thanks Mom and Great-Grandma for the inspiration!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Memories

A good time was had by all. Thanksgiving 2007 turned out to be a very nice occasion. I arose at the break of dawn and proceeded to prepare a meal for the holiday feast. On my dinner list was a smoked turkey, cornbread dressing, wild rice & italian sausage dressing, macoroni and cheese, green beans and potato medley w/mushrooms & onions, corn, collard greens w/smoked turkey, sweet potato pone w/marshmallows, green salad w/cranberries, mandarin oranges and pecans,croissants and sparkling cider. It was a hearty meal and rather delicious if I must say so myself.

In attendance was my son, Dane, my niece, Shawndra and my great nephews, Pablo and Zaire, the latter a whopping 2 months old!

After eating dinner and watching football and annual Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, we proceeded to Suisun, CA to my brother, Keith's home for dessert and family fellowship.

I brought along a carrot/red velvet/chocolate truffle & german chocolate cake sampler, pecan pie and apple pie that I had painstakingly prepared that morning.

I arrived to find a house full of my family which included my brother, 2 sisters, my mother, and a host of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, in-laws and cousins.
It was quite a gathering!

The spread of food was something next to specatular! In particular, the dessert table would have made Henry the 8th gasp in awe!

As the evening progressed, the subject of genealogy came up. In particular, a cousin of mine who shares my Brayboy lineage, shared that she knew of some other Brayboy cousins who resided in her native San Francisco which she believed to be cousins since they bore a strong resemblance to other know Brayboy relatives. I shared with her and others how the original name was Braveboy and that they and we were native american descendants of Lumbee and Tuscarora indian tribes that had been enslaved after being defeated in war.

My cousin also mentioned hearing tell of a relative on our Jefferson line that was an original slave from Sierra Lione in Africa. As we talked, I mentioned to her that I believe she was making reference to Betsy Taylor (her slave name) who was the mother of Issac Jefferson.

Family oral history has it that Betsy was brought from Africa as a young girl and enslaved. The story is that her father voluntarily allowed her to come to America after being coaxed by another African native into thinking that she was coming here to go to school and subsequently acquire wealth so that she could someday return to her native Africa to help out her family. Young Betsy was led to the ship only to find out the awlful reality that her life and freedom was being stolen away.

It is said that she was already slated to be sold to someone in Louisiana before the ship ever hit American soil. However, she kicked and screamed and "showed out so much on the ship that she was put off and sold in South Carolina where she was raped by her Master and bore her first son, Issac and my ggg-grandfather.

Betsy eventually made it to Louisiana afterall, when her Master relocated there. I found her on the 1880 census living with her son, Issac Jefferson and his family.

Betsy was a strong woman and she is still remembered over 100 years later by her family on Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Osmonds appear on Oprah

The entertainment world suffered a loss this week with the death of the patriach of the Osmond family. George Osmond, 90 passed away leaving to cherish his memory 9 children including Donny and Marie of former variety show fame.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Olive who died in 2004 and is also survived by 55 grandchildren and 48 great-grandchildren.

His daughter, Marie who currently appears on the hit show, "Dancing with the Stars," had dedicated a dance in honor of both her parents who she said met during their military service.

Following the elder Osmond's death, almost the entire clan, 130 members, were flown in for an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show courtesy of the wealthy talk show host.

What a legacy! It is just amazing that all these people descended from the union of 2 individuals. This pales only in comparison to Adam and Eve!

God said be fruitful and multiply and they certainly did!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Life began in Africa

Scientists and Palentologists now believe what many of us have have surmissed all along is that human life began on the continent of Africa.

DNA and other testing suggests that modern man evolved in Africa within the last 200,000 years, not separately and all around the world as many previously believed.

They further believe that there was only one prehistoric exodus from Africa, around 80,000 years ago, perhaps to what is now Yemen.

With this being the case, it is highly likely that Adam and/or Eve were black. Either way, God infused in their blood, the DNA instructions for the entire human race!

This evidence strongly suggests as does the Bible that all mankind descended from 2 people which means as the the Bible has always stated, that we are all related.

I believe that the relocation to other countries and continents over centuries more than likely caused a mutation in the genetic instructions of certain groups of people and may account for the different complexions and facial features. Aside from that we are all the same on the inside since we share the same distant lineage!

King Tut unwrapped

Yesterday, on Nov. 5, 2007, the mummified body of the 19 year old boy King Tut was unwrapped exactly 85 years after being discovered by Howard Carter in 1922.

Photographs reveal the tar-black faced skeletal remains of the once Egyptian King. His mouth is stacked full of crusty decayed teeth that point upward giving the impression that he had a pronounced overbite. The entire body looks like has been torched.

The body of the King, was removed from its original resting place to a new coffin in the high tech climate-controlled antechamber of his small underground tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

The purpose of the move accordingly to Egyptian officials was to help preserve the mummy, which has been suffering poor condition since it was first discovered.

Wrapped in many layers of linen and resin, Tutankhamun's body was nearly destroyed by Carter and his team, when sharp tools were used to remove his gleaming gold-and-blue death mask. Sources have also indicated that further damage has been caused by the body heat of the huge number of tourists who enter the tomb each year.

I have always been fascinated by Egyptian history and heritage. Part of the reason is naturally due to the riches and majesty that dominates its history and also because of its location in my ancestral land of Africa.

The country of Egypt sits at the northeastern tip of the Great Continent of Africa. It borders Libya and Chad to the west and Sudan to the south. The country boasts some of the greatest riches in the world.

Although, I have not yet traveled to Egypt, I have had the opportunity to view many Egyptian artifacts over the years in both New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art which houses a large collection and also at the Louvre in Paris where the collection is even more massive than their New York counterparts. I was just enchanted with the awesome display of beauty and attention to detail in their clothing, art, sculptures and architecture.

Well, Tut, only God can say whether your soul lives on for an eternity but your mortal remains and memories have lived on centuries upon centuries. I guess the responsibility for that goes to the many hands and hearts that took the time and love to try to memorialize, preserve you and make your journey to the afterlife a pleasant one.

I can't say how you feel about being "upwrapped" but from one human being to another I hope that you are resting in peace and are in the presence of the King of All Kings, God Almighty!

Because you know now, Tut what the rest of us know only by faith:

Psalm 100:5
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Psalm 135:13
Thy name, O LORD, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O LORD, throughout all generations.

Psalm 145:13
Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.