Category Archives: Recipes

My First Thanksgiving Meal | Disney College Program Memories

I have so many memories of my Disney College Program.  I think I need to start a series with some of the memories so that I can reflect on them when I’m older.

My Disney College Program was September 5, 1995 until January 7, 1996.  Four months of memories and self discovery.  I worked at Disney-MGM Studios at Soundstage Restaurant and Sunset Ranch Market.

November 23rd of that year was Thanksgiving.  I was given 4 days off – Wednesday through Saturday.  I debated riding home on a Greyhound bus but opted to stay in Lake Buena Vista.

The majority of my roommates were International College Program students so they had never had a real U.S. Thanksgiving dinner.  I decided to make dinner on Friday the 24th since Celine, my French roommate, worked on Thanksgiving.  I did not make a turkey.  Instead I made chicken.

My grandma sent me the recipe for white salad which is a staple at Hudnall family gatherings.  (Hudnall is my mom’s family.)  After I made that white salad, I ate it for weeks afterwards.  

Grandma also sent me the recipe for her sweet potato casserole so I made that also.  I don’t remember the rest of the meal just those 3 dishes.

Anyway after I finished the dinner, Celine was supposed to clean the dishes.  The problem though was her boy toy, Brian, was over and they were hanging out/ making out on the couch.  It was an open floor plan so I was uncomfortable staying in the kitchen while they were making out.

My Italian roommate, Alessandra, was getting ready to move out the next day.  She was going to live with her other Italian roommates.  According to her, I was a lazy American.

Celine never cleaned up those dishes.  Alessandra got mad at me.  The next day, she yelled at me since the whole apartment was supposed to be clean before she moved out.  It was not my fault.  What happened later that day was a memory I’ll never forget.  I shared it on the white salad blog post.

The next time I made a Thanksgiving dinner was 20 years later.  

Have a magical day,
Traci

Columbus Zoo – October 20, 2018 – Part 1

Join me for a five part series about our visit to the Columbus Zoo on October 20.

The boys were gone for the weekend back packing in Kentucky so I decided to visit my favorite zoo.  The weather was perfect that weekend.  The animals were out and about which always makes the visit to the zoo even better.  It was Boo at the Zoo so a lot of kids were dressed up for Halloween.

I got a lot of great photos while we were there.  I hope you enjoy them.

The Columbus Zoo is located near Dublin, Ohio.  There is a lot of construction going on in Dublin.  I loved the flag on the crane as we were driving through the town.

Some of the decorations around the zoo

Since it was Boo at the Zoo, they had characters at the front of the zoo.  Even though I never went over to the characters, I made sure to take photos of the characters in between the costumed children.

The first exhibit we went to was the flamingos.  We got to talk to of the volunteers while we were watching the flamingos.

As always, click on the photos for a zoomed in photo.

Then we went to see the penguins. They were so active which was so cool.  One of them kept swimming fast through the water and jumping out because they were that fast.  So neat!  Hubby was so delighted.

Join me next time for the photos from the Congo area of the Columbus Zoo.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Don’t be thankful just on Thanksgiving

16 Rejoice Always,
17 Pray continually,
18 Give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5

Happy Thanksgiving! Today is a day to give thanks.  It’s a day to remember all those who are no longer with us as we sit down as friends and family around the dinner table.

However we  need to continuously give thanks to God daily not just one day out of the year.

At church this past Sunday, my pastor talked about being in two ruts.  One rut is always complaining and never seeing the good in anything.  While the other is seeing the glimpse of goodness in everything even it is mundane or something we don’t particularly enjoy.

We need to have a heart of gratitude.  

Two years ago at the age of 41, I lost my sister, Tanya. It was such a hard and trying time in my life.  Although I could have given up on life because of my grief, there was some goodness that happened during that time period.  My mom and I really never spent any time together while I was an adult.  Since that fateful day, Mom moved to my town and we have spent more time together.  We even went on a trip together and a day trip.  

This Thanksgiving give thanks for everything.  However, live your life with gratitude.

That alarm reminds you that you are alive.  Sometimes traffic reminds us to slow down.  If you can while you are in traffic, look around if it’s safe enough.  You might discover something you may have not realized was there.  Then show gratitude to God for giving you that time to look around.

Sunrises and sunsets remind me to be grateful.  Sunrises show me the promise of a new day provided by God.  Sunsets reminds me that there is beauty in everything.

So on this Thanksgiving, let us be thankful for all.  On the other 364 days of the year, show gratitude towards God and all he has done for you.  Find goodness in all aspects of your life.  

May your Thanksgiving be blessed!

Have a magical day,
Traci

The Clock Tower Inn – Berne, Indiana

Swiss Heritage Center – Part 4

We stayed at the Clock Tower Inn while in Berne.  I loved the Amish furniture so I took a lot of photos of that Amish furniture.  I hope you enjoy the photos of the furniture.

If you want to see a zoomed in version of each of these photo collages, please click on each collage.

I loved that rocking chair.  So beautiful!

I hope you enjoyed our quick trip to see Fort Wayne and Berne, Indiana.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Swiss Heritage Center – Berne, Indiana – Part 4

Swiss Heritage Center – Part 3

Random shots of grounds – I wish it wasn’t raining and cold so we could walk around more.

More photos of the grounds – I love the fall colors.

The restrooms in the inside portion of the Heritage Center.

Some of the displays in the museum – I love the Swiss chalet doll house  

The coolest item in the museum was the display about the guy who won the Nobel Peace Prize in chemistry in I think in 2005.  So interesting.

More of the displays in the museum.

I hope you enjoyed the photos from the Swiss Heritage Center.  If you have time to visit, I would highly encourage it.

The address to the Swiss Heritage Center is 1200 Swissway Rd, Berne, IN 46711.

Join me next time for photos of the Inn we stayed in while in Berne.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Swiss Heritage Center – Berne, Indiana – Part 3

Swiss Heritage Center – Part 2

After we finished watching the glockenspiel at the Clock tower, we first visited a tiny bit of the inside museum while waiting for the other couple to return.  (I’ll share photos from the inside museum in a different blog post.)

First we visited the Baumgartner Church which was the first Mennonite Church in Berne, Indiana.  It was started in 1839 by Reverend David Baumgartner.  He was originally from Bern, Switzerland.  He was 73 when he began the church. 

Since there is no Bibles in Swiss, the Bible is a German Bible. They hold a Christmas service in both English and German.  So neat!


A very plain pulpit
The ladies sat on one side of the church while the men sat on the other side.  

Beautiful fall foliage


The photograph is the first couple who were married at the church.


The German Bible
The yellow piece of paper in the top left photo is the bulletin for the Christmas service.

After we finished with the church, we went to the doctor’s office.  When the doctor whose office we were visiting died, over 2,000 mourners came to his funeral.  That was a lot of mourners especially since there were less than 2,000 people in the town.

I’ve got one more blog post about the Swiss Heritage Center and then I’ll have one with photos from our hotel.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Thanksgiving 2018 – Our Menu

Here is this year’s menu:

I’m also going to have some deviled eggs and veggies to snack on until it’s time to eat.

Here is a breakdown of when I’m going to make the different recipes so that I’m not going to be in the kitchen all day long.

Monday – Finish shopping for the perishable items. 
Make the white salad.  Hope I don’t eat all of the white salad.
Assemble the corn casserole.

Tuesday – Make the vegetarian stuffing in the slow cooker.
Make the pecan pie bubble up.
Make the whipped cream.  Make sure there is enough for the Imaginative One to taste test.

Wednesday – Make the pressure cooker mac and cheese.
Bake the pumpkin pie sheet cake.
Hope the boys have cleaned enough for us to go see Wreck It Ralph.

Thursday – Turkey
Bake the corn casserole.
Make the green bean casserole in the casserole slow cooker.
Make the stuffing in the slow cooker.
Warm the brown and serve rolls.
Make the mashed sweet potatoes in the microwave.
Take the boys to the senior center so they can help serve lunches.
Watch Moana with the boys.  (Their request)

Have a magical day,
Traci

Swiss Heritage Center – Berne, Indiana – Part 2

Swiss Heritage Center – Part 1

After we finished with the Luginbill House, we went over to the Cheese House.  We learned how they made the Amish cheese which was interesting.  Did you know they have to boil the milk in a copper pot and check the constancy later with a silver spoon?  It’s interesting how they knew how the metals interacted with the different steps of the cheese making process.

Next we went over to the Apple Cider Press. When it was in operation, it was the biggest apple cider press in the United States.  It was not original to the Berne area but was moved to the Heritage Center from a place within 40 miles away.

The press barn was rather dark so I apologize for the quality of some of the photos.

F. William Hauenstein built this press during the Civil War.  The pressing beam was oak that at time was about 300 years old so it was already growing when Christopher Columbus arrived in the West Indies.

More info about the press

After visiting the Cider Press, we left the Heritage Center to go watch the glockenspiel at the clock tower.  Then we came back to enjoy the rest of the tour with Char.

Join me next time when we’ll visit the church and doctor’s office at the Swiss Heritage Center.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Swiss Heritage Center – Berne, Indiana – Part 1

As I previously said, Berne, Indiana really did not have a lot to explore.  If you wanted Amish furniture, you could certainly find it.  The clock tower and the architecture is wonderful.  It’s a small town so there is not much there.

There is one other interesting place.  That is the Swiss Heritage Center. Berne was settled by Amish and Mennonites immigrants from Switzerland.  They were being persecuted in their native country so they came to America.  Eventually they moved and settled in Adams and Allen County.  

We were pleasantly surprised when we got to the Heritage Center. They had a guide to take us around the grounds which was neat.  The guide was a 73 year old lady named Char.  She was a wonderful storyteller.  It was almost as though she was there when the American flag was being created or when the Amish were being persecuted in Switzerland.  Hubby kept wanting her to tell us more.

She had a golf cart for her to ride from place to place. There was a total of four guests plus herself trying to get on this golf cart more than once.  Some of the buildings were a small distance.  On a nice day, it would be a good stroll.  Not on the chilly and then rainy day we visited.

The first building we visited was the One Room School Room.  She talked about the reasons why girls were more educated than boys, the history of the American flag, and how many school buildings were in the county at one point.  

After we left the schoolhouse, we went to the Lunginbill House.  The Lunginbill House was the house of Peter and Barbara Luginbill. It was built in 1856 and moved to the Heritage Center in 1987.  

While we were in house, we learned about the typical day of the family, how they built the original house, and how they made soap back in the day.  Char also told stories about Barbara.

Join me next time for the cheese making shed and apple cider mill.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Menu Plan Tuesday – Week of October 14th – Day 13 of 31

I keep falling further and further behind on my Write 31.  I’ve mind mapped out the recipes I would like to share during the remainder of this year’s Write 31.  Last night instead of writing, I was cleaning out my pajama drawer and my wardrobe.

I could almost wear a different pair of pajamas for about 2.5 weeks.  While cleaning out the pajama drawer, I threw away some of the pajamas.  They were old and tattered.  No one would want them.

This weekend I also went through some photos of mine.  In 2001 and 2002, my mom, Tanya, and I went on two different trips to Hershey, PA.  On one of them, we traveled to Pittsburgh to visit family while on the other we visited Gettysburg and then Virginia.  I could not remember which trip was which one.

Speaking of those trips, one of the pajamas I threw away was a pair of American flag shorts.  I could wear them out and about back in those years because those trips were pre-kids.  Why did I still have those shorts?

Anyway I’m going to share with you some of the photos from the 2002 trip.  I did not know that a year later I was going to be a first time mother.

One of our friends lives/ lived in Colonial Beach, Va which is on the Chesapeake River.  We visited him for a few days.

While we were there, we visited George Washington’s birthplace.

We also visited a winery that was close to our friend’s house.

 

Here are some pictures from our drive home.  I thought the ice cream machine was cool.  You picked the ice cream and then it sucked it up.  So neat!

Anyway, thank you for walking down memory lane.


Now onto the menu for this week:

Sunday – Lentil loaf, mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, and roasted veggies

Monday – Mandarin “chicken” with rice

Tuesday – Pierogies and veggies

Wednesday – Minestrone Soup

Thursday – Minestrone Soup

Friday – No kids – Mini Freezer Pizza

Saturday – Out to eat

 

Happy Vegetarian eating,
Traci