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Holiday Spirit and Mama’s Goulash

Updated: Jul 19, 2018

Well…today was the day! The day that the holiday spirit struck!! I never know when or where it will actually happen, but TODAY was the day!! Who would have guessed?! We have been so consumed with football in our house, heck IN OUR TOWN!!! Our high school team has advanced to the third round of the state playoffs!! YAY!!! We will now extend our FOOTBALL season into the HOLIDAY season!! Our next game is this Friday, the day after Thanksgiving! Needless to say, with my husband and I being boosters and extremely involved in our football program, I am a little behind in my holiday planning. Thanksgiving dinner is at our house and with only three days until Turkey Day, I have done NOTHING to prepare!!

Now, you need to know a little about me…I LOVE planning for the holidays!! To me, it is all part of the fun and excitement! I have binders, and lists and cookbooks and magazines. I LOVE to prepare! I make lists and plans and timelines. I spend more time planning than I actually do preparing! See… I usually end up so distracted by football or basketball season and all the traveling for said sport, that all my well laid plans go OUT the window. Out the window of the SUV cruising down the highway at 80 mph to get back home in time for the holiday, that is!! The crazy part??? I LOVE IT!!!! I REALLY love it!! If anyone thrives on holiday chaos, it’s me. Even if my best laid plans NEVER come to pass!

I think that must be why the holiday spirit struck me today!! This morning was the only time I would have to get my grocery shopping done for Thanksgiving. I hadn’t a single list in hand yet.. off to the grocery store I went. The store was a mad house! People everywhere! Grocery stockers crammed the aisle trying to keep up with the demand. Christmas music was playing in the store, and…… I started to feel it!! A smile started to spread across my face! I slowed down, noticed people, smiled, said hello…yep….it was the holiday spirit alright! Even in the midst of the chaos! I wasn’t the only one either. People nodded and smiled and said hello. One lady even commented on the beautiful flowers I had in my basket and then said “God bless you” before we continued on our way!

By the time I got back out to the ranch, a cool front was blowing in, the boys were doing yard work and I decided we needed some warm, comfort food for supper. Some warm, EASY comfort food that is. Mom’s Goulash was just the thing! Mom’s Goulash is comfort food at it’s best as far as I’m concerned. Takes me back to avocado green appliances and the Walton’s on TV in a heartbeat! Here’s Mom’s recipe!

Brown 1 onion and 1 bell pepper with 1 pound ground beef.

Add 1 (14.5oz) can of diced tomatoes with liquid

1 small can tomato sauce

2 cups water

1 can whole kernel corn or frozen corn (I didn’t have either tonight so I substituted hominy)

1 Tablespoon chili powder

1 Tablespoon cumin

1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper

Stir to combine, bring to a boil and add 1 cup elbow macaroni.

After the pasta is cooked completely, add 1 cup grated cheddar cheese and stir.

Serve with warm crusty bread. Or, in my case tonight, toasted white sandwich bread because I forgot to buy a loaf of “warm crusty bread!”

Now…to build a fire, pull out the binders and the magazines and… ping pong with my boys! See what I mean!! My best laid plans always get thrown out the window for SOMETHING BETTER!!!!!

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