Family Life | Kay Trotter

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All Posts in Category: Family Life

How to help after a disaster

Thank you Kathy Gambino, Angleton, TX for this great list of ways we can help those affected by the Hurricane Harvey and the historic flooding.

Hurricane Harvey has brought “500-year” rainfall and flood conditions to the Houston. Areas around Houston have experienced flooding reaching 1,000-year thresholds or more. and South Texas.

disaster relief, hurricane harvey

Hurricane Harvey wreaks historic devastation

Many people are feeling very overwhelmed right now and they aren’t mentally, physically, or even spiritually well due to severe stress, exhaustion and trauma. They may not even know what they actually need or have difficulty communicating their needs.

If you are looking to help anyone in need now, the coming days, weeks or even months, this is GREAT advice:

PRAY and keep praying…it is the single most helpful and impacting thing you can do for your friends and neighbors suffering from a natural disaster like this. Many times people welcome a BRIEF, personal prayer in person, but ask them first. God loves, hears, cares, and moves for his people!

Offer a hug. Sometimes people experiencing a crises need and want a hug, but respect their space and ask them if they need one first. Be willing to offer one, even if you are not a hugger. [ I was offered a hug this week while evacuating my horses, by someone who I knew wasn’t comfortable hugging…and it meant the world to me!] Sometimes, however, people do NOT want to be physically comforted or become emotional in front of others.

Also choose not be offended if the people you are helping, get irritated, upset, angry, or even rude. Exhausted, hurting people may. Love them and keep helping anyway, unless they ask you to not help or stop helping.

BE VERY SPECIFIC in your offer to assist. IT IS DIFFICULT TO THINK STRAIGHT AND MAKE DECISIONS WHEN OVERWHELMED AND TRAUMATIZED.

For example, instead of saying “What can I do to help?” Or “Call me if you need anything at all.” try these specific suggestions:

Can I help you prepare your home for the possible/coming flood?

1. Can I come help today until 8pm to get water out of your house?

2. Can I come by with baskets and wash your wet clothing at my house? Be willing to donate your laundry baskets.

3. Can I bring you lunch/dinner at __pm today? How many people? Where would you like it delivered? (They are probably not staying in their flooded home)

4. Would you like to eat dinner at our house at 8pm? We have clean towels if you want to shower here first. We are serving brisket, potatoes, and salad. (They will look forward to specific meals and enjoy having a concrete plan). Don’t be irritated if they are late.

5. Bring an ice chest full of bottled ice, water, Gatorade, tea, lemonade to their flooded home. The Corp of Engineers is handing out free ice and bottled water.[ Not certain about this] Figure out where the closest location is. Go get some every morning and deliver it to them. Give family the location if you have to stop.

6. Set up a folding table in their garage/carport with a sign that reads “Return Tools Here.” (Write your name and phone number in Sharpie on the table if you want it back in a month or so as they won’t remember who brought it. Be willing to consider it a donation, if it gets lost, misplaced, or loaned to someone else in the process.)

7. Set up a table and chairs in a shaded area outside so workers have a place to take a break, eat a meal, etc… a lot of times you can hose off and disinfect a patio table (1/4 cup bleach per gallon of water.) Put ice chest of drinks close by.

8. Order large plastic tubs with tops to store all their belongings – 50 is not too many. If they arrive next week, they will still need them.

9. Offer to drive to Bastrop or Austin to purchase supplies to begin muck out as you can be back in 6 hours. Flat shovels, bleach, spray bottles, light weight cordless electric saw to cut sheet rock, mask, safety goggles, bags of industrial rag packs (can be washed and reused), industrial trash bags, Wheel barrel, disinfectant, 5 gallon buckets, etc…

10. If you are out of town and want to help, mail (double check the appropriate address) gift cards for restaurants, grocery and hardware stores that are nearby.

11. Can I loan you a car for a week (with a full tank of gas and perhaps gas cards to fill up as needed)?

12. Can I call in, refill, and deliver a prescription for you?

13. Can I pick up your kids, take them to my house to play, and then drop them off at the end of the day? Is 8pm a good time? [Offer to keep others’ children, who are helping affected families, so they can give assistance safely and unhindered.]

14. Can we host you and your family for Thanksgiving/Christmas?

15. Can I come help you go through your things and pack up what is salvageable?

If you have read this far down the list, thank you for your compassion. It is truly amazing to watch our country come together and make a life changing difference!!! Do what you can, don’t feel guilty for what you can’t. It is highly probable that many families will need support for weeks or even months. Keep checking and asking. Often, immediate help thins after a few days, due to people having to go back to work, or personal limitations.

NOW GO SHOW SOME LOVE 💝💝💝

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Parenting Tip

parenting tipParenting Tip

“Let’s spend more time on the floor with our kids. Let’s trade strollers for newborn carriers, and car trips for walks. Let’s spend more time looking into each other’s eyes, and less time staring into our screens. Let’s really get to know each other, and less time staring into our screens. Let’s really get to know each other.” ~ Zero to Five

 

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Christmas Family Traditions – Christmas Raisin Bread

Well we’re still iced in here in Dallas, all morning long I have been receiving emails notifications of closings. The Village Church (my church) canceled tonights and Sunday morning services , restaurants closures, the Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade,  even the Dallas Marathon was canceled. So it looks like I get to stay home today and write blogs. So, I thought  I’d stay on a Christmas theme and post some of my “Sudekum Family Christmas Traditions” 


This recipe has been in my family since the 1800s – maybe even longer.

This recipe has been in my family since the 1800s – maybe even longer.

My family has a recipe for Christmas Raisin Bread that has been in our family since the 1800s – maybe even longer. My mom learned it from her Irish grandmother, my great grandmother, and it is always baked at Christmastime and given as gifts to family, friends and neighbors as well as our mailman, milkman, hair stylists and others. As we were growing up, my mom also made it for all of our teachers, which means, with four children in my family, she was baking a lot of bread!

The smell of this bread baking always brings a smile to my face and fills me with lots of happy memories of childhood.

My family traditionally serves this bread as toast on Christmas morning (the brunch menu also includes sliced & sugared navel oranges and some of us like to dip the toast in the orange juice that is left on our plates!). We also use this bread for leftover turkey sandwiches slathered with lots of tangy Durkee’s Famous Sauce plus crisp lettuce and tart cranberry sauce.

My sister, Ann, who lives in St. Louis (along with the rest of my family – yep I am the only Texan), also likes to use this bread to make a decadent Eggnog French Toast with eggnog from Oberweis Dairy, (which she says is the best she’s ever tasted).

While we all know how to make this bread, my mom was the official baker of the Christmas Raisin Bread. And, as her hands lost their strength over the years, she developed a way to make the bread in a bread machine (although, she only let the machine go as far as the dough cycle and then she took it out to form loaves and bake in individual bread pans).

CHRISTMAS RAISIN BREAD

Source: Sudekum Family Favorites Cookbook
Yield: 6 loaves (1 pound each)

Ingredients
4 cup milk
1/2 pound lard
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 teaspoons salt
4 packages yeast*
4 eggs
5 pounds flour
1 1/2 cups raisin
* Do not use “quick-rising” or “instant” yeast

Preparation

  • Heat milk in a saucepan until scalding (180° F).
  • Place lard, sugar and salt in a large bowl and add scalding milk. Let cool to around 100-120° F.
  • Dissolve yeast in 1/2-cup warm water and add to milk mixture. Add eggs, half of the flour and raisins. Beat the dough hard with a spoon and then add the rest of the flour. Mix well and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead dough for 10 minutes and place in a large, clean, greased bowl.
  • Cover bowl with a damp towel and let dough rise for 2 hours. (NOTE: the yeast needs to stay warm while the dough is rising, so be sure to place the dough in a warm part of your kitchen.)
  • After the first rise, punch dough down and let rise again for 1 hour.
  • Cut dough into 6 sections. Cover sections with a damp towel and let rest for 15 minutes. Shape dough into loaves, place loaves in greased loaf pans, cover with a damp towel and let rise again.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned.

How to Shape Dough Into Loaves
Roll dough into a 12×8-inch rectangle. Starting from the narrow edge, roll up tightly. At each turn, seal with fingertips or edge of hand. Press down on ends of loaf with sides of hand to make two, thin, sealed strips. Fold strips under loaf (or shape dough into a rectangular loaf, pulling ends together until smooth).

CHRISTMAS RAISIN BREAD
Yield: 2 loaves (1 pound each)

Ingredients
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons lard
1 egg
4 cups flour
1/3 plus 1/8 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1 cup raisins

Preparation

  • Place all ingredients, except raisins, in the dough bucket of the bread machine.
  • Run the dough cycle.
  • When the dough cycle reaches 1:19 (1 hour, 19 minutes), add the raisins and let the dough cycle continue.
  • When the dough cycle finishes, remove the dough from the bucket and divide into two sections.
  • Let dough rest for 10 minutes and shape into loaves.
  • Place loaves in greased loaf pans, cover with a damp towel and let rise for 1-2 hours.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.

You can find more  Sudekum Family Favorite Recipes on my new Pinterest Board.

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Christmas Dinner Menu Past—Family Traditions

Since I am iced in today (thunder-sleet storms, ice and snow here in North Texas) I thought I would use this down time to create this year’s Christmas Dinner Menu. As I started looking at recipes, I found a few past Christmas dinner menus and thought it would be fun to share a few of them with you.


Cooking Nurtures My Soul – Cooking Grounds Me

166216_1664273120592_6628374_nChristmas dinner is an especially important cooking activity for me. I research recipes, explore food pairings from appetizers to dessert. Then its time to create a fun design for the printed dinner menu.

I like to enjoy the sparkling festiveness of a Christmas-themed dinner table, Christmas dinner table is set weeks ahead of time. Then, on Christmas day, I turn my kitchen counter into a shining, flickering, happy place to munch on this year’s tapas and sip on raspberry Champagne, something that has become a traditional Christmas Dinner cocktail in my home.

07menu

Christmas Dinner 2007

Cocktail: Seasonal Breeze • Campari Liquor, Blood Orange Juice and Cranberry Juice • Recipe courtesy of Feast Food to Celebrate Life, December 2004

Soup: Crab Bisque • Blue Crabs with a hint of Old Bay spices and fiery peppers • Recipe courtesy of Gourmet magazine, December 2007

Salad: Poached Pears with Ginger and Port • Ripe Anjou pears, Tawny Port wine and Mascarpone cheese • Recipe courtesy Gourmet magazine, March 1997

Vegetable: Perfect Roasted Potatoes • Yukon gold, red and sweet potatoes, roasted with fresh rosemary sprigs • Recipe courtesy of Gourmet magazine December 2004

Entree: Roasted Duck with Pomegranate-Wine Sauce • Roasted duck, garlic, herbs, white and red wine drizzled with a orange pomegranate molasses sauce • Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetite, December 2004

Dessert: Southern Pecan Pie • Recipe courtesy of Sudekum Family Favorite Cookbook

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 10.17.55 AMChristmas 2008

Appetizers: Raspberry Champagne • Artichoke DipCheese Tray: Brie, Gouda and Mild Cheddar

First Course: Shrimp Cocktail

Second Course: Cream of Mushroom Soup

Third Course: Caesar Salad

Main Course: Garlic Standing Rib RoastGoat-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes With Chives

Dessert: Southern Pecan Pie

I have also blogged my 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 Christmas Dinner menus.

As you can see my family loves to cook and we have lots of Family Traditions

For more of my family recipes, please check out my Pinterest board Yummy Sudekum Family Favorites Recipes.

May Gods blessings float down like soft snowflakes on you and yours this Christmas

~  Dr. Kay

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Summer Family Time

the vilage churchBecause I LOVE SUMMER and cherish this time with family, I was thrilled when I read my church’s “Summer Family Activity Book,” a resource designed to help families be intentional in their time together during the summer. That is why I am sharing it here so more children and families can be touched and healed.

[button url=”http://8d937671f80816198936-05b17cc310264226c2cc3b8dfff99da1.r29.cf2.rackcdn.com/uploaded/2/0e2079781_2013-summer-family-activity-book.pdf” target=”_blank” size=”small” style=”coolblue” ]Download Now[/button]

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It’s Snowing!

It’s Snowing!. (click to watch video)

Nothing better than seeing kids enjoying life…yes we make a big deal when it snows in Dallas :-)

Highland Village Texas | Christa McAuliffe Elementary took an early release to enjoy the snow and cherish the joy being children.

Thank you Jennifer Mattingly – principle.

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Christmas Raisin Bread

After I posted my “Family Traditions and Celebrations” blog my sister, Ann, who is a personal chef, posted our family’s “Christmas Raisin Bread” recipe on her blog Ann’s Custom Cuisine and I wanted to pass it along to all of you.


My family has a recipe for Christmas Raisin Bread that has been in our family since the 1800s – maybe even longer. My mom learned it from her Irish grandmother, my great grandmother, and it is always baked at Christmastime and given as gifts to family, friends and neighbors as well as our mailman, milkman, hair stylists and others. As we were growing up, my mom also made it for all of our teachers, which means, with four children in my family, she was baking a lot of bread!

The smell of this bread baking always brings a smile to my face and fills me with lots of happy memories of childhood.

My family traditionally serves this bread as toast on Christmas morning (the brunch menu also includes sliced & sugared navel oranges and some of us like to dip the toast in the orange juice that is left on our plates!). We also use this bread for leftover turkey sandwiches slathered with lots of tangy Durkee’s Famous Sauce plus crisp lettuce and tart cranberry sauce.

My sister, Ann, who lives in St. Louis, also likes to use this bread to make a decadent Eggnog French Toast with eggnog from Oberweis Dairy, (which she says is the best she’s ever tasted).

While we all know how to make this bread, my mom is the official baker of the Christmas Raisin Bread. And, as her hands have lost their strength over the years, she developed a way to make the bread in a bread machine (although, she only lets the machine go as far as the dough cycle and then she takes it out to form loaves and bake in individual bread pans).

CHRISTMAS RAISIN BREAD

Source: Sudekum Family Favorites Cookbook
Yield: 6 loaves (1 pound each)

Ingredients
4 cup milk
1/2 pound lard
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 teaspoons salt
4 packages yeast*
4 eggs
5 pounds flour
1 1/2 cups raisin
* Do not use “quick-rising” or “instant” yeast

Preparation

  • Heat milk in a saucepan until scalding (180° F).
  • Place lard, sugar and salt in a large bowl and add scalding milk. Let cool to around 100-120° F.
  • Dissolve yeast in 1/2-cup warm water and add to milk mixture. Add eggs, half of the flour and raisins. Beat the dough hard with a spoon and then add the rest of the flour. Mix well and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead dough for 10 minutes and place in a large, clean, greased bowl.
  • Cover bowl with a damp towel and let dough rise for 2 hours. (NOTE: the yeast needs to stay warm while the dough is rising, so be sure to place the dough in a warm part of your kitchen.)
  • After the first rise, punch dough down and let rise again for 1 hour.
  • Cut dough into 6 sections. Cover sections with a damp towel and let rest for 15 minutes. Shape dough into loaves, place loaves in greased loaf pans, cover with a damp towel and let rise again.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned.

How to Shape Dough Into Loaves
Roll dough into a 12×8-inch rectangle. Starting from the narrow edge, roll up tightly. At each turn, seal with fingertips or edge of hand. Press down on ends of loaf with sides of hand to make two, thin, sealed strips. Fold strips under loaf (or shape dough into a rectangular loaf, pulling ends together until smooth).

CHRISTMAS RAISIN BREAD FOR THE BREAD MACHINE
Yield: 2 loaves (1 pound each)

Ingredients
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons lard
1 egg
4 cups flour
1/3 plus 1/8 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1 cup raisins

Preparation

  • Place all ingredients, except raisins, in the dough bucket of the bread machine.
  • Run the dough cycle.
  • When the dough cycle reaches 1:19 (1 hour, 19 minutes), add the raisins and let the dough cycle continue.
  • When the dough cycle finishes, remove the dough from the bucket and divide into two sections.
  • Let dough rest for 10 minutes and shape into loaves.
  • Place loaves in greased loaf pans, cover with a damp towel and let rise for 1-2 hours.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.
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Family Traditions and Celebrations

We live in an age in which it is hard to spend time together as a family, not to mention some of us are divorced and single parents, some of us are remarried; and some of us remarried more than once, creating a rather confusing assemblage of members who aren’t entirely sure where on the family tree they belong.

Whatever our circumstance, many of us honestly don’t know how to celebrate together. To create family traditions and celebrations, traditions that lift days away from other days, give us something to look forward to and make a formal statement that “life is full of things to be grateful for” while also adding a sense of order and stability to our families and our lives.

What is a family tradition anyway?

The candy dish that is sitting on my kitchen counter today.

A tradition is something that you do once and it feels right; and so you do it again. It’s a ritual that “lives in your heart.” And it need not be big, or heavy or religious or difficult, it just needs to be YOU.  For example, a simple little tradition that I started as my daughter was growing up was, I placed a small candy dish on the corner of my kitchen counter filled with seasonal goodies year round. At the time I did not realize I was creating a family tradition “it just felt right.” Then one day my grown daughter came over and demanded that I put the candy dish back where it belonged. I had no idea that, to my daughter, this was a family tradition and she let me know that it needs to always continue. Today, since its Christmastime, I have a special holiday dish sitting on my counter filled with tasty white chocolate peppermints… yummy.

Sudekum Family Favorites Cookbook

An old-time Christmas family tradition that I continue is the baking of the Christmas Raisin Bread, using a recipe that has been in my family since at least 1800s—maybe even longer. It’s always baked at Christmas and given as gifts to family, friends and neighbors. My family traditionally serves this bread as toast on Christmas morning and then uses it for leftover turkey sandwiches. In fact, over the years, the turkey sandwich has evolved to include the use of Durkee’s Famous Sauce, lettuce, and, yes, cranberry sauce.

Since it is the holiday season, I am going to give you some ideas but remember: Every day is special and are a good place for everyday rituals, no-reason celebrations, and just plain fun.

Hay for Jesus’ bed (a Sudekum Family Tradition) During the Holiday season, my mom would take baby Jesus’ cradle from our nativity scene and put it in the center of the kitchen table. As each of us children did a random act of kindness, we could take one piece of straw (from new broom bristles) and put it into the cradle, making sure that by Christmas day the baby Jesus had a soft bed.

Break-through Christmas Morning (from Café Traditions) When I was a kid, my parents “wrapped” the doorway to the living room so we would have to break through the wrapping paper to get into the room and see the tree (It’s kind of like a high school homecoming game when the football players break through the big paper ring).

Homemade Christmas Gifts (a Sudekum Family Tradition) As children, we were encouraged to not buy gifts but to make them, thus giving each recipient a small piece of each of us. As I grew up, so did my gift-making competence. And all my gifts, from the simple baked goods to the elaborate 3-piece suit I once made, came from my heart and were nothing less than acts of love. My gift-making ranged from baked goods, homemade candles, monogrammed hand towels, macramé plant holders, rag dolls, sock puppets, etc. And, yes, even my brother cooked, sewed and embroidered gifts.

Proof That Santa Was Here (from Café Traditions) Every couple of years since my kids were very young, I leave a small piece of ripped red velvet fabric near the fireplace on Christmas morning. It proves Santa was there and he ripped his suit on his way down the chimney.

The Annual Christmas Lights Tour (from Café Traditions) Christmas lights. Ever since my daughter was very young, we’ve planned a Christmas Lights tour for one night in December. Everyone gets their pajamas on and then we head out to see the Christmas lights in our town. I pop a couple of bags of popcorn and pack a few snacks and we drive around until everyone gets sleepy. Then we come home, brush our teeth and head up to bed. It’s so much fun, and the pajamas and late night snacks make it an extra special treat for everyone.

My advice is to forget about any stereotype you may have and forge ahead with enthusiasm and get started creating some Family Traditions and Celebrations, while also giving your family stability and a sense of belonging. Above all, remember that the object here is to have fun as well as create something special and meaningful for the people you love.

Start your own Christmas Family Traditions and Celebrations

I would love to hear some of your Family Traditions and Celebrations, so please post them.

Merry Christmas Everyone

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group you can contact her at: Kay@KayTrotter.com214-499-0396, or visit her web site http://www.KayTrotter.com.

Dr Trotter also post regularly in her FaceBook fan page http://www.facebook.com/DrKaySudekumTrotter.

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