Hello my name is Jenny Wiese and I live and breathe agriculture. I’m a recent graduate of the University of Nebraska, a farmer’s bride and a full-time entrepreneur. I grew up on a fifth-generation family farm outside of Springfield, Nebraska, where we raise corn, soybeans and Angus cattle. Aside from working alongside my family on our farm, I’m also a full-time wedding and lifestyle photographer.

This year’s crop is out of the field and we can finally enjoy some down time…at least for a little while :-). It’s the start of the holiday season and a time to rejoice in thankfulness. Thanksgiving will be the first holiday Jared, my husband, and I will spend as a married couple, the first holiday Jared and I will be hosting our friends for “friends-giving”, and the first holiday I will truly find out how grateful I am for our dishwasher.


I owe much of my kitchen abilities to my mother. Growing up, I watched her cook and bake countless meals for hungry mouths. I think for some reason those memories made me think I could handle cooking a somewhat traditional Thanksgiving feast for eight.

Our menu consisted of the essentials:

  • 12 lb Ham (Ok, maybe not entirely traditional without the turkey)
  • Creamy Mashed Potatoes
  • Vats of Gravy
  • Pans of Stuffing
  • Homegrown Sweet Corn
  • Buttery Rolls
  • Cheesy Macaroni
  • Classic Green Bean Casserole

And  last but not least:

  • Pumpkin Pie & French Silk Pie

I started off the morning early preparing our home for the arrival of our friends. Setting the table, vacuuming the carpets and peeling the potatoes. As a parting memento for our guests, I decided I would make some homemade caramels for the road. They were such a big hit and incredibly easy to make!

This Thanksgiving exercise your gratitude muscles and rejoice in the many blessings you have in your life! Be sure to remember the hard working farmers who created the feast set for your table.




*Be sure the caramels are completely cooled before cutting into them to ensure an easy cut. I cheated & used the freezer. 🙂
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  1. • 1½ sticks butter (12 tablespoons)
  2. • ½ cup sugar
  3. • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  4. • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  5. • Optional: coarse sea salt, ½ teaspoon vanilla
  1. In a medium sauce pan combine butter and sugar and stir over medium heat until melted. Stir in corn syrup and condensed milk.
  2. Bring to a boil and then decrease to simmer 7-10 minutes or until mixture achieves deep golden color, stirring constantly.
  3. Pour caramel into a foil-lined 8x8 inch pan and allow to cool completely. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt if desired.
  4. When completely cooled (roughly 1-2 hours) , cut into squares and wrap in wax or parchment paper.
Commonground Nebraska


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