Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

I love when children get excited about a holiday. I wonder how many of them realize that those days set aside to celebrate something are holy days. Yup. I dragged out my old dictionary and that’s the first definition. A. Holy. Day. A day set apart for a reason. And we have one coming up. Thanksgiving.  Abraham Lincoln declared the third Thursday in November as a day for the nation to celebrate the bounteous harvest so graciously bestowed on us by God. To celebrate with thankfulness.

So – I’m perusing the local grocery store ad and emblazoned across the top of the page is this –Turkey Day! And the bounty was all on  sale.

You know I’m going to say something about that, don’t you? About a possible trend in Holy Day reduction. The origins and meaning of them, that is. Now, I’m one of the first to allow children free expression when it comes to their views on who, what, where and when to celebrate something. Turkey Day, the Easter Bunny, Fire Cracker Day etc. That suits until about the age of two. After that it’s time to go heavy duty on them. It’s time to begin the conversation about why.

God, not any human, provided the seeds that led to the harvest. God placed the sun in the sky to warm the soil. God sends the rain in due season to water the soil that sprouts the seed. And we tend that garden. That’s our part – to steward the earth and gather the resulting harvest.

God instituted the family. Mom, Dad, sister and brother. Showed us how to love each other. Brings us together to celebrate the bounty that the seed, the soil, the sun and the rain bring forth. Our part is to prepare the feast. See? We get to do something. How cool is that?

God designed turkeys. Magnificent, meaty, stuffable birds. Enough for everyone. Days and days of thankful eating.

Perhaps there are those whose thankfulness is re-directed by trends and the butcher, the baker and candlestick maker come more quickly to mind than God. Perhaps the idea of thanking an immortal, invisible God who is wise and loving, is foolishness to them. Or perhaps, you're one who celebrates a Holy Day with true thankfulness to God for your life and all that's in it.

If you do that – wonderful! If you don’t, it may be that someday you will. I’ll hope for that. In the meantime . . .

Happy Thanksgiving!

PS: To be fair – the following week the grocery ad read 'Happy Thanksgiving". So there’s that. 

Photo: First pumpkin pie of the season. Yum. Hand over the whipped cream, Alice!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Food Glorious Food

I’m sitting here at my computer occasionally glancing out the window at a morning that saw 26 degrees. Brrr. It got me to thinking about the end of the year, upcoming birthdays (all three of our sons were born at the end of the year), the holidays and food. Specifically all the good stuff everyone will  be making to celebrate all those things. It’s put me in a generous mood. Hang on a second while I run downstairs to get my recipes box, books and folders. I have some good ones for you.
Okay, I’m back. Here’s my first share. Excellent cheese ball and goes a long way. Super rich but oh, so yummy. Got it from a woman at church many years ago. She’s gone now, but her cheese ball lives on.

Holiday Cheese Ball

1 8 oz pkg. cream cheese (regular)
1 stick butter
2 tsp minced onion (dry or finely chopped fresh)
1/8 cup beer
½ tsp dry mustard
Crushed walnuts

Soften cream cheese (can be left out overnight) and also the butter. Mix well with onion, beer and dry mustard. Shape into ball. Will be messy. I would say roll it in the crushed walnuts (really crush those babies), but it’s easier to pat the walnuts onto the ball. Place on a pretty plate, covered, and keep in fridge until you need it. Serve with nice crackers.

This next recipe I’ve had for ages and probably got it from a now defunct magazine. It, too, is rich. Maybe if you feel your monetary riches are passing through your hands like craft sand from all the holiday shopping you have to do, you’ll enjoy one of these and have richness restored. Or something like that.

Chocolate Truffles

10 oz baking chocolate (semi-sweet, bittersweet, or milk) Melt in microwave.
4 Tbs. of heavy cream stirred into melted chocolate along with 6 Tbs. of butter
1 Tbs. of your favorite liqueur or extract

Chill mixture

Sift ¼ cup of cocoa powder onto waxed paper. Scoop chilled mixture out one teaspoon at a time and form into a ball (yup, messy. I use a melon baller). Roll in cocoa powder. Place on pretty holiday plate or store  covered in refrigerator until your adoring grandchildren pop through the door hankering for chocolate or  you need a quick sugar and caffeine jolt.  

I have one or two more that I’ll post a few weeks before Christmas. If you try these, let me know. And if one of those truffles restores your riches - really let me know!

The photo up there is of my crusty old recipe box. I’ll bet you have one, too. Am I right?