"Welcome to my heart, Spirit of Christmas – I’ve been waiting for you all year!" -Kimber Anne Engstrom.
Well, it was a fine Thanksgiving weekend, wasn’t it? The weather over here in Washington State was our family’s absolute favorite – bright and sunny, but cool and crisp. I of course was inside for all of it, however, but that is exactly where I wanted to be, as I was cooking up a storm. I know that most people are trying to get away from the whole spending-all-day-in-the-kitchen thing, but I’m young and energetic and still want to make things from scratch, so I was very happy.
I split most of the cooking with my mother-in-law – she made the traditional things, and I made some brand new things. I was so proud of myself this time, I actually was staying on schedule. See, i print out my recipes, and write down exactly what needs to be done for each, and what time they need to be done, so that everything’s on the table at the right time. Unfortunately, I hadn’t taken into account the need for Elaine and I to coordinate when she arrived at our home with four dishes that needed to be heated up, and two dishes of mine that needed to be made at the last minute, while keeping the stuffing and meat warm.
Ah well – I know better now what to do for next time, and the food really did all taste good. We had turkey, stovetop stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, green beans with toasted almonds, balsamic cipollini onions, cornbread stuffing with roasted fall vegetables, brussels sprouts with chestnuts and gorgonzola, cider glazed pork loin, then all the usual accompaniments. I made Chris’ favorite appetizer – a baked brie wrapped in phyllo dough and stuffed with a mixture of toasted pecans, caramelized onions, and dried fruits. I was thinking of putting this recipe in the next newsletter, but then I realized that is the January/February Newsletter, so it isn’t really fitting. So, I’ll just blog it, then you can make it for your guests!
This Thanksgiving was one of my more meaningful ones, I think. I am so thankful for so many things, and I love a holiday that centers around gratitude. Gratitude must be rather important to have an official, government-declared holiday dedicated to it, don’t you think? I am so thankful that I was able to celebrate Thanksgiving in our new home. I realized that at 29 years old, we now have a business, a home, a son, friends and family, even a cat. I’ve had some less than wonderful days lately, but when I look at the big picture, I realize that we are truly richly blessed. Currently I’m reading a series of books I haven’t read since I was a child, which is set with a family of pioneers who have traveled west to stake their claim in uninhabited territory. We take a lot for granted here in America. I can open a refridgerater full of food and complain that there is nothing to eat. I could complain that our house needs a paint job, new carpet, or a bigger kitchen, but I have running water, a roof over my head, and warm bed to sleep in. My child is not only healthy and happy, he sleeps through the night! And now we welcome in the first Christmas season in our new home, with our new son, and I am just tickled. To see Christmas through the eyes of my child…I can’t imagine any higher privilege in life.
Happy Thanksgiving, and welcome Christmas Spirit!