Sunday, December 20, 2009

Talkin' Turkey

"If the only prayer you said during your whole life was "thank you," that would suffice." -Meister Eckhart

Thank you, Lord, for all your many blessings!

This was a Thanksgiving of firsts (is that a word? :D) for our family.

Paul and I spent Thanksgiving alone last year, so this was our first Thanksgiving with family since our marriage. It was my brother and his wife's first Thanksgiving together. They are expecting my parent's first grandchild. We were joined by a friend and her children since it was her first Thanksgiving without her father. My brother came home to our farm for the first time since my Grandfather passed away five years ago. Joy, sorrow, laughter and memories... God has blessed us all through all the ups and downs of this year.

I would be interested to do a study on the food shared by people during the celebrations of their life. Each wedding menu, Christmas dinner and family supper is a reflection of tradition, location and personalities. Unique and yet similar. Think about it! Meals say so much about who we are, especially as Catholics who celebrate the sacrafice of the Mass each Sunday when we join our brothers and sisters in Christ at the altar. Spiritually life giving and sustaining food. In the words of my students, "Dude, that rocks!"

So, what did your Thanksgiving meal say about you and your family?

Here was our menu: Turkey, Dressing, Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Glazed Baby Carrots, Green Bean Casserole, Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows, Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar and Pecans, Spinach Salad with Bacon, Mushrooms, Hard Boiled Eggs and Tomatoes, Green Jello Salad, Rolls, Blueberry Sparkling Cider, Southern Tea and Hot Spiced Cider and Austrian Beer.

I would say that this reflects my family's simple style, southern roots and the unique blending of new family members.

My new sister in law brought, amongst other things, a jello salad which is a must in her family. Our family only makes jello when the kids are sick, but we all found it surprisingly good!

The Austrian beer that my brother brought was a special reminder to my husband and I of our months living, studying and partying in Austria while we were in college.

We had to have not one, but three types of cranberry! My brother's only eat the canned jell stuff, I always make the cranberry-orange-nut chutney that my Grandmother always made and now have to make a batch without nuts since hubby isn't a fan of nuts and my SIL made her mom's recipe for fresh cranberry sauce. At least we'll have great digestive health with all that cranberry!

Another first this year- my brother and sister-in-law opened a gift shop, petting zoo and Christmas tree farm this year. Black Friday was their Grand Opening! My dad drove people on tractor rides around our spring. People wandered through our woods in search of the perfect tree. Children "oohhed" and "ahhhed" over the Jacob sheep, little Donkey (The lyrics to the song Dominic the Italian Christmas Donkey run through my head every time I think of the little guy!), our horses, chickens and turkeys. A bonfire was set up in the woods. People snapped pictures of their kids by the giant plywood Frosty the Snowman that my brother made and his wife painted. Good times were had by all.

Paul decided we should "adopt" one of the trees. He named it "Earl". Paul and Earl have become very close.

Hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful as ours!

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