Thursday, 27 November 2008
Over the River and Through the Woods
"Over the river and through the woods
Trot fast my dapple gray.
Spring over the ground
Like a hunting hound
On this Thanksgiving Day, Hey!
Over the river and through the woods
Now Grandmother's face I spy.
Hurrah for the fun,
Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie."
~English folksong, It's Raining, It's Pouring
Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends out there in blog land!! Thanksgiving is one of my favouritest times of year. (And yes, once again, I know that's not really proper English!) Of course in Canada we celebrate it in October, but I have to say right up front, that I love the American way of celebrating it in late November. Having it then truly helps to usher in the Holiday Season in a wonderful way, so the American Thanksgiving to me symbolizes the gateway to Christmas, and Christmas is my very favourite time of year!
Thanksgiving has always been very dear to my heart, and I've cooked many, many Thanksgiving dinners through the years. None so special as the very last one I had with my family altogether just prior to the breakup of my last marriage. I believe that was the very last time we were all together as a group and as a family. There was lots of delicious turkey and stuffing and all the other fixings to go with it, such as sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.
My oldest son makes the best gravy in the world. It must be that extra special touch of love he puts into it. Oh my, but there was lots of noise and laughter. My three sons have always battled with each other to be the "mashed potato kings", but that year I think my daughter in law, Anne, was vying for the title as she kept warning my son not to take them all so that there would be plenty left for her!
There can be no more special feeling on earth than that of sitting down to eat dinner together as a family, looking around the table and seeing all the faces of your loved ones so dear, and then holding hands and saying a prayer of thankfulness together. It's like the Waltons, Little House on the Prairie and All in the Family rolled up together into one happy conglomeration. Coz that's what life's all about, and that's what we're here for, to be a family, and whether your family consists of a whole passel full of children and grandparents and aunts and uncles, or of just you and your partner/loved one, or even just you and a houseful of animals . . . today is the one day a year when we pause to reflect on all that is good about our lives and to give thanks for our many blessings, both big and small . . .
Later today Todd and I will be travelling to our Bishop's home where we will be sitting down in Thanksgiving with dear friends. There will be the Bishop, his wife and son, a young couple, the wife of whom is from America, another young man the Bishop works with and the two missionaries that are serving in this area right now, one of whom is from Southern California. I'm in charge of all the side dishes and I have pots of peeled vegetables waiting on top of my stove right now, all ready to go. There'll be mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole (complete with praline and marshmallows, not for the faint of heart!) my Gorgonzola parsnips, a carrot swede mash and of course green beans and another Thanksgiving Twofer Pie for dessert. But the food is not the best thing . . . the best thing will be that we are all together and that we all care about each other and that we are thankful for our many blessings . . . blessings of home . . . blessings of family, both near and far away . . . blessings of friends, love and good health . . . blessings of employment . . . blessings of the Gospel in our lives . . .
Your life can change in an instant, and you never know what the next year, day, or moment will bring . . . so for now, we are thankful and mindful of all that is good in our lives, and the great giver of all good things . . .
After all the turkey and fuss of today here's a hearty brunch/breakfast to further tempt the palates and appetites for tomorrow morning . . .
*Morning After Breakfast Waffles*
Cheese on toast has always been the ultimate comfort food for me. How about an oozing cheezy waffle topped with bacon, egg and lovely grilled tomatoes? Mmmm . . . the perfect way to get your day off to a great and hearty start!
120g fine cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs, separated
200ml sour cream or yoghurt
2 TBS olive oil, plus extra for roasting
120g strong cheddar cheese, grated
2 TBS freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
2 TBS snipped chives
20 cherry tomatoes on the vine
16 rashers of streaky bacon
8 large free range organic eggs (If I'm going to eat an egg like this,
I want it to be the best!)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F. Grease a baking sheet. Lightly grease and heat the waffle iron.
Put the vine tomatoes onto the greased baking sheet, sprinkle with olive oil and then season with some sea salt and black pepper. Set aside for the time being.
Sift the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Beat together the egg yolks, milk, sour cream and olive oil. Whisk this mixture into the flour mixture. Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl, until stiff peaks form. Fold the stiffly beaten egg whites into the batter with a metal spoon, along with the cheeses and the chives.
Spoon 1/8th of the batter into your heated waffle iron, adjusting the amount of batter according to the size of your iron. (I have one that makes heart shaped waffles!) Cook your waffles until nicely crisp, at least 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside and keep warm until all are baked.
Place the vine tomatoes into the oven and roast for 5 minutes, until their skins begin to split and blister. Remove from the oven and keep warm.
Brush a small frying pan with olive oil and heat. Add the bacon and fry until crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on paper kitchen toweling. Brush the pan with some more oil and then crack in 2 eggs. Place 4 rashers of cooked bacon on top and cook the eggs gently until they are cooked to your preference. Set aside and keep warm while you cook the rest.
Place a cooked waffle on each of 8 heated plates. Slide the bacon and eggs on top along with some of the roasted tomatoes and serve immediately!
Many, Many thanks to all of you for your continued prayers for my Daughter in Law Kayla. She had an ultrasound yesterday and everything looked quite good so they may be allowing her to come home from the hospital today, but she will still be on bedrest. My son, Doug, is still concerned about her being home alone while he is at work, but we shall just have to leave it in the Lord's hands for now.