The Thanksgiving meal lingers as a filling and delicious memory crafted by many hands and enjoyed by every mouth, but the warmth and togetherness we shared this past holiday knit another row of love and joy and hope into the comforting blanket we call family. The past few months have held challenges and obstacles and long valleys requiring endurance; and yet as we seated ourselves around the table and prayed over those five kernels of corn representing the Pilgrim's darkest hours . . .
. . . we rejoiced!
As we thoughtfully chewed the five kernels we shared thankful thoughts. Rachel piped up first, thankful for her mother's culinary skills. We shared, we laughed, we fought tears, and we reminisced. I remembered that my mother only seemed to enjoy cooking on Thanksgiving. She gave it her all. I love to cook, so the thanksgiving meal merely rolls out traditional favorites, but each year more hands help. Rachel and Elizabeth love to cook, create, and craft . . .
. . . while Lydia prefers to watch in between opportunities to slip off and write or walk in the gardens.
. . . cranberry sauce (jellied wins here), buttery balsamic-garlic brussels sprouts, and humble kernels of corn. (What happened to the pics of the whipped sweet potatoes?)
Once the meal has been fully enjoyed the clamor for pie rings out. Pumpkin, sweet potato, and apple . . . take your pick!
As tradition would have it, I always cut hearts from the pie crust remains and bake them with a sprinkling of sugar-cinnamon for a sweet ending. This year I eked out seven hearts -- one for each family member (counting our Heaven-dweller, Andrew). We nibbled our hearts in the final moments of the feast. When Rachel had finished she asked if she could have Andrew's. Elizabeth chimed in, "He is in heaven eating like this every day, so I doubt he'll be missing a cookie." I nodded as a tear glistened.
We gather, we cook, we pray, we eat, we remember, we make new memories. When we've finished . . . we look forward to doing it all over again next year ~~ Lord willing. : )