Comfort Food = Relationships

We all have one cookbook filled with favorite recipes from Mom, friends, and family, don’t we? And we’ve even gathered a few recipes from newspapers and magazines to add to this cookbook.

As Thanksgiving draws near, we are reminded of those people who took the time to either write, type or photocopy their cherished recipes and pass them on to their children, friends and acquaintances.

My cookbook, given to me by friend Peggy, is a cute spiral bound number with colorful illustration of glass olive oil bottles on the cover. The pages are chockfull of recipes created a lasting impression in my mind.

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There’s Mom’s Split Pea Soup, which literally takes several hours to create, but the flavor from the ham bone is so savory, the soup is worth the preparation.

Then there’s the White Chicken Chili recipe that my long time friend Tina finagled from a server at Lewis and Clark’s in St. Charles years ago that warms you on a brisk day with its spicy jalepenos.

Dad Nielsen’s recipe for dove breasts is in the cookbook, too. I refuse to ‘do game’, so the hubster cheerfully grills and prepares the bird.

My friend Diane B’s Tuna Casserole from 30+ years ago made it into the book – before I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

Mom’s turkey dressing recipe with walnuts, raisins, celery, and those yummy turkey livers and gizzards reminds me of the bounty prepared with her loving hands for Thanksgiving guests numbering 30+ at our South City home when I was a young child.

My friend Janet’s flat dumpling recipe means so much to me. In all the years Mom was alive, she forgot to write her dumpling recipe on paper. Janet helped me fill that void, and I often think of Mom when I think of Janet’s flat dumplings.

My cousin Chris’ recipe for Cinnamon-Chocolate Chip Butterballs, along with the decadent cookies, was a gift on Christmas Eve. His recipe always reminds me of my cousins, and a festive cornucopia of comfort food and libations. And, of course, Beatrice the border collie trying to sneak roast beef from the dining room table.

It’s amazing how flipping through the sturdy pages of this aged cookbook is reminiscent of life and relationships formed over the years.

So with that thought, I’ll leave you with my favorite Coastal Cookie recipe, torn from the pages of my favorite southern home magazine. This recipe, tried and true, is ever so tasty and buttery. I love how the icing color mimics the cottony blue sky above. It brings back memories of lazy days in the sun and surf.

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Coastal Cutout Cookies

So this Thanksgiving, share a recipe with a friend or family member. You’ll never know when you’ll leave an impression in someone’s life.

Now go and have a Blessed Day!

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“Over the River and Through the Wood” – A Claverach Farm Thanksgiving

086 ML1014 copyGood afternoon,

I’ve been waiting to post my 6 page full-feature story published in Missouri Life October/November issue about Claverach Farm in Eureka, that hosts Sunday Suppers and serves sustainable and organic fare from their farm.

This was our second Thanksgiving at Claverach. My first experience in 2012 I was able to take in the sights and sounds and fully embrace every minute of the Claverach Farm experience. Thanksgiving 2013 was a little different, as I needed to pay attention to the details, knowing full well this story was going to publication.

Without, further ado, I give you,

“Over the River and Through the Wood -Experience Thanksgiving at Claverach Farm”

 

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091 ML1014 copy

No Prayer Wasted…

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Chances are if you’re reading this, you’ve stumbled across my favorite bible verse paraphrased in the title. It’s Philippians 4:6 – Don’t worry about anything, pray about everything.

I try to practice this verse, daily.  Sometimes I forget.

The verse helped comfort me ten days ago when I went in for a temporal artery biopsy.  That’s where they remove parts of your temporal artery to check for an auto-immune disease called temporal arteritis.

Only a thirty minute procedure, I prayed so as not to focus on all the tugging, pulling, and cauterization happening on the left side of my head. I thought about other things too, like what’s my husband doing in the waiting area, did Pastor Tim show up, and where I’d like to eat lunch.

Praying helped me through this time, and before you knew it, the procedure was over.

Then there was the waiting period for the test results.  The surgeon originally said two to three days.  Two days turned into five, five turned into seven, and seven turned into ten.  Finally, yesterday morning, I received the good news test results were normal.  God is good.  Not just some of the time, but all the time.

I turn my thoughts to friend Dave Reed, diagnosed with a rare form of cancer – histiocytic sarcoma. Back in 2012 he was given three months to live.  A testimony that God heals at the hands of skilled physicians, Dave received his second stem cell transplant a month ago.  Last week Dave rang the bell at Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis. He’s in remission.

Prayer comforts during life’s trial and tribulations. Sometimes when you get that gut feeling, an intuition something is ‘not quite right’ and you need to make a decision, that’s God letting you know, that either way, he’s there for you no matter what.

So this Thanksgiving, pray for a wonderful time with family. Pray for safe travels. Pray that our country. Pray for our veterans. Pray for Aunt Millie or Uncle Johnny. Pray for your babies – even if they’re the four-legged kind.

No prayer is ever wasted.

No prayer goes unheard.

And if you’ve never prayed before, might as well try it.

He’s listening, and he’s got your back.