Friday, November 25, 2011

Real Thanks vs Contrived Thanks

Last Year, fall deco leapt out of the Thanksgiving box in plenty of time.  This year, I couldn't find it; couldn't be bothered to take time to really look.

I loved Roberta's "Kernels of Corn" thanksgiving declaration last night. She said she was grateful for her Lord Jesus who died on the cross for all our sins. At 94 years, raised as an observant Methodist in America's heartland, she didn't know what a relationship with Christ was until age 70. Now she counts Jesus as her dearest friend, and her thanks unto Him was deeply authentic, deeply real.

Then there was my contrived thanksgiving. Butted up against an uncomfortable circumstance, I know I am to be thankful for it. Scripture commands that "In all things give thanks..." so I declared my intended thanks, tears welled up from the internal conflict, and I grasped for some grain of hope that I could actually love my LORD in the midst of tHis uncomfortable situation. Shallow, childish, not so honoring to God.

It's always a good idea to struggle in prayer over a trial before committing to a declaration that might not yet be real... Roberta's dear faith has been proved. Mine's in flux. Today, I am thankful that the LORD knows how to expose those who know Him well, and those who are simply playing at it.

Hero Dad found the missing box at zero hour, but too late
to bother opening up and looking inside until lights out.  

Once the guests had gone and cocoa was poured, out came the "100 Things We're Thankful For" list I meant to bring out at dinner. No one thought to add 1Thessalonians Chapter 5, so I will.

Now we have 101 things to be Thankful for.

"...Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophesies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. 

Avoid every kind of evil.  May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it..."

Fall victorious, 
handsome, glorious, 
sweater on and braced for chill;

Sober Bringer of the seasons,
Give me heart 
To want your will.

Fix my mind to want what you want;
remove my preference
For what's ill.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pros and Cons of Memory

In as much as this blog intends to become a chronicle of family history, observe:

 On This Day, 22 Nov, 2011,  
the odd truth that your Mah is a hapless nutcase 
shall be hereby
publicly declared:

There she was, surfing the websites of Arlington House, National Park Service, Robert E. Lee's Headquarters, and half a dozen others that cater to Civil War memorabilia,  

hunting for a brilliant Stocking Stuffer: that teacup of C's from The Big Trip in '99 that she (meaning me) broke and promised to replace OH, TEN YEARS AGO, OR SO...

Your Mah said to your Da', "Well, I tried. It's nowhere. Nada. Nuthin's out there to replace this..."
So, she gave up.

About that same moment, C's sister and her coterie 
were in a rental car, beating it across the plains of Southern Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, all hot faced and out of breath 
to be a part of history 
at Gettysburg's 150th Anniversary Observance, 
hoopskirts in tow, handstitched dresses barely finished, camera batteries charged, and a tiny wad of tourist cash at the ready in their period-correct little pockets.


Um. Hello?
(Scans plethora of texts and images on iPhone, exchanged between firstborn in Gettysburg and her mother in Long Beach, CA over the past weekend... Nope. I see nothing there about, 

"Hey! While you're IN GETTYSBURG, could you just scope out Lee's H.Q. and see about getting that Robert E. Lee Tea Cup in blue? Yeah, that one. The one I broke in, like, 2001?")

Oh, to be brilliant and sane.
Alas, I ask too much.  

(Wipes drool from chin and wonders
how many helpings of thin soup
the residents of her future convalescent home will be allowed...)

- - - - - - -

Friday, November 18, 2011

Emeril's Choice

Once Upon A Time
Emeril Lagasse sent me a signed cookbook 
for my "award winning" (runner up) RECIPE contest submission.  
We never used the cookbook, so I tossed it last year.  

Then I learned what a Big Deal Chef Lagasse is.
O the perils of refusing T.V. ownership.

We never really made the dish. I just made it up out of my graying head.
 Let's try it this Thanksgiving, just to humor an old, graying, hapless fool?


- - preheat oven, 370ยบ

- -  Halve four acorn squash, or cut bottoms of whole squash flat to sit upright. Microwave (exposed sides facing down) ten minutes at half power, probably standing above or in a little water, to keep 'em fresh. Let cool ten minutes.

- -3 cups prepared wild rice and brown rice, mixed (just cook them together)

- - mix into rice:
- 1 1/2 c. apple butter
1 3/4 c. grated havarti cheese
2/3 c.  pine nuts
scant pepper (n' salt, if you haft'a)

- if upright (not halved), cut off tops of acorn squash to create "caps." Remove seeds and scoop out a trough for filling
- butter or/and olive oil the insides 
- FILL SQUASH with rice mixture

- BAKE under foil or parchment 45 minutes, tops on
- remove tops and foil after 20 mins.

Repace tops & serve on your finest Emerilish platter, 
and garnish with oak leaves and tiny acorns, or other such gems of the season.

(Once we actually make this, no doubt we'll have to enter corrections...)

- - - - - - - -

Dec. 8, 2011 note:

Embellish with relish!
First, don't cook rice all the way. Second,
ADD to the apple butter a generous portion of 
Marion Sanders' walnut-marmalade cranberry sauce 
to sweeten it up a good bit.  And sauteed mushroom/onion. 
OH, go ahead and throw in some wonderful giblets or cooked sausage, too, 
while you're at it!

Prior to these additions, it was rather bland.