It is Thanksgiving Day as I write this, so as you read this, the holiday will be history. Most of you are now probably thinking about Christmas.
It has been a somewhat different Thanksgiving for my husband David and me. Unlike in past years, the two of us sat down to eat a turkey meal.
I put our ironstone “Home Sweet Home” plates on the table, and our menu was turkey, baked potatoes, carrots, peas, applesauce and cranberry salad. I had put the turkey in a brine three days before Thanksgiving, then baked it in a turkey bag. It was delicious. And so, so easy.
Most of my day so far has consisted of food prep for the company we are having on Saturday. I’ve spent many enjoyable hours preparing for the arrival of my mom, two sisters, brother, in-laws and nieces.
I have scrubbed, cleaned, planned and organized everything from cleaning neglected garage windows to making menus with long shopping lists. There is deciding who will sleep where and, last but not least, putting a quilt into frame.
Quilting is becoming a lost art, or so it seems. I am working on a log cabin quilt design pieced by Mom. It will be a wedding gift from her to our daughter Faith and Lucas (they married a year ago, but I never did get this quilt put into frame).
Mom has made dozens and dozens of quilts. But her eyesight doesn’t permit her to do so much quilting anymore. I told her I would love to put this quilt into frame in my house. The quilt is absolutely beautiful, with multiple grays and rose and pink colors. It fits perfectly in our “pink room,” which has three of the four rooms pink.
Mom was widowed in July this year, and she misses Dad very much. They were married for 63 years, and I feel blessed to be able to talk to her often. These days she is often at her treadle sewing machine, sewing comfort blocks together, which eventually end up in the hands of someone needy.
This year, I’ve had a unique situation with Mom and my daughter, Gloria, bidding farewell to their spouses. Nothing I can say can take the loneliness and pain away from them. But I can care and pray again and again and again. If anything, it has deepened my trust in God, who graciously cares for Mom and Gloria on their grief journey. Mom is 84 years old, and Gloria is 33, and they’ve always had a special bond. Gloria was Mom and Dad’s first granddaughter. And their bond continues even stronger as they continue their life bonded by their shared grief.
After Thanksgiving, we helped clean for Daniel’s family to arrive at Gloria’s. Eleven-year-old Julia was sick and feverish when I got there yesterday. She had been eager to help her Mom prepare for their guests, but instead, she was in bed all day, and I cleaned her bedroom. It was an intense time because Austin wasn’t feeling well, and the other children were being children.
But what a blessing to hear Hosanna sing songs with her clear soprano voice after supper. Gloria had asked her if she wanted to sing, and she did.
This year, thank you for your love, care, support and prayers. Gloria and her children her richly blessed with such a large circle of friends.
For one of the meals, I want to serve mashed potatoes drizzled with brown butter, served alongside turkey pot pie. Here is the recipe.
Homemade Turkey Pot Pie
1/3 cup chopped onion
6 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup flour
1 3/4 cup turkey broth
1 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups cooked, diced turkey
1 cup carrots, cook slightly
1 cup potatoes, cook slightly
1 cup peas, uncooked
Put the following biscuit dough on top:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups milk
6 Tbsp. melted butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On the stovetop cook potatoes until slightly tender. On the stovetop cook carrots until just slightly tender. Remove both veggies from heat. Saute onions in butter over medium heat until butter is brown. Whisk in flour. Add broth and milk and cook until thickened. Pour into two 9-inch pie pans. Mix biscuit dough ingredients in a bowl and drop by spoonful onto the top of the pie. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden.
Gloria Yoder is an Amish house-wife in rural Illinois. She is the third writer of The Amish Cook column since its inception in 1991. Yoder can be reached by writing: The Amish Cook, P.O. Box 157, Middletown, Ohio 45042.
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