The story of the first Thanksgiving is familiar to the majority of us. Children in school have been doing Thanksgiving projects, hearing and reading stories about it. It is a time for us to reflect and be thankful for the strength and things we may have had to go through during this epidemic and rural year. Yes, the dinner may be traditional or non-traditional, but the highlight of the day should be just being able to be together with loved ones, friends, and reconnecting.
For many Thanksgiving get-togethers, the men usually migrate to watch football on television after the meal. The women spend time together. The kids will be on their phones. For many families this has been the custom. But people spend their time and money to be with loved ones and their time together is short and precious. Because of adult children moving to who knows where, families may not be able to be together during holidays or special times. That is where friends may bond together and become like family.
During the past two years while going through COVID, families and friends have not been able to come together. Unfortunately, it is still true. If someone feels sick, they should not be at the gathering.
The family get-togethers may even be more precious because of the loss of a loved one, a physical recovery or change of lifestyle. Everyone has different versions of stories about the loved one. It may be healing to share them.
Perhaps it is time to begin a new tradition of family and friends doing some things together. Take the time to go to a church service as a family. They can come home to a light breakfast of muffins or coffee cake. Most of us in our own way are organized getting the meal together. If someone volunteers to bring something, take them up on it. Thanksgiving Day may also be a time cell phones should be given up unless family members call. I’ve read where kids are not the physical social creatures like older people are. We still must know how to relate to others in public eye to eye.
At times going around the table and telling what one is thankful for can be enlarged by requiring more than a word or two. Perhaps there is a theme everyone could relate to. There is always a story behind what was experienced. The men may not be comfortable telling a story, but little ears will be listening and young people do pay attention. The kids grow up so fast and they will continue the holiday traditions they learned at home.
Games may be found on the Internet. A few of them are having a pumpkin search for the kids. Small pumpkins could be hidden like Easter eggs and then searched for.
People could be asked to bring a small gift up to “X” amount. Everyone is given a number. Whatever number is drawn, they may choose a gift. As other numbers are drawn, they may choose a gift or steal something from a previously opened gift a limited amount of times. After all gifts have been taken, this could go on for 3 to 4 steals, or more.
Have your guests bring a photo of themselves as a child. Either tell about it or mount it on paper and have people write on the back who they might be.
Going for a hay ride may be a nice change from riding in the pickup. Small programs may be presented around the piano or kids telling what they learned in school about Thanksgiving. Card games or other games may be enjoyed. There is a new one out about farming.
So many new or different things and changes are happening in our lives. Adjustments may be upsetting, yet it is the family who will hold everything together. Let us count our blessings, starting with a beautiful sunrise.
Something to think about: “May your Thanksgiving this year be a blessed one in ways you cannot imagine.” Marie
CRANBERRY COFFEE CAKE
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted before measuring
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 (16 ounce) can whole cranberry sauce
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 Tablespoons warm water
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Add almond extract and mix well.
Spread a third of the mixture into a greased and floured 10” tube pan. Spread a third of the cranberry sauce over the batter. Repeat layers twice more, ending with cranberry sauce. Sprinkle pecans over the top. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour or until cake tests done. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from the pan.
For glaze, combine ingredients and mix well. Drizzle over the top of the coffee cake after removing it from the pan.
WHOLE WHEAT MUFFINS
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
3 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
Mix dry ingredients together. Add milk, beaten egg, and melted butter. Beat well. Pour into greased muffin tins. Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 375 degrees F. Makes 6 muffins.
3 cups sugar
1 cup salad oil
4 eggs, beaten
1 (1 pound) can pumpkin
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon all spice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2/3 cup water
Cream sugar and oil together. Add eggs and pumpkin and mix well. Sift together the dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients alternately with water. Pour into 2 well-greased and floured 9x5-inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until tests done. Let stand 10 minutes, then remove from pan to cool. Makes 2 loaves.