Let us give thanks for our many blessings
We see the call of autumn here through the falling leaves, the ribbons of colorful mums at Pamida, the scurry of Panther Jerseys, and pumpkins on the front steps. A favorite for me is the seeing the geese flight south. Lydia and I were out for an evening stroll on Fourth Street when, against a saffron sky, a flock of geese sounded their farewell. As we started home, the crickets’ muted chimes played in Ellery Park. Of course, Lydia thought they were calling us to swing ‘just one more time,’ so we did!
November for many of us is a good time for meditation. Just in the last few days, the gray of November has started to intersperse our days. With joy and thanks we can recall the much violet and pale reddish colored twilight that has been bestowed so generously upon our working plains. Our fall has certainly been one of beauty and very colorful. It is not often in North Dakota that we see the bones of our trees before we see snow. Even many of the robust cottonwoods have shed their clothing.
After living in New England, the autumns on the plains have often been disappointing to me because of their shortness, This year, however, was different. For weeks we had the privilege to savor fall. When fall doesn’t happen overnight, we can enjoy the beauty of cornfields turning to brown, and the many fashion colors leaves can sport, as well as the beauty of yet green grass covered with copper leaves. As the November winds have robbed the trees of their last leaves and the winds whisked them away, I find myself satisfied.
Let us for a moment give thanks for the many blessings that have come to our lives here on the plains. May the thoughts of backyard bonfires.. sounds of children laughing as they jump on piles of leaves.. the steeple of Little Flower Church.. the elderly enjoying a warm afternoon stroll.. the ease of groceries at Leevers. clean water at the turn of a faucet and sight of the fuel man by your home be in your thanks. All of these and many more should make us all keenly aware of our fine community and the many blessing we are daily given. Let us give thanks!
One of fine colors of autumn I wait for each year is the ruby red of cranberries. If I had to be a fruit, I would want to be a cranberry! You live in a bog, get to go swimming, and then if that is not enough, show up on the lacecovered table in Aunt Mable’s crystal serving dish on Thanksgiving!
I share with you a cranberry recipe that truly showcases the beauty of the red gems. My former landlady, Irene Martineau of Turners Falls, Massachusetts adored this! The team work of cranberries and orange rind comes through as a real masterpiece.
Candied Cranberries with Orange Rind
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
The slivered rind of 1 large orange
4 cups of cranberries, rinsed
Juice of 1 orange
3 whole cloves
1 small piece of a cinnamon stick
In a saucepan, combine water and sugar and bring to a boil. Add the slivered rind of 1 orange and cook the syrup until it begins to thicken. With a slotted spoon remove orange rind to a sheet of wax paper and reserve it. To the sauce pan, add 4 cups of cranberries, juice of one orange, cloves, and cinnamon. Cook the mixture over low heat for about 6 to 8 minutes watching for the first pop. With a slotted spoon, remove the cranberries to a bowl and continue cooking the syrup until it is thick– watching constantly while stirring. Discard the cloves and cinnamon stick and pour the syrup over the cranberries. Chill the cranberries, and when ready to serve, place in one of your finest serving dishes and scatter the reserved orange rind on the top.
What makes something well-regarded? The attention to detail you put on it. So get out that stunning silver serving spoon that you received as a bridal shower gift and use it! Don’t be afraid to show your loved ones that cranberries can have drama!
Repnow is a Rugby resident.
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