The traditional Thanksgiving tune arranged by Edward Kremser, “We Gather Together” begins with the words, “We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessingsing praises to His name, He forgets not His own.” Those few words capture the wonderfully warm spirit of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a time when family and friends gather to give thanks for their bounty during the year which has passed-a bounty which includes not just material prosperity, but the love we have for one another.
We have so much to be thankful for in America. It’s hard to pick out just a few to list-but here are a few of mine. May you take time this Thanksgiving Day to make your own gratitude list.
Personally I am thankful for:
each new day with the rich and warmth sunlight as it shines upon our home and yard
my wife, Jan, and daughter, Lydia
memories and goodness of my parents and a host of relatives
our country where good laws govern our native land which our forefathers lived and fought for and that we have once again crossed the bridge of a peaceful presidential election
our neighbors beyond the lilac hedge and others whose lives are close-linked with ours and with whom we share joy and sorrow. As twilight comes to our street, and driveways welcome the workers of the day, there is comfort in knowing all is well in the neighborhood.
our rich North Dakota soil and the farmers and ranchers who produce food for the world
crab apple trees that grow in Ellery Park
the fragrance of each season- the smell of soil turned in spring, summer peonies floating on a breeze, the damp and musk of fallen leaves, and the pure crispness and freshness of a cold, cold winter day
many churches that reside in our country and especially those in Rugby. For example: lighted angels sit upon the entrance of First Lutheran, Spanish tiles welcome many at Little Flower Church, and a new roof protects the congregation of Bethany
a faithful church secretary/parish worker
three beautiful schools in Rugby where wisdom, laughter , and learning is daily shared by teachers and students alike
watching little fingers playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” for the 13th time
hearing a second grader read in church like a brave knight of old
the older folks who are bent and worn from pressing on to each new day
smiles as seen upon the face of pregnant mother
being married into a kind and generous family
creative words that inspire me
Thanksgiving Day at Aunt Ellie’s farm home and her warm vault of kindness
parents who say ” I love you” as well as “I forgive you”
church bells that chime daily in Rugby
turkey at Thanksgiving
you, my faithful readers!
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
Yams with Apricots and Sunflower Seeds
Please note that the apricots need to be marinated overnight. The inviting color of yams, the soft sweetness of baked apricots, and the surprise of the sunflower seeds crunch make this dish unique and one that showcases how food texture can be so inviting. In a state that grows and promotes sunflower seeds, this recipe is one to take note of and promote.
2 sticks of butter
2 large eggs
2 fresh limes
1 teaspoon salt
teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
cup sweet vermouth or orange juice-your choice!
8 medium yams
1 cup apricots
1 cup sunflower seeds
12 large marshmallows
6 maraschino cherries cut in half for decoration
Boil the 8 yams, then peel and mash them smoothly and lightly. Melt one stick of butter and into this blend the lime juice, brown sugar and maple syrup. Gently blend this into the yams when mashing is completed. Next blend salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add this to yam mixture. When light mixing is called for, it is often best to use a wooden spoon or fork.
Next taste and adjust the seasonings. You will be amazed at how each flavor is easily noted and how the limes balance the two sugars. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Quarter the dried apricots and marinate overnight in sweet vermouth or orange juice in a tightly covered jar at room temperature.
Saut sunflower seeds in 2 tablespoons of butter, until lightly brown and crisp. Cover and leave at room temperature.
Let yams come to room temperature. Break 2 eggs and lightly beat. Drain apricots, reserving liquid. Lightly work the eggs, apricots and sunflower seeds into yam fluff. Yams should be stiff enough to stand up in peaks. If yam mixture seems too dry, moisten it with reserved liquid.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a fairly shallow, open serving dish, one that can be moved to the table with ease and grace. Lightly spoon yam fluff into the dish. Smooth top, but do not press down. Decorate with marshmallows and cherry halves and dot with remaining butter. Bake until marshmallows are brown and puffy, usually about 25 minutes.
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