Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On Family, Friends and Gratitude

With Thanksgiving upon us, it is as tradition suggests, time to think about all the things for which to be just THAT, Thankful!  All our wonderful family, friendships past and present, the good food we have every day, the beautiful place where we live, health one of the most important components and comfort.

We are truly grateful for it ALL...  For Ralle who enriches our life every day with his sweetness and now the new little life "Miss Kitty" who bounces off the walls and we can't but keep smiling at those silly tail chasing antics.

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted" a quote by Aesop,  befitting my mood at the moment, fitting in with the Thanksgiving theme as well.....

With that said and with gratitude in mind I am checking the list for filling the grocery basket, while the Swedish size turkey is defrosting in the refrigerator........ sweet potatoes -- check
                                                                corn      -- check
                                                             raisins      -- check
                                                          walnuts       -- check        on and on......

My old "Our Favorite Recipes" cookbook resurfaced with our move to Sweden. This book a gift from my Mother In Law Jo when I was married.  A spiral bound  now very worn little book,  put together by the American Legion Auxiliary in Oklee,  Minnesota.  This book is filled with my children's scribbles.  My own handwritten recipes such as John's favorite  "Deluxe Yellow Cake",  his all time favorite  birthday cake.  A recipe for a Shrimp and Rice with instructions to cook the shrimp for 30 minutes!  I had to laugh!  We actually ate that !! ??  The "Kamish Bread" recipe  was  provided by Florence Katz who also shared her wonderful  "Mandel Bröd"  recipe with me.  We have made those cookies for fifty some years and Maria still bakes those today.

Florence was a client of ours  at "The VIP Beauty Salon" in Saint Paul Minnesota and the very same person who got me connected with KQXL radio where I hosted a weekly radio program on Saturdays called "Scandinavian Melodies"....... well, what ELSE would it be called ?

Stuck in between the pages are lots of scraps of paper with various recipes among others Carol Springer's Raisin Chess Pie.  This was Francis Bradley's favorite dessert.  A pie I longed to make during this cook books long "lost" years.  Now  since I am not able to make any Pumpkin Pies  (as you can not find canned pumpkin here) - - -  Yes I know I could roast pumpkin and make my own filling, but the pumpkins you find here are the decorative kind.  Not grown for consumption really.  Very few  squash are found here actually, other than zucchini,  probably since it is not a native product!

 Now  I am going to re-discover the Raisin Chess Pie.  It will be fun to see if it is as yummy and divine  as I remember it to be.  Since it contains ONE CUP of melted butter, with additions of brown sugar, eggs, raisins and walnuts,  baked for about an hour until the filling has a heavenly chewy gooey consistency........  served with a dollop of whipped cream.  What more  can I say !

We will enjoy having guests.  Sharing good food is "right up there" on my list of favorite pleasures and something I am always grateful to be able to do..

So the preparations begin......

For me being grateful includes having a roof over my head, being able to drive to the store,  having the dishwasher and such things we so often take for granted like electricity, a comfortable bed and running water!  Having supportive and understanding friends is just  like having whipped cream with my pie or  a piece of REALLY good chocolate and a good glass of red wine!  How extra sweet life is with a few of those.  Thank you for "being one of those",  you know who you are.....

May your Thanksgiving Holiday be memorable as well.  David and I will be skyping with our families, we will  miss having them close.  We are close in spirit however,  we feel their love and their support and are grateful to belong to just THAT bunch!  We could not have picked them better if we had tried.  That is also true for our EXTENDED FAMILY and those that are OUR FAMILY by CHOICE.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Eat too much and truly enjoy every morsel.  That is what we are going to do...

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