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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Friday, November 25, 2005

It was like this - 1

Thanksgiving began for me about 8am after I heeded the alarms insistent clamor. While waiting for the fog to lift, I wandered into the kitchen to break the fast. Cereal was poured and consumed, I also partook of scripture and notes concerning my thoughts while reading were made. Then it was on to the computer to check email and read a few blogs.

By then the fog had lifted and it was down to the business at hand. The squash casserole the wife and I had mixed up the night before was placed in the oven – and the oven was then turned on, not to leave any steps out. Banana pudding construction was then begun. As I may have mentioned in other missives, I make my pudding from scratch ingredients with hardly anything artificial in the mix. If I’m going to get fat from eating something, I want natural fat instead of the artificial kind.

About 9:40 I received one of those good news – bad news type phone calls from my son-in-law in Tennessee. Their trip home for Thanksgiving had already been delayed because my granddaughter had a stomach virus. Well the good news was that Caroline was feeling better and had eaten and kept down some sustenance and the bad news was that now my Michele was stricken by the same malady. If you have ever been stricken by a stomach virus, I do not need to tell you where she had been sitting or what she was holding in her lap.

The further bad news was that they would not be coming home at all. As sick as she had been, Caroline was devastated by not being able to make the trip, saying “This will be the first time I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving” – she’s eight. He and I both agreed that our hope was that the little one (8 months) didn’t come down with the same ailment.

Pudding construction continued with mixing the ingredients together and slowly coaxing this liquid, under the duress of heat, into the finished pudding product. Then it was a layer of wafers (Nabisco Nilla, of course) and a layer of pudding, a layer of bananas and another of pudding. The layering continued until near the top of the large oval dish. Then the egg-white meringue was whipped into a frenzy and spread on top. The squash casserole was done by this time. It was taken out and the pudding put in to brown the meringue.

The thought came to mind – I wonder if the word spatula is a French or Latin word that means ‘removing all the pudding from the mixing bowl?’

Let me mention here that I am not heavy into chef-dom, but I do prepare a few dishes. Mostly my role in the kitchen is helper/gofer, second in command to the lovely wife. This was a morning of sashaying around the kitchen, conversing with, as well as praising, my Heavenly Father and thoroughly enjoying myself.

At my insistence, my favorite wife was still snoozing, having had a hectic day yesterday and was to have one even more so today, since our family was to gather at our house at 5pm. The casserole and pudding were packed into the car, to hopefully not slid around too much, and I was on my way to my brother’s place about 25 miles away. It has been an annual tradition to eat the noon version of Thanksgiving with his clan and then the PM version back at our house with our clan.

Arriving at my brother’s, I transported my two dishes to the gathering house to join all the other dishes. This house on his place was mostly built by the brother, with some of the family helping with the roof trusses and such. It has one room, 30ft by 40 ft, and is where we have all our reunions, parties, etc. Our extended family slowly gathered in and the final count was 23 persons enjoying the event.

The grace was spoken and we all dug into the long table of various dishes. Then it was eating, talking, laughing, teasing, laughing, more eating, laughing, desserts and laughing. Did I mention that we laughed a lot? The food was great but the smiles, laughter and family reconnecting was even better. I can’t help but believe this is a small taste of what Heaven will be like.

To be cont’d. ec


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