By Wenda Grabau
As we approach the end of autumn and look toward the onset of cold weather and winter, the bittersweet goodbyes to summer give way to a different kind of warmth. Families and friends gather for feast and celebration. With the changes in temperature and scenery, November turns our minds and hearts toward Thanksgiving.
World Book Dictionary says, “Thanksgiving Day: a day set apart as a holiday on which to give thanks for God’s kindness during the year. In the United States, Thanksgiving Day is the fourth Thursday in November and commemorates the harvest feast of the Pilgrims in 1621…”
How would you give thanks to someone for every act of kindness he has shown you throughout the year? Would you:
•Bake a cake?
•Have friends and relatives over to show him or her your thanks?
•Watch football together?
•Indulge in rich foods and then take a nap?
•Take a few seconds in quiet to say thank you?
•Go to a parade?
Would all of this be a sufficient way to thank that person?
If someone wanted to thank you for all of your kindness for the year, would that gratify you? Is there anything missing in these ways of thanking someone?
•A heart-felt time of relating to one another, expressing your love and appreciation
•Calling attention to some specific ways that this one has been so kind
•Telling that person you noticed what he did to express your gratitude
If that one has asked you to do something for him or her, would you do it? Think about it. Thanksgiving Day is more than a few seconds long. How can you make Thanksgiving Day more meaningful for the One who is worthy of your thanks?
Amidst the feasting that comes with this season, I like to use the fresh fruit from my garden. The squashes lie amongst vines, potatoes are still in the ground and popcorn is drying on the stalk. One squash of particular notoriety is the pumpkin.
The Pumpkin is the Casserole*
1 5-6 pound pumpkin
Salt and pepper
1 medium onion, minced
1 green pepper, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup margarine
1 pound ground beef
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
3 tomatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup beef broth or bouillon
2 Tablespoons dry white wine (I use apple juice rather than wine.)
1 ½ cups cooked rice
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
Remove lid of pumpkin and retain. Scoop out seeds and stringy portion. Score inside several times and rub interior with salt and pepper. Place pumpkin upside down in large shallow pan with ¼-inch water. Place lid in pan beside pumpkin. Bake at 350° F. for one hour or until tender. Drain. In a skillet, sauté onion, green pepper, and garlic in margarine. Add ground beef and seasonings and simmer until meat is lightly browned. Cook with tomatoes, broth and wine until liquid is reduced considerably. Stir cooked rice and mix thoroughly. Stuff pumpkin with this mixture. Top with grated cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted. Replace lid until serving time. Serve from the pumpkin. The pumpkin pulp may be scooped out and served also. Serves 6.
*Garden Way’s Zucchini Cookbook by Nancy C. Ralston and Marynor Jordan