“Perhaps the World Ends Here”
by Joy Harjo
The world begins at a kitchen table.
No matter what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and
prepared, set on a table.
So it has been since creation,
and it will go on…
Alas, because of COVID many families will not all be able to gather around the Thanksgiving table. The year 2020 has been a difficult year to maintain an attitude of gratitude. We’ve missed Easter, Mother’s Day, the 4th of July, many summer festivals, birthdays, weddings and now Thanksgiving. Finally, I have realized that holidays are not about the food, decorations, or pretty place settings but rather about the people who share the day with you!
I am still thankful for my memories of past gatherings. I remember my grandmother’s scalloped corn, my aunt Eva’s pecan pie (that was so sweet it made my teeth ache) topped by real whipped cream beaten by me, my mother’s giblet dressing and the green bean casserole with French fried onions and cream of mushroom soup. It was not gourmet food but my family gobbled it up anyway. Finally, it was my turn to bring the green bean casserole. Fortunately, I had all the ingredients on hand in my pantry so it was easy to whip up. As we passed the food around the table I sampled my dish for the first time and realized that the canned onions were old. It tasted terrible. Maybe no one would notice. My niece Anna immediately spoke up and asked why the green beans tasted so funny. I laugh about it now, but then I was mortified. It has forever afterward a laughing memory around any holiday gathering. I was never asked to bring that dish again!
This year I am starting a new tradition for my husband and myself. I am buying a prime rib dinner with all the sides and pie. There will be no cooking for me, just reheating. I would rather have meatloaf with my family all together. Maybe next year! Talking about next year… I will be happy to ring it in on New Year’s Eve. Hopefully some time during the next year we will have a vaccine, and the world will go back to normal.
This year as I say grace I will be thankful for all the essential workers that helped us remain well. I will be thankful for the mask makers and the mask wearers. Thankful that I have enough hand sanitizer. And really, all I want for Christmas is a can of Lysol spray.
As I type this the temperature is 70 degrees, and weather like this will continue for a few more days. We who live in Minnesota realize how wonderful this is in November. I feel a bit foolish publishing this recipe now, but soon we will have winter again Then maybe you can try it!
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups milk, divided
1 pkg (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding
1 – 8 oz. tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 cup miniature marshmallows
Beat cream cheese and 2 Tbsp. milk in large bowl with mixer, gradually beat in remaining milk. Add dry pudding mix and beat 2 minutes. Fold in Cool Whip and marshmallows.
Scoop into 12 mounds on parchment covered baking sheet, using about 1/2 cup Cool Whip mixture for each mound.
Freeze 1 hour.