Wednesday, June 28, 2017
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Salvation Army Thrift Store, Santa Monica, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia) My then 10-year-old son, Jonathan, came home from school one day, having noticed the boxes and signs at school asking families to donate canned goods in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, wanting to know where the food went. “Hungry people,” I told him. I didn’t want to admit that in a country where everyone could eat, millions don’t. How could I teach compassion alongside this message? Yet, he had never seen hungry people, except the occasional homeless person in Washington, DC, near our home. Hunger to... (Read More ...)

So, why would we think that turkey makes us sleepy? Pumpkin pie, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Pumpkin_Pie.jpg Scrumptious and good for you! Pumpkin pie is loaded with a healthful phytonutrient called beta-carotene. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Just because after a heavy Thanksgiving dinner you want to take a nap? Yep. That’s why. So, is there any truth to it? Should we be eating a turkey sandwich whenever we have trouble going to sleep? Nope. The science tells us that a chemical turkey has in abundance, tryptophan, makes serotonin which can cause drowsiness and is a precursor to melatonin,... (Read More ...)

I Am Thankful for Pencils. I met a man recently, Chester Smith, who belongs to the Lions Club. Pencil collection (Photo credit: ursonate) They had a seeing and hearing van outside the Boys and Girls Club where we met. I knew the Lions Club collected old eyeglasses. My grandson and I gave all my mother-in-law’s old eyeglasses to them a few months ago. Here’s a place you can find a Lions Club near you to donate old eyeglasses. I didn’t know it, but they also collect old hearing aids. But this gentleman told me about the other things he collects as part of his service mission. Tabs from... (Read More ...)

Remembering Bread and Butter Pickles. Breaking up is hard to do. Every time I pass a farmer’s market or apple stand, I look for bread and butter pickles. They won’t be as good as my mother-in-law’s, but they remind me of her. Her house still functions. Bread and butter pickles in a mason jar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) There are beds, nightstands, rocking chairs, vanities and wastebaskets in two of three bedrooms. There are sheets and towels in the linen closet. But, the bedroom closets are empty and the clothes are gone from the dressers. The high, 4-poster bed in the front... (Read More ...)

Memories. Blending families. New Traditions. What kind of stuffing do you make? Thanksgiving Dinner with All the Trimmings Do you remember your mother’s turkey dressing? Is that the kind you make now? Wonderbread breadcrumbs with egg, onion and sage? Pecan? Cornbread? Oyster? Gizzard? Inside the bird or outside in a pan in the oven? Blending Families to Make New Traditions One year, we had three kinds of stuffing. My husband wanted to see what oyster stuffing tasted like. We had long before agreed to blend our family traditions by having both the white bread inside the bird of my Midwestern roots... (Read More ...)

Image via Wikipedia My Mom used to make the best pies of any I’ve had before or since. Lemon meringue was one brother’s favorite. I liked her cherry pies, and had the lump to show for it one day when I fell off the top of a ladder, picking cherries from the tree in our back yard. At Thanksgiving, she made pumpkin and mince meat. Our local Safeway, the only place we found mincemeat, says they sell fewer and fewer jars every year. I suppose it once really was made of meat, but now is apples, raisins, and spices. Making pie filling is pretty straightforward. Just follow the recipe. But,... (Read More ...)