Note to all who are expecting a post from Joyful today; we switched days and Joyful will be posting on Thursday morning when I (Belinda) would normally post. Happy Thanksgiving dear faithful readers.
I worked away in my kitchen all afternoon preparing for our familyThanksgiving dinner on Monday. I peeled apples; cooked and mashed sweet potatoes with sherry, butter, orange juice and sugar; and made the pastry for pumpkin, apple and plum pies. Some I baked, others I tucked away in the freezer unbaked for some future feast.
I love family gatherings. They are an excuse to make real food the old fashioned way. Feeding people nourishes something deep in my soul.
Finding the recipe for a plum tart was perfect. A bag of plums from one of our trees needed to be used up and I added a couple of apples to make it enough. It was the final pie to go in the oven.
The kitchen was hot in spite of the overhead fan, and my feet tingled with tiredness. I glanced out of the window periodically as I worked against the fading light of what had been a glorious fall day. I hoped there would be time tonight.
So many busy days of late, as the evenings have drawn in earlier and earlier, I have looked longingly at my golden friend with the smiling face and wagging tail, and wished I could beat the fading light and dash out into the evening with him, only to find that suddenly it was dark and too late. Another opportunity lost.
But tonight, although the dusk was gathering fast, to my joy, I knew could just make it. I left Paul in charge of the pie, with 35 minutes to go before the timer was due to go off, and Molson and I were off!
The cool air caressed my arms and face, refreshing and envigorating after the heat of the kitchen. Layers of golden leaves filled the ditches, with their unmistakable, distinct smell of decay, one of the signature scents of fall.
The night was rapidly approaching, and up above hung a butter-pat moon, melting in a golden circle, over a dark blue plate sky.
To my surprise I could hear chirping insects in the fields and ditches; late hangers-on this year. As we passed the village park, a flock of geese honked noisily, as if making busy preparations to leave. It seems just yesterday that a pair of their relatives flew over the pond at our Easter sunrise service, their honks sounding like a rusty gate, swinging on its hinges. How quickly the summer flew by.
Molson's girth has increased since our walks have decreased, but tonight he and I got back in step, our muscles getting the workout they needed, and me getting all of the sensory input I've missed. He got sensory input of his own preference; sniffing every tree trunk and fire hydrant with deep interest.
It was dark when we got home, but I had the rechargable flashlight in my hand, the one Paul gave me that you pump to keep it alight, and it makes a loud siren sound as you do.
On the stove stood the plum pie, to my relief. It was crispy though, and the plums on top were burned. "The timer didn't go off, " protested Paul. I resisted the temptation to raise an eyebrow and nod knowingly, and instead picked off one of the plums to taste. It had a delicious caramelized flavour in spite of its blackened appearance.
I am tired but grateful. Tomorrow we will enjoy the gift of family, share a meal that I hope is delicious and go for a hike afterwards.
I thank God for the blessing of family and friends, "the now"--this moment. It is all a treasure and I know it.
Nehemiah 8:10 (New Century Version)
New Century Version (NCV)
The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
10 Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy good food and sweet drinks. Send some to people who have none, because today is a holy day to the Lord. Don't be sad, because the joy of the Lord will make you strong."