the great feast's a-comin'

The big brothers have been outside all morning with Grampa and Dad, stacking firewood for dear Grandy Fonda who lives next door and then shooting bb guns at popcans on fenceposts. They could be out there all day and never complain. Soon enough we'll call them in to wash up and look sharp for some family photos. They'll humor me, I hope.
 
Mark fell asleep in my arms just before Santa made his grand finale appearance in the Macy's Parade. Meanwhile, Mom's got the pumpkin pies cooling on the table and two five-pound turkey breasts roasting their hides and insides in (my) happy anticipation of our Thanksgiving feast. I just finished making myself a tide-me-over grilled cheese in the butter, onion, and celery drippings from the stuffin' prep--my just desserts for choppin' that glad-I-hadn't-yet-put-mascara-on, cryin' onion. 

So I'm sitting down to write at one end of the great farmhouse table, two extra leaves added in, sipping my coffee and munchin' on that stuffin'-seasoned grilled cheese sandwich. Mom's writing, too, at the other end--how she made her stuffing this year. We're like that, the women in this family, frequently changing it up yet wanting to remember the progress of our recipes. Soon enough the table will be spread with all the colors of autumn--gold, orange, red. I laugh because Mom says, "Thanksgiving's an orange holiday. I don't do green beans for Thanksgiving." There will be plenty without them, and I'm sure my boys won't complain at her color logic. In fact, they'll probably try to use it to skip out on green beans all through Fall, though it won't work since green's a favorite color of mine.

Really, I just wanted to give you a glimpse into our family's lives and wish you a "Happy Thanksgiving!" I hope you're able to spend some extra time today thanking God for His faithfulness throughout this past year, for His grace that has sustained you and yours through even the hardest of times--that is sustaining you still--and for the hope of eternity with Him.

After all, there's an even greater feast coming: the wedding feast of our Savior and His Bride, the Church. As much as I'm looking forward to the golden turkey, cranberry, and dressing, the mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, and the pie in a couple of hours, I'd gladly pass it all up if that trumpet blew and the clouds parted and Jesus Christ returned to gather us round His table at Home. Oh, what thanksgiving we shall share in that Great Day A-comin'.  

Until then, let us be faithful in giving thanks, always rejoicing in His goodness to us.

Counting mercies and graces, and giving thanks,

michelle

orange pekoe, presidential elections, and pumpkin bread

I should be sleeping. But there must have been caffeine in that cup of Orange Pekoe that I drank at Women for Missions tonight. 

The tabs are open at the top of my screen for Fox News & The New York Times. But we'll know soon enough the fate of our nation. For now, I'm choosing to pray for those preaching the gospel in our nation and for those who need to respond to that truth. 

And while I pray, I'm baking up another loaf of the Harvest Pumpkin Bread that I took to WFM ... because my husband said he would not be disappointed if we had it again for breakfast. ;)  

Here's the (no eggs, no dairy) recipe: 

1/2 cup applesauce (natural, no sugar added)
1 cup almondmilk (unsweetened vanilla)
1 cup pumpkin (scraped from the real deal and cooked down with brown & white sugars and selected pumpkin pie spices--more than any recipe ever calls for) 
 
1/2 cup vegetable oil  
3 cups flour + 4 tsp baking powder + 1 tsp salt
2/3 to 1 cup sugar 
 
2 Tbs cinnamon (or more)
Note: I didn't add any extra spices in the batter b/c I'd put so much into the pumpkin when I was cooking it, but if you use the pumpkin from the can, be sure to kick in some pumpkin pie spice, or a combo of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, mace, and plenty of ginger. You know what you like. So use that! ;) 
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup raisins

I lined my bread pan with wax paper, sprayed it with a bit of oil. Baked at 350F for a little under an hour so that it was done but still moist. And slid this bread straight from the pan to a plate sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. A few roasted pumpkin seeds and some extra raisins for presentation. And voila! 

Bon appetit! I think you're going to love the way this hearty, (mostly) healthy harvest pumpkin bread turn out.

And regardless of the election results, rest assured, our God reigns!

Here's to a good night's sleep for all of us... 

Grace, 
michelle