Hearts Through History Romance Writers

My Thanksgiving

I hope everyone (in the US) had a great Thanksgiving holiday. I am recuperating!

Paul and I are empty nesters. Our daughters, Staci and Cori, and their families live about thirty minutes away and our son, Ari, lives in Boston. For the holidays they all move back home for the weekend. They decided ten years ago, when Ari went away to college in Boston, that holidays would be spent here, all together, and all weekend. I didn’t argue.

This year Ari brought his girlfriend Kate. It was the first time she was meeting the family. Also, my brother  and sister-in-law, Alan and Eloise, came in from California. It’s not often we all get together but it certainly made the holiday sweeter.

Thanksgiving buffet

It’s lots of planning and cooking but there are no surprises. They crave the same menu, beef brisket or roast leg of lamb (this year we did both), sweet potato souffle, noodle pudding, salad, some green vegetable. Paul decided to make pumpkin cheese cake and chocolate meringue pie. For breakfast it’s french toast made with challah, an egg bread.

Thank goodness they come with their own plastic containers to take the left overs home when they leave. I’ve been known to make extras of things so they can bring it home. For some reason, they don’t want this menu during the year, only for the holidays.

After dinner we were already planning for our Chanukah gathering. Cori told us how Thanksgiving and Chanukah were similar both speak about religious freedom. For the Pilgrims it was fleeing from England for the right to worship who they wanted. For the Hebrews it was against the Selecuid Empire (Greek) for the very same reason.

Uncle Ari and Olivia in a headstand battle

We spent lots of time watching movies, playing games with the kids, and eating. The grandchildren wanted some activity so we went to Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park. Alan, Eloise, Paul and I watched from afar as everyone else jumped, flipped, and had a great time. The girls went home afterwards. Staci had lesson plans to write and she needed to get the kids to bed early for school. Cori had to get things ready for Chris’ business trip on Monday morning. Ari and Kate went back to Boston. Alan and Eloise flew home to San Diego.

It’s quiet and time to plan. We’ve been online ordering holiday presents. We only have three weeks before the kids will be back and we can do it all over again. Maybe I’ll change up the menu and make chicken or salmon. Naw, why change a good thing. It’s perfect just the way it is.

Happy Holiday everyone!

Thanksgiving – It’s Still Ours Today

Eilenburg, GermanyEilenburg was known as a center for German Reformation, prosperous and even boasting a walled exterior by the late sixteenth century. It was greatly favored by its Duke, George of Saxony.

Martin Luther called it a blessed lard pit.

Then came the Thirty Years’ War. By that time, Martin Rinkart (1586 – 1649) had become one of four pastors serving the town. Hundreds of refugees fleeing the fighting had taken shelter in Eilenburg and soon disease spread, culminating in the Great Pestilence. Afterwards came famine and it was not uncommon to see wretches in the street fighting over dead animals to eat.

One of the pastors fled the town and refused to return. The other two died, leaving Rinkart to officiate at their funerals in addition to many, many more, almost 4,500 in all. Not even his wife was spared.

Nevertheless, Rinkart still found time to compose prayer. The following offer of thanksgiving is his most famous, written to comfort his children:

Happy ThanksgivingNow thank we all our God

With hearts and hands and voices;

Who wondrous things hath done,

In whom this world rejoices.

Who, from our mother’s arms,

Hath led us on our way,

With countless gifts of love,

And still is ours today.

reposted (with minor adjustments) from Angelyn’s blog 

Maize an Amazing History

The first Thanksgiving in 1621 corn was there. It was one of the new found foods in the Americas.

Europeans didn’t know corn existed until Columbus discovered America and brought it back. It’s believed corn was developed 7000 years ago in Central Mexico and Central America. Corn is a crop that has to be cultivated, it doesn’t grow in the wild. The first Native Americans learned how to propagate corn from a wild grass called teosinte. They cultivated the grass and soon had the small 3 inch cobs with sparse kernels slowly becoming the corn we know today.

The crop was transferred by seed from Central America to North America and down into Peru by the wandering tribes.

The corn was used fresh and dried. What we call hominy today was first cooked thousands of years ago. The dried corn was ground into a meal and used for bread, puddings, and syrup. the corn husks were sued for weaving mats, hats, baskets, shoes, and ceremonial masks. The corn cobs were used for fuel, darts in games, and tied to sticks for rattles in ceremonies.

Paty Jager