Food. Family. Football

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17; NIV)

I love Thanksgiving! I love being around family and friends, pigging out on good food, watching my Cowboys whip some Deadskin ass on my granddaddy’s big screen TV (because I haven’t met a grandparent or great aunt/uncle who didn’t have a big screen TV in the living room, as if they don’t only watch the news, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy!).

This year, we’re having Thanksgiving dinner catered, so I don’t know how “delicious” the food will be, I just pray it isn’t canned. My mom and I have decided that we’re going to cook some extra sides to go with dinner just in case it’s not good—black eyed peas, wild rice, cabbage, sautéed zucchini & yellow squash, spinach dip (I’ve convinced her to make it with plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Shhh, don’t tell my brother), and I’m going to venture out and make some homemade cranberry sauce for my brother who literally drinks the stuff, and try my second attempt at hot for food’s pumpkin spice muffins now that I have all the ingredients.

Click image for recipe
Click image for recipe

I actually wanted to make the muffins with fresh pumpkin instead of canned because 1.) fresh is always better, and 2.) I recently watched a YouTube video (Is there anything you can’t learn from YouTube?) on how to puree a pumpkin. It’s much easier than I thought (now that I know you don’t use Jack-o-lantern pumpkins)! For now, I’ll stick with the canned, but in a future “pumpkin” recipe (because it’s the holiday season, and I’m gonna be cooking pumpkin til New Year’s), I may use sweet potato or butternut squash (my new favorite vegetable . . . even thought it’s really a fruit) because they’re sweeter than pumpkin, and I won’t need to add as much sugar (but who’s really counting calories this time of year? 😉 ).

I have a food obsession—can’t you tell? Since changing my diet and focusing more on whole foods and made from scratch meals, I’ve discovered a new appreciation for food and fresh ingredients. I feel like an artist every time I cook now—combining all the ingredients, like paint on a canvas, the intoxicating fragrances filling the kitchen as the meal comes together. So this is how it feels to be Italian!

But before I gnaw off the inside of my cheek with all this talk about food, I want to take the time to remind you what this holiday is truly about . . .

Food. Family. Football.

Kidding! But seriously, guys, while the story we all learned in elementary school about Pilgrims and Native Americans coming together for the first Thanksgiving may have been fiction, the message is very real. Be thankful today. Eat with gladness in your heart. With the breath from your lungs, be appreciative of what you already have—the love of God, of family and friends, that you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, a hefty meal in your stomach. Give your dinner time to digest before your break down the doors to Belk, or JC Penny, or Macy’s, or Wal-Mart for something you don’t need that’s really not on sale.

There are so many people in this world who aren’t so lucky. Even as I type this, Native Americans in this country are fighting for basic human rights, and they are getting shot at with teargas and rubber bullets, sprayed with water hoses in subzero temperatures, reminiscent of the attacks African Americans historically suffered while fighting for their civil rights (a fight that continues today).

Enjoy what you already have, and pray for those who have less.

The only plans I have for today are prepping for dinner (even though we won’t actually be cooking that much food), stuffing my fat face, enjoying quality time with my hilarious family, and trying to stay awake as I lie on Granddaddy’s very comfortable couch and attempt to watch the football games. Tomorrow, I’ll probably start my morning with a run in the park, come home and avoid the leftovers (hey, I have all week for that), and get to work on Christmas plans. It is the kickoff to the holiday season, after all.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20)

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