Only a stomach that rarely feels hungry scorns common things. -Horace
In preparation for our upcoming Thanksgiving feasts, one with family and friends here on the farm and another later that night with our friends at the local women and childrens' shelter, I have been gathering recipes (see below!) and my thoughts regarding feasts. Feasts usher in a special time of heart preparation. Before a feast, one must decide in what manner they will serve others and how they will choose to be served by others. Either we will choose a grateful and joyous heart or a more dreary disposition. Proverbs 15:5 says, "All the days of the afflicted are evil, but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast." In his song Up Down, The Ambassador paraphrases Paul's words, "I'm learnin' the secret... I know how to abase and I know how to abound. That means in feast or famine, with little or much, I stay on point." Like Paul, I too am (slowly) learning the secret. I'm finding that God really is more than able to 'make beautiful things out of the dust", "give beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning" and as we offer up our sacrifice of gladness in faith, God meets us there to do great and wonderful things. So cool!
I pray that, whatever your current circumstance- wandering in the desert, in the promise land or somewhere in between, your heart will be awakened with gladness this Thanksgiving and that your feast will continue for duration of the year.
I am continuously grateful for you, sweet friends! Happy Thanksgiving from the farm!
To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven. -Johannes A. Gaertner
Cheesy Greens Casserole
2 tablespoons butter, plus more for pan
1 bag (16 ounces) chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bag (16 ounces) chopped mixed greens, or another single green such as kale or collard, thawed and squeezed dry 1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese 2 cups warm milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish and heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, heat butter and oil over medium. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over onion, stirring to completely incorporate it; cook 1 minute. Slowly drizzle in about ½ cup of milk, stirring constantly to prevent flour from lumping; stir in remaining milk and salt. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring often, until it thickens; remove from heat.
Place greens in a large bowl and stir in milk mixture; mix well. Reserve ¼ cup of each type of cheese for casserole topping, and add remaining cheese to bowl. Stir in eggs and season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top. Bake until edges are golden and puffed and center of casserole is 165 degrees, about 30 minutes.
Southern Living Butterbeans
3 thick-cut bacon slices, chopped $
1 cup diced onion (1 medium onion)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped (optional)
1 (32-oz.) container chicken broth $
4 cups fresh or thawed frozen butterbeans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat, stirring often, 8 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet. Add onion, garlic, and bay leaf; cook, stirring often, 3 minutes or until onion is tender.
2. Add bell pepper; cook, stirring often, 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, if desired, and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes.
3. Add chicken broth and butterbeans; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.
Uncover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring often. Stir in salt and next 3 ingredients. Cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf. Sprinkle with cooked bacon.