Wednesday, November 25, 2009

God Bless the work of your hands

"Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful."Deuteronomy 16:15 New American Standard Bible

Thanksgiving is a time to remember those we love and everyone who has shown us love. I have a strong, healthy body, creativity and the will to produce something everyday that is so much to be thankful for it is hard to decide where to begin.

Perhaps it is because I am an artist or perhaps I am an artist because I respect for people who work with their hands. As I young child my fondest memories of Thanksgiving was of my mother and my maternal grandmother working in the kitchen for days to produce one meal. I can still see how much my grandmother enjoyed working in the kitchen throughout her 80's and into her early 90's. Vivid memories fill my heart with joy visualizing my grandmothers frail, wrinkled, thin fingers carefully tearing dried bread then seasoned with sage, thyme and rosemary, moistened with broth, mixed together with sauteed mushrooms, celery, onions and chopped apples gently placed into the Thanksgiving turkey. I loved to watch my mother's fingers delicately forming the fluted edges on her pie crusts. I stared at her quiet hands while she laid dying remembering and giving thanks for her 70 years of selfless service.

In my kitchen we still make the enter dinner from "scratch" using; whole wheat flour in our pastry crust for pumpkin pies. I love to grind fresh cranberries with oranges adding just enough raw sugar to sweeten the cold relish dish. An array of fresh vegetables; yams baked in their own jackets sweetened with dots of fresh butter, butternut or acorn squash baked seasoned with butter, salt and fresh cracked pepper. Think about color as you select the vegetable's to accompany the featured roast stuffed turkey.

My children are grown now yet I am pleased to say I have passed the torch for the love of working with their hands as makers. The joy I felt working in my kitchen teaching Barry and Kara to savour creating fresh, homemade meals had blossomed in them as adults today. While I was sharing my knowledge of making I shared our family history. When they call me for a recipe they ask for the recipe by the persons name.
Thanksgiving is a day set side to stop, reflect, remember with gratitude and respect those who have shared part of their life journey with us.

Today I want to share a simple recipe for cooked Apples with Drop Dumplings from my maternal grandmother.
*Note I have added dried cranberries, use brown sugar rather than white sugar, buckwheat baking mix instead of white flour, buttermilk over sweet milk and leave the peels on as my own spin on grandma's recipe.


2 1/4 lb. Cortland apples

3/4 c. brown sugar

handful of dried cranberries

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1 c. water

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 c. Bisquick baking mix (I used New Hope Mills, old fashioned Buckwheat Pancake Mix)

1/3 c. buttermilk

1 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

Wash, pare, core and thinly slice the apples. I leave the peels on for fiber
Place apples in a 12 inch skillet or dutch oven

Add 3/4 cup sugar, ground ginger, water and lemon juice and stir well to combine.

In a small bowl, stir together the baking mix and buttermilk just until mix is moistened.
Heat apple mixture to boiling. Drop dumpling mixture in 6 portions over apples.

Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Cover and simmer until apples are tender and dumplings are cooked through, about 10 minutes longer.

Serve in a small bowl, top with low fat half & half.
Enjoy the work of your own hands, buy local products, support local markets.
Please join Kara and I on facebook to see the work of our hands

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