The air is brisk, the leaves are radiant, the smell of autumn is in the air. Fall is definitely here – and even more exciting, so is Thanksgiving. I’m not sure if it’s the two vacation days from school, the celebrating with family, or the delicious turkey and mashed potatoes, but I just love Thanksgiving. Sadly, the two-day vacation from school might just take the lead (kidding, kidding).
Thanksgiving is a time when “giving thanks” is often highlighted. In our family we go around the table and share what we are most grateful for. I love this. But recently, I have been struck with my lack of verbal thankfulness. I often think “thankful” thoughts about others, ask God to bless them, but often don’t take the time to express my thankfulness. I receive encouragement when someone thanks me and identifies God’s grace in my life, why would I think my gratitude toward someone else any less important?
I recently read a quote that says “to not express thankfulness to someone is like wrapping a present and not giving it to the person”. I would never do that. I love to see the expression on my children’s faces when they open a gift. It truly is priceless. How much more giving the gift of an apt word of thankfulness to encourage another’s heart?
There are many reasons that I opt out of giving this gift. I may be preoccupied and not notice that someone has served me or others. I do have five children! It may be a lack of convenience. I have places to go and people to see. Time is money. I may fear looking stupid. What if I don’t know the person well and my words get all jumbled up, how embarrassing!
The bottom line is self and pride. I am so focused on myself and my desires, that I rob someone else the encouragement that thankfulness provides. A heart that is acutely aware of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and it’s implication for this life, will overflow with gratefulness, first to God, then, to others. Colossians 2:6,7 says, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving”.
Now onto dessert! Everyone loves a good dessert. Well, here are 2 fail-proof recipes to wow all of your Thanksgiving guests. Perhaps that is a bit overstated, but these desserts are yummy. I can say that only because neither originated with me. These are others’ recipes that I have incorporated into my little repertoire, that have become “go to” recipes. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Crumb Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease one 9 x 13 inch pan (preferably metal).
- In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
- Sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over the pumpkin mixture. Melt the butter or margarine, and drizzle it over the cake mix. Sprinkle walnuts over the top.
- Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until done.
Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
FOR THE PIE
- 1 (9 inch) single pie crust
- 6 apples – peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- dessert topping caramel sauce
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- To make the topping, combine the oats, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour, slivered almonds, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside.
- Roll out the pie dough into a circle and transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the pastry and crimp the edge. Toss the apples with the lemon juice in a bowl to prevent browning. Combine the 1 tablespoon flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon; toss with the apples to coat. Add the spiced apple mixture. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the apples.
- Bake the pie in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the crust is browned.
- Drizzle with caramel sauce.