Gratitude grows like an English popover, it spills over in a explosion of warmth and flavor and requires very few ingredients.
I thought about that yesterday during our Thanksgiving dinner, which was missing some of our favorite people but still full of rich, buttery food and joy. We were thankful for moments — a vigorous walk around a lake, a nibbling, mug-sipping breakfast, the slow spread of holiday smells drifting out of a bustling kitchen.
Molly baked us a pie made of hickory nuts she collected from Erb Park trees. “Easy nuts to gather, tough nuts to crack,” she said. She snuck a little whiskey in both the crust “to break up the gluten” and the filling “for flavor”. We all agreed that pie needed to be an annual addition to our meal. It tasted as sweet as the sunny days in September she spent gathering the nuts.
She also spatchcocked our turkey and, with her brother Vinnie, arranged it in a way that looked like a heart with wings, which seemed like a perfect poulty metaphor.
It’s been a rough year for all of us and no one around our table this year escaped with an unbruised heart. But, gratitude can also be a healing salve. Counted blessings work even better than acetaminophen when we’re feeling pain.
Pope Francis said, “If we are bearers of gratitude, the world itself will become better, even if only a little bit, but that is enough to transmit a bit of hope.”
And hope does not disappoint. So, I’m a big fan of this particular holiday and the season it ushers in.
I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving and that you, too, enjoyed the sweet swell of gratitude.