Today as I left the grocery store I saw a man standing at the stop sign with a very simple cardboard sign in his hands. It read, “hungry.”
The sign, the man, his situation – it always tugs at my heart, but “hungry” really got to me today, leaving me with tears running down my cheeks when I drove away. “Hungry.” Aren’t we all? And for so much more than food?
My pie-making tools
are on the counter awaiting the
first pie of the season
, my refrigerator stocked with everything for the big meal. Yet in the hustle of it all, I’m both “full” and “hungry.” Full, because I see the hand of God in my life and know that even in scarcity and adversity He is trustworthy, and that the darkest of days only make His light brighter when it appears. Thanksgiving has become for me a time to take a step back emotionally and mentally and look hard to “see what God hath done.” He does it masterfully, so my heart is full. And I’m hungry. Not just for the mouthwatering food that will grace the table, but more so for my family. I’m hungry for them to feel it. I want nothing more than for my children to have eyes to see, and for them to hunger for the feeling of “full” that can only come from recognizing our blessings AND their source.
Don’t you love having a holiday that reminds us to count our blessings?! We should obviously live in thanks all year, but it’s wonderful to have a time of year that helps us focus on gratitude. I have great confidence in what gratitude does for us when we practice it. Early in the month our family started a gratitude jar with the invitation to write down what you’re thankful for and add it to the jar. But the month always flies by with school and athletics — suddenly the holiday is tomorrow and I look around at my children and want so much for them to get it. Are we truly grateful?
This year I went looking for some gratitude quotes that capture my feelings on this subject. Tonight each of my children will find a different quote waiting for them at their place setting and we will discuss them together over a simple meal. I’m really interested to hear what they think.
I’m hoping everyone enjoys it. I printed them on parchment paper and decided it might be fun to start a little collection of gratitude quotes and do this more often!
I compiled eight of them in a PDF to share with you.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD GRATITUDE QUOTES
I will also be sharing my all-time favorite Thanksgiving quote with my extended family at our Thanksgiving dinner. It’s by William Bradford, taken from his history of Plymouth Plantation, and I re-read it every year. I love the way he testifies that God can work in our lives
all the luxuries we sometimes think are necessary.
I’ve shared this quote before, but decided it was time to type it up. It is also available to download.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD BRADFORD QUOTE
I had a local copy shop print mine in color on their nicest, smooth cardstock for a few cents and I love how it looks.
I really hope these things help prepare my children’s hearts to want to live gratefully. Quotes such as these are a blessing to my soul – they center me, offer perspective, and give me confidence in Christ and hope for the future. The best kind of “full.”
Wishing you happy – and grateful – Thanksgiving.
With all my heart,
One of the best things I did a dozen or so years ago was take a pie-making class. Not only did I walk away with some good recipes, but I also lost my fear of making pie and ditched the concept that a perfect looking pie equals a perfect tasting pie. Best of all, I learned how to make this Dutch apple pie, and over the years I’ve made this pie more often than any other. Some of my children request my Dutch apple pie instead of birthday cake.
The pictures I’m using in this post are representative of what happens when I make it. I was lucky to get a quick shot of the last slice!
Dutch Apple Pie Recipe
1 unbaked pie crust
6 medium Granny Smith apples
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tablespoons Tapioca
1-1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
for Dutch crumb topping:
5-2/3 Tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
Prepare the filling:
Fill a large bowl with a few ice cubes and 2-3 inches of cold water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to cold water. This salted ice water will keep your apple slices fresh. Peel and slice apples, placing apple slices into water.
Roll out pie crust into pie dish.
Note: my favorite pie dishes are
Emile Henry ceramics
They are made in France, and are high quality and beautiful. My pies always bake perfectly in these dishes! They also make great gifts.
Drain water from bowl. Add 1 cup sugar, cinnamon, Tapioca and lemon juice. Mix together gently to avoid breaking apple slices.
Arrange applies in pie shell.
To prepare the Dutch crumb topping:
In mixing bowl, combine flour and 1/2 cup sugar. Cut cold butter into slices and add to flour mixture. Combine with pastry cutter or using a hand mixer. Spoon topping over apples, spreading over entire top of pie to the edges of the pie crust.
Line baking sheet with
and place in oven on rack BELOW the rack your pie will bake on. This will catch any drips as the fruit cooks.
Bake pie at 425 for 15 minutes. Turn oven temperature down to 350, cover lightly with foil and bake an additional 45-50 minutes.
Remove pie from oven and allow to sit at least 20 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or cold with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
During the holidays I serve this pie along with these other favorites:
Chocolate Pecan Tart
Coconut Cream Pie
Check out my
favorite tools for pie making here
Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday of mine. With our large family I’ve read a lot of Thanksgiving children’s books over the years, and a handful have stood the test of time. Today I’m sharing my top favorite picture books for young children.
Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin
, is a delightful story of a girl named Maggie who lives with her grandmother at the edge of a cranberry bog in New England. Grandmother’s secret cranberry bread recipe is famous and sought after, but she carefully protects it. That is, until their neighbor, Mr. Whiskers, joins them for Thanksgiving dinner along with another guest…
This book was originally published in the early 1970’s and has been out of print for years, making copies of the book highly sought after and difficult to find. Our copy is a vintage one, but I was delighted to find that it has been re-printed! My children love reading this story and especially enjoy Mr. Whisker’s personality.
Thanks for Thanksgiving, by Julie Markes
, is a simple list of things to be grateful for in a young child’s life. The verse is fun to read aloud, but Doris Barrette’s illustrations are what capture my heart.
They communicate the energetic but happy chaos of family life, as well as the deep comfort of home and belonging. Perfect!
A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting
is the entertaining story of Mr. and Mrs. Moose, who are about to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, except Mrs. Moose is sad because they don’t have a turkey. Mr. Moose is determined to make his wife happy so he goes hunting and brings a terrified turkey home…
These are our favorite Thanksgiving childrens books, a fun warm-up for reading our beloved Christmas stories. As I write this post, several of my children have paused to say “Oh, I love that book!”. Reading is a beautiful way to bond as a family and I’m grateful my children have fond memories of these endearing stories.
What are your favorite Thanksgiving books? Please share in the comments. I’m always looking for more!