For the ten years I have lived in Georgia, I have had the privilege to be part of a group of extraordinary women, with extraordinary families. FEFC, which stands for Family Education for Christ, is a multi-county, homeschool support group located in and around the Savannah area. As my last child graduated from high school in May, I now have the distinct title of Alumni Mom, as do many of my friends now retired from teaching.
In case you are uneducated on the subject of parent-led schooling, let me give you a little insight. Homeschooling is not for wimps or the faint of heart. It takes courage, stamina, love and patience, and is more successful when guided by the hand of God. It is difficult to do alone without a huge measure of Grace.
Tuesday night, I catered the annual FEFC Christmas Dinner, at which children, from toddlers to teens, are banished. This night is a lovely, low key affair meant to relax and recharge the batteries of these amazingly tireless women. I was asked to make a simple soup and salad menu. The ladies were bringing homemade desserts to share.
I chose a fabulous soup that gave a little preview to the upcoming holidays. The recipe itself came, over fifteen years ago from a dear friend, Melodee. My family has come to expect it as an after-Thanksgiving tradition and like to cozy up to a bowl when the thermometer plummets.
It has roast turkey, new potatoes and onion in a thick, hearty broth that resembles gravy. I place a small spoonful of cranberry sauce in the top of each steaming bowl just before serving. The salad compliments the soup, marrying the flavors of tart granny smith apples and dried cranberries, salty goat cheese and candied pecans with sweet and smoky Bacon-Apple Dressing.
Smiling faces surrounded the dinner table on Tuesday, as tummies were filled and spirits lifted. The menu was simple, the homemade desserts lavish and tasty, a holiday craft table added a little fun, but the company of friends shined brighter than the brightest candle on the table.
As we approach the week of Thanksgiving, I wish a meaningful holiday for each of you. That you will take a little time to be thankful for what you do have and completely forget to worry over what you don't have. A friend whose mother has terminal cancer told me that all the obsessing usually done over the perfect table setting, the napkins and name tags, the menu and party favors, has ceased to exist.
The priority this year, is time. Time with her mom, with children and grandchildren, with close friends. Time is a precious commodity, one that cannot be held in our hands. May your time with loved ones be blessed, may your stomachs be full and spirits overflowing. Happy Thanksgiving!