When I think of November, I think of wonderful meals shared with friends and family.
It’s the season to be grateful for all life’s blessings. The worst Thanksgiving I ever experienced (almost 30 years ago) helps me keep that in perspective. We remember it like it was yesterday. Michael was still in law school. I was a young lawyer. We lived in a small apartment and drove a Volkswagen Beetle that was past its prime. For Thanksgiving, a guy in Michael’s law school class had invited us to join his family in Tulsa for a big noon meal. We were asked to bring the dessert and I made a yummy pumpkin dessert (that I’ve never made since, as you will understand in a little bit). Off we started on the two hour drive. We got an hour or so up the turnpike and stopped for gas. When it was time to drive on, we discovered the car wouldn’t start and there were no mechanics working. One of us pushed the car down a little incline while the other popped the clutch at just the right time to get the motor going again. No way were we going to chance driving to Tulsa. We turned around and headed home.
By the time we got back to Oklahoma City, we discovered no grocery stores were open. We finally located a convenience store busy as could be. Michael stayed in the car with the motor running as I ran inside, hoping desperately to find something akin to a turkey dinner. No luck, just prepackaged sandwiches and other junk food. We gave up and went home. The pumpkin dessert was dinner. The first few bites were good, but when it became the whole meal, it was just plain sad. We missed the chance to interact with other people. We missed the traditional turkey dinner. We missed the lively dinner conversation. That experience has made us appreciate each holiday since. Even in years when it’s just been the two of us, we have cherished the moment and made it special.
This is the month when we harvest the last of the flowers and vegetables. The first freeze could come any time, and the basil and some of the other tender herbs and flowers will be the first to bite the dust. When we had a frost alert false alarm a couple of weeks ago, we harvested tons of basil and made pesto — both with nuts and without. Freeze the pesto in silicone ice trays, pop the cubes out and put them in a freezer bag and you have pesto anytime you want it! Heat it up with a little cream and you have a rich basil pesto cream sauce.
Have fun this month watching Mother Nature do her thing. We’re giggling about the overly plump squirrels in our yard and loving watching the birds flock to the seeds we’ve put out. The trees are starting to put on a show with fall colors. And don’t you love this adorable photo snapped by my friend Angela Morris? She does a great job of chronicling the antics of the wildlife in her yard. Savor the moment and give thanks.