Thursday, November 27, 2008

That's What I'm Talkin' 'Bout

Take a good look at my ever-disappearing waistline (I promise...I had a waist at one point in my life!), and you'll know that food plays a major role in my life. Not only do I love to eat it, but I love to prepare it, to see it, and to smell it. Thus, Thanksgiving is among my favorite holidays. This year was extra fun because it's the first time we've had Thanksgiving dinner as the Adam and Natalie Clark family. The girls are old enough to understand traditions and were so excited to "celebrate all day" (Amber said that over and over). They helped me cook all of our favorite foods and we had a magnificent feast.

This is cranberry sauce made the RIGHT way: fresh cranberries and a pinch of sugar. Amber was brave enough to try it and she liked it; I thought I'd be the only one. I can eat this stuff right out of the pan with a spoon. I love it!

Here's the whole spread minus gravy. The rolls are my mom's recipe, and the quintessential, Mormon-kitchen, Cool-Whip-topped Pyrex dish contains the famed "rainbow Jell-o". For those of you who haven't experienced it, it's twelve layers of Jell-o and yogurt that create a dazzling chromatic display. The kids can never get enough of it. I made a pumpkin pie for the first time this year, and the turkey was fabulous thanks to Leslie's wonderful bacon-and-gravy method. Honey butter, green beans, sweet potatoes, creamed corn casserole, mashed potatoes and stuffing completed the menu.

Rex had fun watching me cook for the first three hours, but then became annoyed and felt very neglected. Poor little guy!

Karli meticulously worked her pie dough until it crumbled and dissolved. She loves to use cookie cutters and has a bright future in cooking.

Amber insisted on using the "real" rolling pin instead of the cute, small rolling pins that the kids usually use. She thought all by herself to use Silpats for rolling mats. She's smarter than me!

The food all tasted great, I actually had a blast cooking nonstop from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., we watched my favorite Thanksgiving T.V. broadcast: the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and I even managed to wash the dishes as I cooked, so I only have four plates, four forks, and three pans to wash. Hooray!

Abundant Blessings

I know this may be cheesey because it is Thanksgiving, but I feel so blessed that I have to document's a wonderful feeling! I have too many great blessings to count, but here are my top five:

1. I know Heavenly Father loves me and is watching over me. This knowledge helps me cope every day with stress, problems, and all the other junk that tends to bog me down. It makes me smile to think that I have a celestial cheerleader who is peeking down at me and saying, "You can do it!"

2. Adam. I have so much fun being married to him! I love being able to wake up next to my very best friend and to be able to build a little family and life with him. He's a marvelous man and he's oh so sexy! I'm a lucky woman indeed.

3. Amber, Karli, and Rex. I love having three adorable kids who make me laugh every single day and remind me to be nice. They are definitely teaching me to be patient and long suffering, and I love being able to be their mom.

4. Health. We are lucky to have bodies that work and are fairly low-maintenance. I'm glad for this!

5. Being able to "borrow" this gorgeous, humongous house. It is SO nice to have a dedicated laundry room, space for the kids to run around, enough bedrooms for everyone, a fabulous Rowenta iron, and the list goes on and on. It has been magnificent to live here after spending three years in our little apartment in the ghetto.

I am certainly thankful for our wonderful parents, my great friends, and all of my acquaintances who teach me valuable things each day. It has been nice to have a special day to be able to do nothing but cook and appreciate everything I have. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!