Bread of Thanksgiving

It’s a classic, and for a good reason. This Bread Stuffing recipe is the only one I use for occasions that involve turkey. Credit my stepson, the chef, for introducing it to me. While is a bit more complex than pulling stuffing out of a box, this one is worth the effort.

Ingredients:
2 baguettes, country, or sourdough bread
8 tablespoons butter, divided, plus more for baking dish
2 onions, chopped
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
½ tablespoon freshly chopped sage
½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
½ tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

Directions:
1. Tear or slice bread into cubes and leave out overnight to dry out. (Or, spread bread pieces on baking sheets and bake at 200 degrees for 20 minutes).
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a large baking dish. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add onion and celery and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Stir in remaining 5 tablespoons butter and parsley. 
4. Place bread in a large bowl. Add the skillet mixture and chicken broth.
5. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Bake until cooked through, 45 minutes. Remove foil and cook for 15 more minutes until bread is golden. Garnish with parsley before serving.

The year 2020 will be remembered by many for its many challenges. It is good to pause and express gratitude to God for His many blessings. Whether you are sitting across a table from your loved ones, or dining together via a video conference, remember to give thanks to God, our Creator.  

“Praise the Lord.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.”

Psalm 106:1

Faithful Endurance

I was raised in the USA by two parents who shared a goal to usher me into adulthood before they passed away. That objective most likely stemmed from the fact that both of them endured the stinging loss of a parent early in their lives. 

At the age of six, dad lost his mom along with a two-year-old brother; his first stepmother died the following year. His second stepmother, along with his father, raised him to adulthood. My mother lost her father when she was four years old and was unable to attend his funeral because she had no shoes. Her mother, who did not speak English, relocated with four children under the age of six to a different state where a cousin helped her find employment. 

Both of my parents were children of immigrants who left Europe for America as events leading up to World War I were building toward that global disaster. I am grateful for their sacrifices. Because of their courage and tenacity, I live in a country that, so far, is built on a foundation of freedom.

Unlike many others, I was blessed to be raised in a family that valued high ethical standards and worked to instill them in their children. The stories from my parents’ youth permeated my childhood, along with lessons about standing strong in the face of adversity, respecting civil laws along with those in authority, and facing life’s challenges with courage and perseverance. It is a testimony to my parents that when they passed away, my siblings and I were more concerned about one another’s emotional needs than anything of monetary value we might obtain from their estate. 

We do not get to choose our time or place of birth; God does. It is no accident that I was born into a family such as mine at a time such as this. I am exactly where my Heavenly Father intended me to be, gifted with the exact abilities I need to fulfill His purpose through me. With this awareness, I come before the Lord asking for His continued blessing over our nation. He remains faithful even though we as a nation have turned our back to Him. It is time to repent.

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves,
and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven
and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14