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The Comfort Nest Blog

GATHER - Thanksgiving Traditions and Yummy Recipes


Another Thanksgiving … more family, more food, more celebration.

There has been a lot of sadness in the world this year. So gather those you love and find comfort in giving thanks - even for the little things. I give you a challenge to gather thankfulness. Find 100 things to be grateful for. Put out a stack of small writing papers and have everyone contribute to a bowl of of thankfulness. Pass the bowl and have each person read one. Being thankful, feeds the soul. 

When our family gathers in a circle and links hands to pray and give thanks - we end with song. We sing a traditional blessing that has passed on from my 95 year old mother. Find a song that you can sing (we do short & simple) and end with a long and loud Ammmennn.  Release those feel good endorphins. Go get your thanking on! 

I love Thanksgiving!

I find great comfort in the seasons and the sameness. I like Thanksgiving exactly as last year, over and over again. Gathering my family and enjoying a beautiful meal together makes me crazy grateful.  As a mom of a large family, I want them to be thankful people. I try to pass on that gratefulness is not just a response to receiving, but a celebration of life. It is easy to become burdened with the day-to-day and forget to savor, yes savor, life’s moments.

Here are some of our Troncone Thanksgiving traditions:

Five Kernels of Corn: When the table is set for the Thanksgiving meal every plate has 5 kernels of corn. They represent the Pilgrims struggle the year before they had the plenty and celebration of Thanksgiving. According to tradition, the Pilgrims suffered through a two year famine with a food ration of five kernels per day. When we compare the meal about to be served to the five kernels we can’t help but be thankful for our blessings.

Thankful Memories: Over the years I have had a Thanksgiving book that we pass and note our gratefulness. We pass the book, even writing for the small ones and letting them scribble their names. It is fun to look back and see, from old to young, the memories and comments they made. We added a new book to the family last year and love it - Giving Thanks book on amazon.

The Acorn Theory: An oak tree produces many acorns and those acorns produce more oak trees. At our family Thanksgiving it is tradition to pass the acorn and tell what each individual is thankful for. We also say one thing we are praying and hoping for this next year. Sharing each others joys and carrying each others burdens – it’s what makes families strong.

For Stuffing Lovers: Yes, that is me. You must try this. When preparing your stuffing for the turkey: add chopped walnuts, apple bits, and golden raisins to the bread crumb recipe. Oh, so good!

Pumpkins Bars: I always make this yummy dessert during Thanksgiving. This year I had 10 little people (grandchildren) make them with me. I was chaotic and fun! We sifted and stirred and frosted. Each family took home a pan of their own pumpkin bars. Along the way they learned numbers, counting, how to follow instructions, and that not everything comes packaged from the store. I love this life!

I always sprinkle chopped walnuts on top of the cream cheese frosting. You can double this recipe or make multiple batches and do up plates to bring to neighbors and friends. 

Pumpkin Bars Recipe:

Oven at 350
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs, beaten slightly
2 cups pumpkin

Combine in bowl in order given. Beat well. Spread on greased deep cookie sheet or 9×11 baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool. Frost with cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 packages (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups powered sugar, sifted

Mix in bowl and beat with electric mixer. If necessary, add milk to make of spreading consistency.

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