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Thu Nov 28, 2013, 07:57 PM

It was lovely.

Thanksgiving at St. Luke's, I mean.

Not only did I eat until the sight or even thought of the dessert table made me want to cry, there seemed to be a real peace, more so than I've ever seen. To avoid conflict with the Meals On Wheels schedule, I asked for my ride to the church early, meaning I got to sit at the head of a long bench and visit with all sorts of people as they worked or arrived. That meant more to me than all the Million Dollar Pie in the world.

Most delightful of all was when the person known in my posts as ML approached me in a genuinely welcoming fashion. I don't believe I've been off the mark in my previous observations or that I'm hyper sensitive; but I can feel the absence of animosity just as acutely as its presence. It would've sounded suspiciously overboard if I'd said today that I loved her, although I felt that emotion. So I settled for saying, "______ , I'm so glad to see you." Because I was.

Didn't get to meet the new-to-me priest from Korea - he was busy elsewhere - but our previous cleric with whom I butted heads in the past did come, and for that I'm glad. His health has been declining like the former ML's, but the chip seems to have disappeared from his shoulder too. I'm convinced that illness can reveal a lot about us, whether we mend our ways or get even worse. (I don't know what I'd do, since some might still say I couldn't get any worse!)

The closest I came to any potential misstep of which I'm aware - note the wiggle room! - was when he said "It's good to see you back." I sort of chuckled and said before I knew I was going to, "Well, it's good to be back. But you can see I'm still wearing those ugly loud sweatshirts."

The last time he'd spoken to me was several years ago during the Christmas season when I wore a multi-colored holiday top to Mass; afterwards at the exit he laughed and said in front of everyone that was the ugliest thing he'd ever seen in his life. I'd said, well, I don't have a tree this year so I just decorated myself instead. And then I wore it to Mass again the next week just to show him he couldn't stop me, and that was the last Mass for me for 3-4 years now. Back then, after being called a liar at confession and more than a few other things at various times, the ugly charge was the last straw for me.

But as I said, things seem much better now. Although I'm quite sure he still hates anything brighter than basic black, he managed to say, "Well, you look very festive." !!! That I can live with. And we proceeded to our mutual admiration of Pope Francis. He even seems to have unclinched his fist against the Jesuits; early on I'd goofed in what I considered high praise indeed. I'd said his homilies led me to wonder if he might be Jesuit, sorry I hadn't asked before. Turns out he had been once upon a time, but his unchecked alcoholism had gotten him dismissed from the order, and he still felt angry and betrayed. So anybody who loved Jesuits was already on his bad side.

Now, thankfully he seems to have healed that breach as well. Can't express how happy that makes me, not just for my own sake.

But wait, there's more~ My neighbor who lives on one corner of the block had been really friendly when I first moved here, and she does have a spectacular house. But when she started complaining how she missed her gratifying life in Chicago and was sorry she'd retired back to her hometown, especially since our neighborhood was so 'low class', she didn't take my response very well. I pointed out two doctors, two plumbers, a lawyer and a judge within spitting distance and said I wouldn't consider anywhere they chose to live as being beneath me. After that, I was beneath her too. But she's had more than a few personal tragedies since - well, so have I - and the mutual dislike we'd developed earlier doesn't seem to matter anymore. In fact she mentioned a local civic matter that concerns both of us and we made quiet plans to cooperate.

No, I'm under no delusion that any of us has achieved perfection. But it certainly brought vast relief from where we were before, and I'm hopeful of a brighter future. Can some of this be due to the 'Francis effect'? I suspect so.

Even the dogs were more than usually amusing today. Sometimes Molly Maguire doesn't want to come indoors when called, and her bigger though younger step sister Brigid always rushes right back to me. So now Brigid runs back to Molly and literally herds her indoors like a cattle dog instead of the smooth-coat JRT she is. Just now when Molly decided to stand sideways to the open door, Brigid stood up on her back legs a little and used her front feet to shove Molly inside. Mother's little helper.

In other words, it's been a good day. A very good day. No fightin', fussin', or feudin' that I could tell, and enough food to feed half the country. What can I complain about now?

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Reply It was lovely. (Original post)
IrishAyes Nov 2013 OP
rug Nov 2013 #1
IrishAyes Nov 2013 #2
No Vested Interest Nov 2013 #3
Fortinbras Armstrong Nov 2013 #4
IrishAyes Nov 2013 #5

Response to IrishAyes (Original post)

Thu Nov 28, 2013, 08:43 PM

1. Wow, all I did was eat turkey and nap.


I'm glad it was a good day.

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Response to rug (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 28, 2013, 09:24 PM

2. For me, one for the history book.

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Response to IrishAyes (Original post)

Thu Nov 28, 2013, 10:03 PM

3. How wonderful! A true coming home for you.

I do believe your fellow parishioners missed you all this time.
You indeed have much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving Day.
Now, if only the ride to and fro could be worked out more routinely.

My day was lovely in a more mundane way - stayed home and read DU too much (again) then hosted my four adult children at a restaurant where we had table service (as opposed to buffet, which I hate on holidays because people are always jumping up and down and conversations are continuously interrupted so that dinner is not relaxed.) I had filet mignon and only ate half, so will have a good second round tomorrow. I did have a mini pecan pie for dessert, though.

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Response to IrishAyes (Original post)

Fri Nov 29, 2013, 09:50 AM

4. I'm pleased to hear you had a good day

And especially that some of your conflicts with other people have improved.

I had a quiet day. I made a turkey breast, dressing, glazed carrots, mashed potatoes, gravy and a butterscotch pots de crème

This last is so good, I will post the recipe, which I got from In My Kitchen by Ted Allen (Note: This recipe serves 8, but since there were only three of us, I cut the recipe in half. It works just as well):

3 cups heavy cream
3 (2-inch) strips lemon zest
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
¾ teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons Scotch whiskey
6 large egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Put the heavy cream, lemon zest, vanilla bean and seeds, and cardamom in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, remove pan from the heat, and set aside to steep.

In another saucepan, heat the butter and brow n sugar over medium heat until the mixture starts to bubble. Stir in the Scotch, and cook until the whiskey has evaporated, about 1 minute.

Put the egg yolks in a mixing bowl and add a little bit of the butter and brown sugar mixture, whisking to temper the yolks. Add more, bit by bit, and whisk until it has all been incorporated. Strain the cream mixture into the bowl and whisk to combine.

Put 8 (4-ounce) ramekins in a large roasting pan, leaving space between them. Fill the ramekins all the way up with the cream mixture. Pour hot tap water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the ramekins. Cover with foil and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil, and bake until they are just set, about 35 minutes.

Carefully remove the pots de crème from the oven -- watch for sloshing, as that water is obviously very hot -- and let them cool in the roasting pan for at least 40 minutes. When the pots de crème are cool, wrap each one in plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve. You can make these the previous day and they keep very well in the fridge overnight.

I made a bit of Chantilly cream (whipped cream with a bit of sugar and vanilla) to put on top of each serving.

Tonight, Turkey tetrazinni!

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 29, 2013, 10:27 AM

5. Wow, guess what I'm cooking next. Butterscotch is one of my favorite flavors.

You really should x-post this in the food group for everyone to enjoy.

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