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Donna Fletcher Crow

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Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

Fay Sampson

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Fay Sampson (UK) is a writer of adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, including A MALIGNANT HOUSE, #2 in the Susie Fewings series, a British Crime Club Pick. http://www.faysampson.co.uk

Thankful Thoughts, with Recipes

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ November 24, 2010

Having our Russian grandson with us for Thanksgiving has led me to muse on how fortunate we are to live in a country that sets aside a special day to give thanks to God.  And I am double blessed this year because I also got to celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada last month.  You can read my account of that here:  http://www.donnafletchercrow.com/articles.php?id=42

Also, preparing many of my mother's recipes for tomorrow's feast has provided opportunity for me to give thanks for my heritage and to ponder how  serving my mother's favorite dishes is a way of keeping her with me.  Interesting, isn't it, what an important link food is in keeping touch with our roots.  I have seen it the past weeks as we have taken Sergei to Boise's Little Russia grocery store and to The Russian Bear Restaurant.  Just as I saw it in Calgary in my daughter's delight to be able to buy MacVitte's digestives and Heinz beans for her English husband. And now I'm wondering if my daughters-in-law will be preparing Grandma Reta's Orange Sweet Potatoes and Cranberry Ice for their husbands.

For any who would like to do so, I'll give the recipes below.  But first, from the Book of Common Prayer:

Almighty and gracious Father, we give thee thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them.  Make us, we beseech thee, faithful stewards of thy great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of they Name; theough jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Grandma Reta's Orange Sweet Potatoes

2 pounds yams, baked, peeled and sliced

1 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon grated orange rind

1 ½ Tablespoon cornstarch

2 Tablespoons butter

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

Combine all ingredients except yams in a small saucepan, cook and stir over medium heat until it comes to a boil and thickens. Pour over yams in a casserole. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. You can make the day ahead and bake just before dinner.

Grandma Reta’s Cranberry ice

Put 4 cups fresh cranberries in a large pan with 2 cups sugar and 3 ½ cups water. Boil until berries pop. Sieve. Add ½ cup orange juice and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Pour into plastic container and freeze. To serve scoop into balls with ice cream scoop and place in well-chilled sherbet glasses. Serve as appetizer.

Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

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Reader Comments:

We're eating at Aunt Susan's this year, and my assignment is green veg, so I haven't made either recipe lately; but Preston knows that he need only ask and it will be his! I am very thankful that Mason will have lots of yummy recipes from both sides of his family to enjoy throughout his life. Love to you, Dad, and Sergei this Thanksgiving!
-Catherine, November 24, 2010

Among all of the blessings I enjoy and for which I give thanks, you are at the top of the list!
-stanleydc, November 24, 2010

Ohhhhh! And also with you.
-Donna, November 25, 2010

Donna, you've got such an interesting family! I hope you all have a lovely time - it sounds as if there's some wonderful food on the way.
Isn't the quote from the prayer book moving? In a world before freezers and easy food, the harvest must have been one of the occasions when thanks was fervently given.
-Dolores, November 25, 2010

Thank you, Dolores, a *wonderful* day, even though I sliced my finger preparing the potatoes. When You're cooking for a Russian potatoes are a MUST. smile. Ended the evening watching "Master and Commander." What a good movie!
-Donna, November 25, 2010

So nice to see your grandson and hear a little about your life these days....thank you for access.

In Christ,

Mary Robinson
-MA, November 26, 2010

Donna: I'm sure your grandson said a word of thanks for a grandmother who is a gourmet cook!
Sweet potatoes are listed high on the top ten list of most nutritious foods. One can feel virtuous which enjoying the taste.
My personal favorite cranberry recipe is an easy 3-ingredient one.
Just dump 1 can of drained crushed pineapple and 1 can of whole cranberry sauce into partially set red Jello (either cherry or strawberry flavor). Set until firm. Very attractive in a dessert glass.
Calorie watchers can use the sugar-free Jello and again feel virtuous while consuming a really good cranberry variation.

-Betty, November 27, 2010

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