It's the time of the year when we start counting down towards the end of the year. It's also the time of the year when we gather together to celebrate with our families all the joyous celebratory holidays. It can also be the time of the year that is the toughest for those who have lost loved ones and find our selves in what I recently learned is a category called "Adult Orphans." Becoming an adult orphan is a normal part of life's cycle. As we enter our 50's this is a normal part of our life, I get that. However it's how you deal with the situation that is the interesting part. Family as strictly defined is group of people related to each other -- but is that really the only definition of family? For me the answer is "no" that is not the only definition of family. As an only child with little family in the immediate area, my extended family has become my network of friends and my mom's friends. I'm very thankful for my family with whom I have reconnected after my mother's death, but for many years we were not close. My group of friends has become my family and by extension so have their parents. They are my source of strength, comfort and love and for this I am thankful. So before we sit around our Thanksgiving tables and each say for what we are thankful, I wanted to share this with you all now.
I am thankful for the treasure trove of recipes my mom left, most, lovingly hand-written on index cards. I am thankful for all the amazing Thanksgiving meals she made for me and dad. Mom was a really great cook and she eventually handed off her cooking duties to me as it became tougher for her to make a complete meal. After dad's passing it was just me and mom, and often we'd have our friends come over and she and I would cook together. Eventually I'd take over all the duties. She'd do some of the prep work and I'd do the cooking. One thing I never let her give up was her cranberry sauce. Here's her recipe and it really was simple and perfect. The sweet and acidic nature of the sauce was the perfect foil for the rich foods of Thanksgiving. She never deviated from this recipe and honestly there's no reason to do so. Here's her original index card with the recipe -- you can't go wrong! And by the way it's also great over ice cream!