Giving Thanks

picture from Wikimedia Commons

We had a little snow flurry in Portland on Monday.  Just a tiny thing – although it was enough to cause panic for the morning commute, and to create a whirlwind of “storm coverage” on all the news channels.  At any rate, it was so short lived that I would have missed it entirely, if I hadn’t been out with my husband, returning a friend’s truck that we had borrowed for our weekend of moving.

On our way to return the truck, I was driving behind my husband . . . yawning a bit and not thinking of anything in particular, except maybe the very long list of things that needed to be done both at home and work.  And then the little flurry of flakes hit, and my brain went quiet.  Do you know that feeling?  It’s a sense of silence that snow brings on, even when there is noise and chaos around you.  I love that feeling, no matter how short lived.

As the flakes hit the windshield, I suddenly flashed back to a moment in college, the first time it snowed during my freshman year at CU Boulder.  I was out at a political fundraiser (ie. sucking up to my city council member professor), and one of the other student volunteers (a very cute boy) offered me a ride back to campus.  It was snowing, and as we drove I remember seeing the flakes on the windshield and without even thinking, exclaiming “wow, those really look like fairy tale snowflakes!” – or something equally lame.  The snowflakes were absolutely astonishing to me – huge and perfectly formed so that you could see the full shape of each ice crystal, just like the snowflake images I’d drawn as a child.

The cute boy laughed, and I felt like a complete rube.  In my defense, I grew up in a dry climate.  We had snow, but it was in tiny crystals that looked a lot like sand.

I’m not going to tell you how many years it has been since that encounter with snowflakes.  I’ll just tell you that time has actually been very kind to me, and while I still sometimes still feel like a rube, I mostly feel grateful for all the beauty in my life – for my amazing husband, the love of my family and warmth of many friendships, the fortune of having a beautiful home and a job that I love, and for all of the things that fill my life.

I hope that all of you are feeling the same sense of peace and fulfillment in your own lives, and that if it snows, you’ll take a moment to enjoy both the silence and the beauty.

If you are still looking for some simple but tasty treats for Turkey Day, here are a couple ideas:

Dead Simple Chocolate Tart – yes, you still have time to put this baby together!  Do it!

Pesto Palmiers – super simple, tasty and impressive looking appetizer – trust me, make a double batch.  Or triple.

Corn and Zucchini Fritters – another great appetizer, just make these mini sized and you are ready to roll.

Roasted Beet and Chevre Salad – don’t forget your greens, this is a great fall/winter salad.

One year ago on C&T: Sourdough, Part 1: Starternote to self, make waffles this weekend, yum!

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