I often think of it as the perfect holiday: parades and football to watch, no gifts to buy or wrap, and a whole day devoted to eating! At my house, Thanksgiving is always a little frenzied. We're never quite sure when the turkey is done, we've selected a new stuffing/dressing recipe that is more challenging than expected, a few of the potato rolls burned, and we just don't know if we'll have room left for pie! Perhaps it sounds too frenzied for you, or perhaps your drama is more about the people and less about the food. But for me, it's just the way I like it. Too calm, and it wouldn't be Thanksgiving!!
This year, I am thankful for a wonderful church family that has been a great partner in ministry for the past year and four months. I'm grateful that my husband Matt has been called to serve a church very close by. I'm grateful that we're renting a great house from another lovely church. I'm thankful that I have a new nephew (who I will finally get to meet at Christmas).
But I also can't help worry about those who have much less to be thankful for this year. Besides leading us to the table, I think Thanksgiving should lead us to prayer. Prayer is best when it encompasses both our gratitude to God and our deep longings for God to show us how to bring about peace, justice, and compassion for all people. I am praying for better health for so many in our community; for those who are losing homes due to foreclosure; and for people enduring the holidays without a job. And in the wider world, I continue to pray for economic security in Europe, for peace and freedom throughout the Middle East, and for people whose food supply is insecure, especially in Africa.
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Where do we still need God's blessings in our hurting world?
Here's to an attitude of gratitude this season.
Each month, we post a new recipe for our church family to make and enjoy! At the holidays, why not try a delicious, fancy favorite, Beef Wellington? If you have a favorite recipe idea, please let us know or reply here and we may post it in the future.
1 beef tenderloin (2 to 2 ½ pounds)
Ground Black pepper – optional
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp butter
2 cups finely chopped mushrooms
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
1/2 of a 17.3 ounce package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry sheets (1 sheet) thawed
1. Heat oven 425, place the beef into a lightly greased roasting pan. Season with black pepper, if desired. Roast for 30 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the beef reads 130F. Cover the pan and refrigerate for 1 hour. Note: beef will be on the rare side, leave in oven a little longer if desired.
2. Reheat the oven to 425. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.
3. Heat the butter in a 10- inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and onion and cook until the mushrooms are tender and all the liquid is evaporated, stirring often.
4. Sprinkle the work surface with the flour. Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a rectangle 4 inches longer and 6 inches wider than the beef. Brush the pastry sheet with the egg mixture. Spoon the mushroom mixture onto the pastry sheet to within 1 inch of the edge. Place the beef in the center of the mushroom mixture. Fold the pastry over the beef and press to seal. Place seam-side down onto a baking sheet. Tuck the ends under to seal. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture.
5. Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the beef reads 140 degrees.