Monday, November 21, 2011

A Can of Beets

I'm making a list...checking it really, I'm going to the grocery store tomorrow to buy Thanksgiving supplies.  I am creating five dishes this year to supplement the Thursday Family Feast.  I am responsible for bringing two appetizers, two desserts, and my gram's magical cranberry jello salad.

When I got married over 20 years ago, Gram gave me a book filled with hand written recipes for her signature dishes...custard, homemade rolls, lasagne, French coconut pie...but the recipe that forever changed my life featured a can of beets.

When I was 8 years old, life was challenging to say the least.  Gram was living with us to help take care of my little sister and me.  One evening, when it was time to cook supper, all we had was a can of corn, a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, and a can of beets.  In our small apartment kitchen, I watched as Gram joyfully mixed spices and milk with the corn to make a simple corn chowder.  As it simmered, she opened the can of beets and smiled.

"I want you to remember this night.  We don't have choices tonight, but we will have plenty to eat.  Sometimes you just have to take what you have and make the best of it."

I watched as she diced the beets and mixed them with vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch to create a wonderful sweet and tangy sauce.

I set the table and watched as Gram placed a delicious supper before us.  I was appreciative then...but now I am filled with gratitude, reverence, and respect.  When life gives you a can of corn and a can of beets be thankful.

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