Posted in abuse, Celebrations, Christianity, domestic abuse

Those God puts in our path

The Lord graciously put her in my path. An abused woman, a needy mom, a mom without hope for Christmas for her three children. She crossed my path and I couldn’t get her out of my mind.

I wrote recently of not being able to do much for my own children for Christmas. Because of the abuse my children and I have lived through, Christmas is always hard. There’s never enough on normal days, let alone on special ones. I guess that’s why I can relate. Why her story spoke to me.

This sweet mother of three has had to fight battles most of us never dream of having to fight. After a decade of extreme physical abuse, she said enough and fled. Several states away, she’s now faced with the daunting task of starting over with nothing. And her mother’s heart, just like all true mother’s hearts, cries out for a bit of happiness for her children.

No matter how bad off any of us might be, there’s always someone who, at least at this moment, is suffering more. There’s always someone worse off than we are. I wrote in my last post that I used to be one who gave but now we were among those who could be counted as needy. I can’t give her money as I have none but I can do something. I’m going through my closets and drawers. My children are gathering their gently used clothes, toys, and books. We’re looking through our games. My daughter is putting her creativity to use and is making sugar scrub for the mom and teenaged daughter and stuffed animals for the two  youngest. We’re also reaching out to others for things that they might share.

There’s always someone, somewhere, who needs our help. When you’re as needy as this mom is, even five dollars, or an already loved doll for her little one, makes a difference. I’ve been down the road of absolute destitution and it hurts. And it’s far worse when you have children. Or when it’s Christmas. So look around today. See if there’s someone who God has put in your path who needs your help. Then go through your closets and drawers. Dig through your clothes, your linens, and those no longer loved books and toys. Or bake some cookies and share those. I’ve been in the situation where I had to pray that God would send me some sheets for our beds and food for our supper. Discount nothing that might be in your hand. Someone, somewhere, needs it. Pray that God puts them in your path just as He put this sweet mom in mine.

The greatest gift that God ever gave us was His Son. This Christmas, lets honor that greatest of all gifts by being givers ourselves to those who need it most. You, like me, might not have money to share but surely there’s something that you have that somebody would love to receive. Something that would make a great difference to someone who has nothing. Pray about it, and together let’s open our heart and our hands and shed the love of God abroad.

Posted in Celebrations, Christianity, To trust in God

The Lord’s Bright Blessings: The reality of a Christmas more glorious than grand

 

Christmas is coming. What should be a season of excitement is, in far too many circumstances, a season of stress for parents who can afford little for their children. Having been in that situation for so long myself, I can easily identify the longing in these parent’s eyes. You see the moms stare at, then turn away from, what they long to buy but can’t possibly afford; the dads distracting their children, suggesting items much smaller, cheaper. The older children in these families are often resolute, knowing that the shiny thing they want will never be under their tree. The younger children simply fail to understand. But, soon enough, they will. How the parents handle the situation will make the difference between encouraging bitterness or contentment in their children.

My daughter wants a bike and crafting items. My son, a Wii U. Another son, games for the Wii U. I’d love to find a way to give them to them but such a thing is impossible. Knowing upfront that they can’t have these things helps them to be prepared for the things that they will get. My older children have let me know that they will be satisfied with anything–or, if need be, nothing. Christmas wish lists, as they have been for so many years now, will be guided by me towards things I’ve already managed to pick up or know that I can get cheaply. It wasn’t always like this. Though money was always tight, we used to have enough. I once bought toys for underprivileged children. Now my children could be counted among them.

Christmastime, or any time of celebration, is hard when poverty is a constant companion. Being poor doesn’t take away the desire to buy your children things they want but knowing you’ve done everything you can do, both to make things financially better and to bring them a bit of happiness, helps. Like so many others,  our family faces poverty due to circumstances beyond my, or my children’s, control. Fighting against it is all I can do. I stretch every dime as far as it can be stretched and do everything that I can to bring in additional dimes and dollars. Still, as far behind as we are, it is never enough. Earlier this year, we came close to being evicted due to being behind on our rent. Our van remains unusable because I simply can’t afford to repair it. Two children, and possibly a third, need braces. Things that break or wear out simply aren’t replaced. Our needs pile up and sometimes the pile topples over. But the Lord is our Helper, our Provider. His blessings are sometimes financial. Other times, they come in the form of teaching us to be utterly dependent upon Him. Of learning to trust Him in total darkness.

No matter how broke one is, life still must be lived. And birthdays, Christmas, and other days meant for celebration, won’t wait. Months ago, I came up with a plan to provide a kinda-sorta nice Christmas for my children: Taking five dollars or so a week, I’d hit a yard sale or two to look for things they’d be sure to love. But many weeks, even that small amount was out of my reach. Then we came down with mononucleosis and for several weeks I was too sick, or my children were, for me to go anywhere. Still other weeks, my husband needed the car on Saturday or it was pouring rain. I ended up able to go to yard sales once.

Christmas presents this year will mostly be thrift stores finds and a few carefully chosen items from on-line. In place of a bike will be a bracelet, a pretty scarf, and a small but lovely keepsake for my daughter. In place of my son’s Wii U will be some sketching pencils, a book on sunken ships, and a small knife. Instead of the games my youngest wanted, he will receive a movie found on sale and an action figure or two. When Christmas morning comes, they, like in so many other years, will be happy with what they’ve been given. They are really great children, children who have learned what it means to find joy in the little things. They want things at times but they don’t brood over what they can’t have. I’m so proud of them. Sometimes I think it’s harder on me wanting things for them and not being able to afford them, than it is for them not getting them.

Our family has been blessed in so many ways and this year, like others, we’ll thank the Lord for those blessings. Instead of having a big celebration, we’ll focus in on the little things. Instead of the roast beef that I want to cook for them, I’ll prepare a well-loved chicken casserole. Instead of over-flowing stockings, there will be candy canes and chocolates. We’ll focus on being happy for what we have rather than on being sad for what we don’t. We’ll sing Christmas carols together and bake some Christmas cookies. We’ll make a paper chain for over the door, and put on the old Andy Griffith Christmas special as we decorate our tree. We’ll laugh. We’ll love. And, little as we have, we’ll celebrate the most important gifts of all: the gift of the Son of God who died to save us, and the gift of one another.

Our Christmas, like the old Magoo Christmas special proclaimed, will truly be a Christmas that’s far more glorious than grand.

Merry Christmas, y’all!

Soli Deo gloria!

Posted in Celebrations, Christianity

Marley and his message to Scrooge by R.C. Sproul

(This is not my article but I love the message. I’m so tired of the Bah! Humbug! attitude of certain Christians when it comes to Christmas. Christmas is a time of rejoicing in the Savior, a time of reflecting on the goodness of God in sending Him, and a time to relax and enjoy my family. So, for those of you who aren’t going to quit being a Scrooge no matter what evidence is presented to you that celebrating Christmas is not a sin, I offer you a heartfelt, joyful, Merry Christmas!)

Bah! Humbug!” These two words are instantly associated with Charles Dickens’ immortal fictional anti-hero, Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge was the prototype of the Grinch who stole Christmas, the paradigm of all men cynical.

We all recognize that Ebenezer Scrooge was a mean person – stingy, insensitive, selfish, and unkind. What we often miss in our understanding of his character is that he was preeminently profane. “Bah! Humbug!” was his Victorian use of profanity.

Not that any modern editor would feel the need to delete Scrooge’s expletives. His language is not the standard currency of cursing. But it was profane in that Scrooge demeaned what was holy. He trampled on the sanctity of Christmas. He despised the sacred. He was cynical toward the sublime.

Christmas is a holiday, indeed the world’s most joyous holiday. It is called a “holiday” because the day is holy. It is a day when businesses close, when families gather, when churches are filled, and when soldiers put down their guns for a 24-hour truce. It is a day that differs from every other day.

Every generation has its abundance of Scrooges. The church is full of them. We hear endless complaints of commercialism. We are constantly told to put Christ back into Christmas. We hear that the tradition of Santa Claus is a sacrilege. We listen to those acquainted with history murmur that Christmas isn’t biblical. The Church invented Christmas to compete with the ancient Roman festival honoring the bull-god Mithras, the nay-sayers complain. Christmas? A mere capitulation to paganism.

And so we rain on Jesus’ parade and assume an Olympian detachment from the joyous holiday. All this carping is but a modern dose of Scroogeism, our own sanctimonious profanation of the holy.

Sure, Christmas is a time of commerce. The department stores are decorated to the hilt, the ad pages of the newspapers swell in size, and we tick off the number of shopping days left until Christmas. But why all the commerce? The high degree of commerce at Christmas is driven by one thing: the buying of gifts for others. To present our friends and families with gifts is not an ugly, ignoble vice. It incarnates the amorphous “spirit of Christmas.” The tradition rests ultimately on the supreme gift God has given the world. God so loved the world, the Bible says, that He gave His only begotten Son. The giving of gifts is a marvelous response to the receiving of such a gift. For one day a year at least, we taste the sweetness inherent in the truth that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

What about putting Christ back into Christmas? It is simply not necessary. Christ has never left Christmas. “Jingle Bells” will never replace “Silent Night.” Our holiday once known as Thanksgiving is rapidly becoming known simply as “Turkey Day.” But Christmas is still called Christmas. It is not called “Gift Day.” Christ is still in Christmas, and for one brief season the secular world broadcasts the message of Christ over every radio station and television channel in the land. Never does the church get as much free air time as during the Christmas season.

Not only music but the visual arts are present in abundance, bearing testimony to the historic significance of the birth of Jesus. Christmas displays all remind the world of the sacred Incarnation.

Doesn’t Santa Claus paganize or at least trivialize Christmas? He’s a myth, and his very mythology casts a shadow over the sober historical reality of Jesus. Not at all. Myths are not necessarily bad or harmful. Every society creates myths. They are a peculiar art form invented usually to convey a message that is deemed important by the people. When a myth is passed off as real history, that is fraud. But when it serves a different purpose it can be healthy and virtuous. Kris Kringle is a mythical hero, not a villain. He is pure fiction — but a fiction used to illustrate a glorious truth.

What about the historical origins of Christmas as a substitute for a pagan festival? I can only say, good for the early Christians who had the wisdom to flee from Mithras and direct their zeal to the celebration of the birth of Christ. Who associates Christmas today with Mithras? No one calls it “Mithrasmas.”

We celebrate Christmas because we cannot eradicate from our consciousness our profound awareness of the difference between the sacred and the profane. Man, in the generic sense, has an incurable propensity for marking sacred space and sacred time. When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, the ground that was previously common suddenly became uncommon. It was now holy ground – sacred space. When Jacob awoke from his midnight vision of the presence of God, he anointed with oil the rock upon which he had rested his head. It was sacred space.

When God touches earth, the place is holy. When God appears in history, the time is holy. There was never a more holy place than the city of Bethlehem, where the Word became flesh. There was never a more holy time than Christmas morning when Emmanuel was born. Christmas is a holiday. It is the holiest of holy days. We must heed the warning of Jacob Marley: “Don’t be a Scrooge” at Christmas.

Posted in Anna Wood, Celebrations

For Moms Who Have to Stand in for Absent, Negligent or Abusive Dads: Thank You and Happy Father’s Day

It’s Father’s Day and the card companies would have us believe all is well in America. They want to sell cards, of course, and today is a good day for that. Some adult kids who have ignored their dad all year will placate their screaming conscience by picking up a card, signing it, and sending it off in the mail to dear old pop, still pretending that’s all they have time to do. Some adult kids won’t make time to do even that. Selfishness is rampant in American society today. But others are going to celebrate Father’s Day by celebrating the father who has given his time, his love, and the moments of his life for them. They will do all that they can for the man who did all that he could for them. And that’s as it should be.

But what if there is no dad to celebrate? Some have gone on before, of course, but being good men, will be lovingly remembered today. Some are still very much alive and just simply don’t care to show up. Men who can’t keep their pants zipped but are more than willing to keep their wallet tightly closed come to mind. Others may be very much there in the home but, through cruelty or neglect, have separated themselves from their children’s hearts. And others may be out of the picture because the Mom finally said, “No more” to his abuse or neglect.

I don’t remember one single father’s day with my dad. He was a drunk, and he was abusive, and we spent my young childhood in fear of him when he was in our home, and running from him the rest of the time. My mom later had her own issues, but at this time, and for many years afterwards, she did everything for me that my father, had he cared, would have done. She provided for me, she loved me, she raised me, she labored over me day and night. If my dad had ever shown up as a real dad, she would have had things a lot simpler but he didn’t, so she didn’t. But she did it anyway. Because that’s what a good Mom does.

So Happy Father’s Day to all of the Moms out there who have had to go the second, third, and fiftieth extra mile because your spouse wouldn’t. You deserve a great big hug today, and so much more. Maybe your children see your sacrifice and love you for it–some kids of abusive dads realize all that their moms have had to fight against just to keep everything going–and maybe your children, because of their youth or because they are blinded to it somehow, don’t–some kids in abusive situations, due to lies told and believed, due to their own pain, just don’t see all that their moms have done for them. But, know this, the Lord sees. When you, Mom, go all out, to the end of your strength and beyond, for your children, because you love them, and, more importantly, because you are seeking to obey the Lord, the Lord sees and will bless you for it, even if your children never do.

So today, I wish you, the tired Moms, the exhausted Moms, the Moms who have had to do all that they had to do as Mom and all that Dad should have done but didn’t, and have done so while struggling against extremely difficult circumstances, and have done so alone, except for God, Happy Father’s Day. You deserve it.

Soli Deo gloria!

Posted in Celebrations

Silent Christmas Bells

December is a time of joy and rejoicing. A time for family, gifts and giving. A time of cookies and candy, cakes and pies, eaten ’til you’re full to bursting. A time of lights, trees and pretty paper, glittering quietly and speaking of joys to come. Mostly it’s a time for rejoicing in the Savior’s birth. He came; what more could matter?

I keep busy in December. I’ve never had much money, don’t have hardly any now, but there’s still things I can do for my children. Though finances do not permit much in the way of giving, I can make a pie, roll out some homemade cookie dough, wrap sometimes meager offerings given from the heart. The busy fun keeps me focused on better days but behind it is a shadow of sadness. December is a time of death and sorrow in my family. I have lost four family members in this sad month. Spread over time, still their deaths count down my December days and mark them in longing for what once. So I keep busy so that, though I remember and want to remember, I won’t remember too much.

Mine isn’t the only family where silence cuts through the darkening eve on cold December days. As we, the families of Christmas past, remember our loved ones, as a tear of sadness tugs at our hearts, we must also rejoice in Christmas present and Christmas yet to come. There are many reasons to rejoice. So much to do, to pray, to decorate, to plan, there’s hardly time to be sad. Little ones eyes filled with hope and joy fill folks with enough happiness to let them make it all the way through January if they’ll let it. Expectations, times of celebration and happiness, gatherings and coming together once again to share the love God has blessed you all with are bigger and better blessings than any of us deserve. But you don’t have to have a family to wrap a present or bake a pie. Children aren’t required to decorate a tree. It’s a time of rejoicing so find someone who needs someone to rejoice with and get busy doing so. No one should be alone at Christmas. But even if you have no one to celebrate with, or even if you abstain from such trappings, you mustn’t abstain from that which is the real cause of all rejoicing. Jesus came. He came over 2,000 years ago but the bells proclaiming His birth have never rung louder, at least for those of us who love Him. He came and He came for me. Nothing else is needed for Christmas to come.

For some the Christmas bells ring silently, at least for a little while. Those who have gone on before, if they were His, are rejoicing in ways we can only now hope for. Their Christmas is better than anything this old world has to offer. We may miss them, yes, but we can rejoice that they lived. And that we were given the blessing of sharing our lives with them. Silent Christmas bells for always and ever? With a Savior like ours? Not likely. In fact, it’s impossible.

Christmas is coming and with it comes a shadow of sadness for some. But it is also ushering in gingerbread men dressed up in sticky sprinkles and too much icing. It beckons with glittering lights that reflect, in some tiny way, the hope and joy that Christmas itself brings. It extends its hand in silent cheer, a perennial hope for tomorrow; it withdraws its hand, just for a moment, to bid goodbye. Goodbye to our loved ones. Goodbye to yet another Christmas. But never goodbye to love or to hope or to cheer.

Silent Christmas bells? Yes, they exist but only until the hope dawns in our hearts. And then they ring for joy for the Savior not only was born but died and was raised again. He lives. May all the earth rejoice!

 

 

Posted in Celebrations

Marley and His Message to Scrooge by R.C. Sproul

(This is not my article but I love the message. I’m so tired of the Bah! Humbug! attitude of certain Christians when it comes to Christmas. Christmas is a time of rejoicing in the Savior, a time of reflecting on the goodness of God in sending Him, and a time to relax and enjoy my family. So, for those of you who aren’t going to quit being a Scrooge no matter what evidence is presented to you that celebrating Christmas is not a sin, I offer you a heartfelt, joyful, Merry Christmas!)

Bah! Humbug!” These two words are instantly associated with Charles Dickens’ immortal fictional anti-hero, Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge was the prototype of the Grinch who stole Christmas, the paradigm of all men cynical.

We all recognize that Ebenezer Scrooge was a mean person – stingy, insensitive, selfish, and unkind. What we often miss in our understanding of his character is that he was preeminently profane. “Bah! Humbug!” was his Victorian use of profanity.

Not that any modern editor would feel the need to delete Scrooge’s expletives. His language is not the standard currency of cursing. But it was profane in that Scrooge demeaned what was holy. He trampled on the sanctity of Christmas. He despised the sacred. He was cynical toward the sublime.

Christmas is a holiday, indeed the world’s most joyous holiday. It is called a “holiday” because the day is holy. It is a day when businesses close, when families gather, when churches are filled, and when soldiers put down their guns for a 24-hour truce. It is a day that differs from every other day.

Every generation has its abundance of Scrooges. The church is full of them. We hear endless complaints of commercialism. We are constantly told to put Christ back into Christmas. We hear that the tradition of Santa Claus is a sacrilege. We listen to those acquainted with history murmur that Christmas isn’t biblical. The Church invented Christmas to compete with the ancient Roman festival honoring the bull-god Mithras, the nay-sayers complain. Christmas? A mere capitulation to paganism.

And so we rain on Jesus’ parade and assume an Olympian detachment from the joyous holiday. All this carping is but a modern dose of Scroogeism, our own sanctimonious profanation of the holy.

Sure, Christmas is a time of commerce. The department stores are decorated to the hilt, the ad pages of the newspapers swell in size, and we tick off the number of shopping days left until Christmas. But why all the commerce? The high degree of commerce at Christmas is driven by one thing: the buying of gifts for others. To present our friends and families with gifts is not an ugly, ignoble vice. It incarnates the amorphous “spirit of Christmas.” The tradition rests ultimately on the supreme gift God has given the world. God so loved the world, the Bible says, that He gave His only begotten Son. The giving of gifts is a marvelous response to the receiving of such a gift. For one day a year at least, we taste the sweetness inherent in the truth that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

What about putting Christ back into Christmas? It is simply not necessary. Christ has never left Christmas. “Jingle Bells” will never replace “Silent Night.” Our holiday once known as Thanksgiving is rapidly becoming known simply as “Turkey Day.” But Christmas is still called Christmas. It is not called “Gift Day.” Christ is still in Christmas, and for one brief season the secular world broadcasts the message of Christ over every radio station and television channel in the land. Never does the church get as much free air time as during the Christmas season.

Not only music but the visual arts are present in abundance, bearing testimony to the historic significance of the birth of Jesus. Christmas displays all remind the world of the sacred Incarnation.

Doesn’t Santa Claus paganize or at least trivialize Christmas? He’s a myth, and his very mythology casts a shadow over the sober historical reality of Jesus. Not at all. Myths are not necessarily bad or harmful. Every society creates myths. They are a peculiar art form invented usually to convey a message that is deemed important by the people. When a myth is passed off as real history, that is fraud. But when it serves a different purpose it can be healthy and virtuous. Kris Kringle is a mythical hero, not a villain. He is pure fiction — but a fiction used to illustrate a glorious truth.

What about the historical origins of Christmas as a substitute for a pagan festival? I can only say, good for the early Christians who had the wisdom to flee from Mithras and direct their zeal to the celebration of the birth of Christ. Who associates Christmas today with Mithras? No one calls it “Mithrasmas.”

We celebrate Christmas because we cannot eradicate from our consciousness our profound awareness of the difference between the sacred and the profane. Man, in the generic sense, has an incurable propensity for marking sacred space and sacred time. When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, the ground that was previously common suddenly became uncommon. It was now holy ground – sacred space. When Jacob awoke from his midnight vision of the presence of God, he anointed with oil the rock upon which he had rested his head. It was sacred space.

When God touches earth, the place is holy. When God appears in history, the time is holy. There was never a more holy place than the city of Bethlehem, where the Word became flesh. There was never a more holy time than Christmas morning when Emmanuel was born. Christmas is a holiday. It is the holiest of holy days. We must heed the warning of Jacob Marley: “Don’t be a Scrooge” at Christmas.

Posted in Anna Wood, Celebrations

Thanksgiving Turkey Blues

Some folks get tired of turkey after Thanksgiving is over. We don’t. I always wish there was more turkey to go around. Turkey makes great sandwiches, fantastic pot pies and wonderful casseroles. If I could, I’d cook three, four or even five turkeys just to keep the leftovers coming. I don’t do that, of course (but in my dreams, I do…; ahem, back to reality now…). I’m sharing some of our favorite post-Thanksgiving recipes below. I don’t make each of these each year. What I make depends upon how much time, turkey and ingredients I’ve got. You won’t find a recipe for turkey soup as I’ve never found a recipe for one that I like. Sometimes I make creamed turkey and serve it over biscuits or toast (or potatoes or noodles) and that is very good, but that recipe is not included below, either. What I have included are three of our very favorite, most yummy post-Thanksgiving turkey recipes, recipes that my family loves and will gladly eat year after year (and they always wish for more). If you don’t have turkey and do have chicken, these are good with chicken, also.

 

Turkey Tetrazzini

This is so very yummy! Everybody in my family loves this. I usually double and make two so we have leftovers (which freeze well). Hhhmmm, leftovers of the leftovers….

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

12 ounces spaghetti noodles, cooked
4 ounces canned mushrooms, drain liquid and save it
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup chicken broth
12 ounces evaporated milk
2 ounces diced pimento
1/4 cup butter or margarine (1/2 stick)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium stalks celery, finely sliced
2 to 3 cups turkey, chopped
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Cook the spaghetti noodles and drain them. Set aside. Combine the mushroom liquid with the celery salt, cayenne pepper, chicken broth, evaporated milk and the pimento. Set aside. In a heavy frying pan, sauté the onion, celery and the canned mushrooms in the melted butter for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Mix in the spices. Cook gently until it begins to thicken, stirring frequently. Pour into bowl, add the chopped turkey and the spaghetti noodles. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, add the noodle mixture to the pan and top with the cheeses. Cook in prepared oven for 30 to 45 minutes.

 

Classic Turkey Sandwiches

There are many ways to make turkey sandwiches but this is our tried and true way.

Mayonnaise
Turkey
Bread and Butter Pickles
Lettuce
White or Wheat Bread
This couldn’t be simpler. Simply spread the mayonnaise on your bread and layer on the turkey, lettuce, bread and butter pickles and serve.

 

Turkey Pot Pie

This is almost always our day after Thanksgiving Day dinner. This is so good. We never have any leftovers. I could make more (and I usually do) and they would eat it (and they always do). The amount can be halved if your crew isn‘t as hungry as mine is. You can substitute chicken for the turkey. It’s equally delicious. You can also play with this and adjust it as you need to (more of the vegetables and less of the turkey, if that’s what you have more of). Serve with rolls and cranberry relish or sauce.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees.

10 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 pound baby carrots or equal amount of peeled, chopped carrots
1 large onion, diced
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
1 1/2 butter or margarine
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
8 cups cooked turkey, bite-size pieces
enough pastry for a top crust (or top and bottom, if you prefer–that’s how we do it; I usually quadruple a two-crust recipe because I like to roll the crust along the sides and I don‘t want any holes in the crust; you might get away with less
2 egg yolks, beaten (for the crust)
2 tablespoons milk (for the crust)
In a large pot bring the chicken broth to boil; add the baby carrots (halve them if you want to before you put them in) and the onions; boil until vegetables are almost tender. At that point, add the mushrooms and peas and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove vegetables from the broth and set them aside in a bowl until you are ready for them. Strain the broth and set aside 8 cups of it. Melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the 8 cups of chicken broth a little at a time until fully incorporated. Cook until the mixture thickens and has bubbled for one minute. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the chopped turkey and the reserved vegetables to the sauce and refrigerate until cool. Prepare your pastry. If you are using a two-crust recipe then put the bottom layer in the pan and pour the filling over it. Otherwise, just pour your filling into a large pan and put the top pastry crust on. Vent it by sticking the tines of a fork in it several times or by cutting several one inch slits with a knife. Mix the beaten egg yolks and the milk together and brush over the top of the crust. Cook 45 minutes or a little more (until crust is brown and filling is bubbly) in a preheated oven.

Hoping you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

God be with you,

Until next time,

Anna

Soli Deo gloria!