Friday, November 23, 2007

Simply Pleasures

An entire feast was prepared. I kneaded dough, and made whole wheat bread with a hint of honey. We had a scrumptious turkey roasting in the oven, next to baking yams. I smashed potatoes, and made cranberry relish. The stuffing was full of stuffed goodness, so was the pumpkin pie and the salad. Homemade. From scratch. Classic and hearty... so what's up with the canned cheese?

I dunno. When I was much, much younger someone fed me a celery hunk artistically spread with a cheery golden cheese. Sometimes when we are young we confuse the mysterious and commercial with sophisticated and elegant. In my mind, the ribbons of cheese that rippled forth from the handy can, were pure magic and elegance, and the flavor combination of crisp, cool celery (a vegetable no less!) and the zesty creaminess of plastic cheese was incomparable. Consequently, a can of Easy Cheese finds it way into our home every year or two.

Maria popped in and out of the kitchen asking to help. Hot pots, sharp knives and a single-minded determination to make everyone's favorites, made me too nervous to support her ambition to be my sous-chef... ahhh, but with Easy Cheese, even the youngest helper can lend a hand!

Far from the ten gallon pot of boiling cranberry relish, which looks something like sweepings from a forest floor...

Maria sat happily spreading cheese on celery logs. She was proud of her skills and artistry. She had fun. Alex tried to help her a bit, but she was very determined to make this job her very own.

We said grace. We shared our thoughts on gratitude. We ate lots of delicious food. And staying home together, playing, cleaning, cooking, sharing, resting, reading, drawing and napping was simply a pleasure.


  1. You all look like you had a lovely lovely time together. Though we did have turkey after all, my uncle's enthusiasm for the all-American meal made it worthwhile. Hugs.

  2. Gosh, that was lovely - I have tears in my eyes. We don't have Thanksgiving in New Zealand, but I'm beginning to think we should. Thank-you Natalie.

  3. I thought cheese whiz elegant myself when I was Maria's age. Its one of my comfort foods- my Dad was in the Army and used to make us fried bologna sammies with kraft mac and cheese and oreo cookies. The canned cheese was such a treat- like vienna sausages and crackers or Tang!! teehee! I am glad yopu had a lovely day- we did too- the roast beast was delicious and Troy and Fred were very happy. It made me happy top make them happy. so we were all happy! the pie was really great too...I think I am still full!

  4. What a celebration of love. I love the photo of the bubbling berries.

    Sweet girl...I can imagine that wonderful twinkle of accomplishment in her eye for a job well done helping mommy in the kitchen.

  5. What a lovely, tender post...I'm getting a misty-eyed eyed...What a wonderful you had, and I'm so glad. It sound everything Thanksgiving should be and more. Thank you for a sharing a bit your your day with us! :o) So sweet seeing Maria helping--she is a apple, I could eat her with a spoon! My sister loved that canned cheese as a child...she still does. Only now she squirts it directly in her mouth, fussing with veggies or crackers went out ages ago--LOL! Your cranberry relish looks sooo good! Is that a bit of cinnamon stick?...Any chance of you please posting the recipe? Hope you all are feeling better and enjoying the holiday weekend! ((HUGS))

  6. Glad you had a wonderful day. Maria did a wonderful job. But what Apron did you wear :) Isn;t it a blessing to have the time to pause and refelct on what goes on in our lives. I'm grateful I found like minded women who love life, love family and celebrate the art of that every day.

  7. Gotta love food stuff that comes out of a can. We spent Thanksgiving two years ago in Florida with my parents. For whatever reason my father bought Redi-Whip and we let the boys spray it directly into their mouths. You would've thought we let them forget every rule we've ever made, they had so much fun with it.

  8. Lovely photos!
    Happy Holidays!
    Sandra Evertson

  9. I have never really liked easy cheese myself! But I have always loved squirting the cheese out of the can. It was so fun just watching it come out in that twirly way!


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