I learned something new today. With all my education and then homeschooling my own children, I had never heard of Sarah Hale.
Sarah Hale is how we have a national holiday called Thanksgiving. Yeah, we have all learned about the pilgrims and the Indians getting together to share a meal after a very trying year in America.
But this tradition was sporadic at best until President Lincoln made a presidential declaration that we all stop on the fourth week of November and thank our God for all the many blessings we so often take for granted.
Well, she has likely touched your life more than you know. Sarah actually penned the words to the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. How about that for prestige? She wrote a lot of poetry, and published a book of them not long after her young husband of 10 years passed away.
She was fortunate in the late 18th century to have an education. Being a “girl”, this was not typical. After her 18th birthday, she determined to change that and started a private school to teach girls.
Sarah Hale – Poet and Editor
Her book of poetry led to an offer to be the editor of a women’s magazine, Godey’s Lady’s Book. Again, this was a rarity for women. She hoped the magazine would promote “the moral and intellectual excellence of women.” As the editor, she was able to influence women in many ways. in the mid 19th century she encouraged brides to wear white dresses and recommend wrinkle treatments. But it didn’t stop there.
She used her magazine to encourage other specific causes. Strongly believing in women’s education and encouraged mothers to teach their daughter’s alongside their sons. She was also an abolitionist before the Civil War.
Sarah Hale – Activist
Sarah was also an abolitionist before the Civil War, fighting to abolish slavery. Shewas also active in preserving American History. She actively raised money for historic sites such as George Washington’s Mount Vernon home and The Bunker Hill Monument in Massachusetts.
She wanted to promote patriotism and for decades she urged Americans to celebrate Thanksgiving by publishing poems about Thanksgiving and recipes for roast turkey and pumpkin pie.
It took decades and myriads of letters to governors and presidents to acquire this life long goal. But finally, she wrote to Abraham Lincoln. She encouraged that possibly a day of Thanksgiving would bring people together. This is when President Lincoln declared a day for Thanksgiving.
Can Thanksgiving Change Our Things Today?
Sadly, it didn’t work then to stop the inevitable. But Maybe it could for us today. No matter ifi you believe in God or not, gratitude changes things. Even if we are being today to “cancel Thanksgiving, what if we still took the time to be thankful.
Let’s count our blessings this year. And keep it up every day in 2021. If we took our eyes off of what is wrong in our world and started celebrating what is right, we would probably find that there is much more right than wrong.
I was to deliver to you today Part Two of my story of how I got stuck in the barn door, but this entire election scandal has nearly clogged up my brain. I was so consumed by the highjacking of the great American privilege to vote, I nearly forgot Thanksgiving was approaching. We sure could use some uplifting pumpkin recipes about now.
I think the majority of America was glued to the television on Tuesday, November 3rd. While watching the overwhelming support for President Trump flood in, I began to be mildly concerned when the American voter’s “firehose” of support abruptly shut off. I went to bed perplexed by this odd occurrence.
Black Hole of despair
No matter who you voted for, we all are invested in a legally cast vote, properly counted, without algorithmic internet programed interference or malicious intent by human hands. Voting is a special, privileged part of life as a free citizen in the United States of America.
There seems to be no ability to present or discuss truth in the current political climate. People refuse to be objective and use common sense. One political party sees America as bad from its inception. The other party believes America as having a great spiritual foundation, individual liberty able to pursue hard-worked endeavors, along with enjoying the fruits of those labors. We are definitely a nation divided.
Right now, as I type this article there are awful things being said about Thanksgiving in articles on the internet. As I was looking up the history of Thanksgiving one article after the other waits to tell you “The Brutal, Dark Origins…” another “The Horrible History of Thanksgiving” and so on.
But don’t let the squashers and internet truth scrubbing trolls destroy the true truth. Thanksgiving was about thankfulness. People who were thankful to be alive, thankful to have what little they did and to share it with others. Thankful to come together in the community and be grateful for the friendship despite uncommon background or geographic origins.
Most importantly, Thanksgiving was about recognizing God and his hand on and within our lives as people- minus skin color or gender. We were given life to live in honor and celebration of Him. To use our gifts, individual and corporate to further His kingdom.
Squashing Thanksgiving and America
As I write this, several governors are scrambling to “cancel” Thanksgiving. They urge you to cancel your plans, mask up, sanitize, don’t gather in groups of more than xx people, bring your own food, sit outside, no indoor activities, frequent bathroom cleaning… the “rules” for “celebrating” this holiday go on and on.
Friends, WE ARE FREE PEOPLE. F R E E! We are AMERICANS who come from a sturdy stock of survivors. Survivors of disease, survivors of drought, survivors of wars, and survivors of personal tragedy. We will continue to survive as long as we keep God in the forefront while fighting for and cling to our American Republic and Constitution as founded.
It always amazes me that the leading faction of Anti-American folks spout all forms of ill about America from a platform offreedom. They enjoy their positions, their travel, their occupation, their income… all courtesy of American freedoms. It boggles my mind.
Keep calm and pumpkin on
Cheer up my friends. God’s plans continue regardless of who is President in America. Enjoy the following pumpkin recipes!
Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie
Carton of Vanilla Ice Cream softened
1 can pumpkin
1 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 cup cream, whipped
Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with waxed paper and spread softened ice cream for the first layer. Place 13 x 9 with softened ice cream into the freezer to freeze. While your waiting- beat the pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, ginger, and cinnamon together. Add 1 cup whipped cream. Whip together and spread over frozen ice cream.
2 2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup shortening
4 eggs beaten
2 cups pumpkin
3 1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup nutmeats
2/3 cup raisins or chopped dates
Cream shortening and sugar thoroughly. Add eggs, pumpkin, and water mixing well, and set aside. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices then add to pumpkin mixture, mixing well. Stir in nuts and raisins or dates. Bake in a 350° oven for one hour. Makes TWO loaves.
You bless us by your readership and in buying a subscription to the Edgerton Enterprise. For that, we thank you all! As always here is to good food, good friends, and free well-lived life. Happy Thanksgiving!
2020 has been a ridiculously unpredictable year. It’s been frightening, depressing, and sometimes exciting. Some of the things that have happened so far in 2020 probably would have never entered our minds last year.
Think on the blessings that the Lord bestows on each of us daily.
In the words of the old hymn,
Good health. The joy of helping others. A surprise visit or phone call from a friend. A beautiful day. A hug. Comfort in sorrow. Help with struggles. A good report from your doctor. Completing a task. Graduating. The birth of a grandchild. The purchase of a forever home. A much-needed vacation. An impromptu picnic or date with your sweetheart. The comfort of home. The love and support of friends and family.
Those are just a few that have come to mind.
Make your own list.
The Lord blesses us in SO many ways. Even if the world seems to have lost its ever-living mind, our Lord remains constant.
Give thanks to Him. Call on His name. Make His name known everywhere. Look to Him. Seek Him always.
A few weeks ago a friend and good cook passed away. Henry Klumper peacefully passed away Tuesday, February 18th, 2020. Over the last 11 years, Henry and I have many cooking “chit-chats” Most of these conversations centered around cooking.
Henry was easy to talk with, a good listener and could carry on meaningful conversations about life, religion, politics, people, dogs, and cooking. Henry’s ability to adapt to person and place was one of my favorite things I enjoyed about him.
Holidays with Henry
We celebrated most holidays together and he always liked to bring something to add to our feasts. There were times he was not feeling well, and so would decline the need to bring something. But when he did it was always appropriate and was a great addition to the main course.
Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2019 Henry wasn’t unable to join us for our usual holiday feast. The last meal we celebrated together was Mother’s Day 2019. We smoked a pork loin, made cheesy potatoes, roasted asparagus and had chocolate pie for dessert.
Henry loved chocolate pie and would often tell me about his mother’s homemade chocolate pie. Why I didn’t catch on years previous that he was hinting he would like me to make it. DUH!
From the beginning
Most people ask me “How in the world did you meet Henry Klumper?” My response is, “I was asked to help paint Henry’s newly remodeled bedroom and closet.” That’s how I met Henry.
Back to my painting for Henry. We began painting around 9:30 am. Periodically Henry would come and check how we were getting along. I am sure all us gals painting had quite a conversation going and he was probably concerned there was more conversation than painting going on.
About 11:00 am Henry told us to stop painting and come eat. We agreed, washed our hands and sat down at the table. Henry placed a bowl of beef vegetable soup before each of us, along with a spoon and a glass of water.
This old guy cooks?
I looked up to the rest of the group for some guidance as to how we were going to proceed. Henry interjected a prayer for our food and gave thanks for our painting efforts and we all closed the prayer with “Amen”.
Being a “type A” person I was needing details on this guy. First, how are his dishwashing skills? Second, I see he had a dog. Did the dog participate in the dishwashing? Third, has anyone ever eaten his cooking? Lastly, just for confidence’s sake, is he a bachelor or a widower? I figured if he was a bachelor and lived this long food had to be involved. If he was a widower we could be in for some gastronomical trouble.
Curiously, I looked up once again looking for any signs of hesitation and no one said anything, they just picked up their spoons and began to eat. I drew my breath, muttering internally words of courage, picked up my spoon and took my first spoonful. Hmm. Not bad. Pretty tasty. This guy is a good cook.
I finished my bowl of soup and a glass of water in record time. My parents taught me that I needed to eat first, then talk. As I enjoyed talking so much, I simply inhaled my food and thus, began to talk. This rule was made to serve as a deterrent but backfired on my parents. Basically it just gave everyone five extra minutes of oxygen before I started talking.
The rest is history
Over the next few years, we forged a friendship through painting, cooking, canning and good conversation. We enjoyed the holidays together, an occasional Sunday evening dinner, games of Mexican Train dominos and lots of coffee. Anytime we had a remodeling project going on, he would pop over to see how things were going and of course drink some more coffee.
One of the very last recipes he shared with me was probably the most different combination of food items but certainly the best. He called my phone and I answered. “Hello, its Henry. Say, I made a recipe and I’d like you to try it.”
It was about two in the afternoon, so I jumped into my car and drove over to check out this new recipe. Henry was a good cook. I always enjoyed his cooking adventures. Letting myself in I shouted out that I was in the house, sometimes he would reply “Thanks for the warning!” Ha… always a sense of humor. I could hear him busy in the kitchen so he didn’t respond.
This is a recipe?
Rounding the corner into the kitchen my eyes about bugged out of my head. “Holey Moley Henry!” I said. I stood next to him staring at a huge bowl of noodles, diced ham, and cabbage. “What is all this?!”
Henry chuckled and told me he didn’t realize that the recipe made so much. Being a good cook, he grabbed me a bowl and filled it up with the noodle concoction. I grimaced a little, to which he said: “Aww, come on!”. I smirked and grabbed the fork from his hand.
Digging the fork into the bowl, I pulled up a good helping and gave it a try. Henry grinned as I chewed and chewed. All I could manage was to nod my head and continue chewing.
As the mouthful of noodles and company found their way into my stomach, I spoke briefly out of the corner of my mouth giving a “chew by chew” of the “salad”. It had great taste. The cabbage and ham together were interesting but delicious. The noodles, well… it was good too. Great salad.
Quite seriously, he shook his head and said it was not a salad, that it was the main meal. Dumbfounded I just sat and stared at him. I went on to laugh and said that I hoped he had a large family reunion to go to or two church picnics because this recipe made a heap of food. He smiled and gave me a wink and said that he had no family reunion or church picnic to go to.
Where are you going to put this all?
Reaching into his cupboard Henry pulled out some gallon zip lock baggies. We filled up three bags and had about 4 cups left. He wanted me to take two bags home. I declined and took one and told him to call another friend. I washed up the dishes for him and then headed for home.
That night and three lunchtimes later, we dined on this recipe. We decided that it was great warm the first time and needed to be eaten cold thereafter. It was certainly unique, but a good cook always likes variety and Henry never shied away from trying new and different recipes.
I watched Henry transition from his own home to assisted living and then to the Luverne Veterans Home. There were a few stints at the nursing home for rehabilitation and the comebacks he made were notable.
I enjoyed Henry’s attitude that he shared with me. “This is just all part of my journey Michele, its God preparing me.” I smiled with tears as I recognized that was a good and important way of viewing life. Just part of the journey.
I was grateful for a phone call from his nephew Ron informing me Henry was not well and was not expected to live long. I hopped into the car and drove right to the VA nursing home. As I drove I cried and gave myself pep talks. I remembered all the great memories of holidays and dinners together. Drinking lots of coffee, laughing and talking.
I entered Henry’s room to find him eating his supper. I greeted him and he smiled. We talked as he finished eating. He had trouble breathing but was making an effort to keep with the conversation. We sang several hymns and he did his best to harmonize. I paused occasionally to cry and apologized for my tears, but he told me it was good to grieve and he appreciated me.
See you later
After a few hours, I could see he was tired and that I should let him rest. I told him how much we as a family appreciated his friendship and company and that as a fellow believer I would be seeing him again. He smiled and said he was not afraid to go home. He asked me to take care of his Norfolk pine tree and I said I would. We said our final goodbyes- I hate goodbye. I prefer “see you later”. I picked up his pine and he waved goodbye to us both.
In honor of my good friend and good cook Henry Klumper, I give you this adapted recipe of the cabbage, noodles, and ham. It has a name and it is called Haluski. It is a Czech comfort food. Enjoy!
2 oz of pancetta or bacon- diced small
1 1/2 pounds green cabbage- cored, and rough chopped
6 tablespoons butter divided
2 cups white onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 oz. of egg noodles- choose your desired size
In a medium fry pan melt 2 tablespoons butter and fry pancetta or bacon till crisp. Add the onions and sauté for two minutes. Taking 2 more tablespoons of butter, as well as the cabbage, salt, pepper and on medium-high, cover waiting till the mixture is hot. Then reduce to medium and cook for 10 minutes. You can get your water boiling for the noodles and cook according to your package directions when finished drain the noodles. Once your cabbage is tender you will add the cooked and drained noodles, as well as the remaining butter- cook, bring to serving temperature. Enjoy!
We wish you great happiness during this Thanksgiving holiday, a day of remembrance that is fast losing its importance in our society. But we encourage you to take time to stop and remember why we celebrate. Just as God instructed the Israelites to stop and remember the events that He performed down through the ages, we also, must stop and remember how God was involved in bringing these United States to this point.
Stop and remember How Christopher Columbus was brave and determined to cross the ocean, Remember how the pilgrims risked their lives to leave Europe and come to this new land for freedom of worship, remember how there were native Americans who were kind and reached out to teach the pilgrims how to survive and others that served as guides into this new land. Remember how we became a new nation and created a constitution that would create a new form of democracy where the people could be involved in making the decisions of the land. And how we needed to learn how to treat others and how ALL men were created equal. Remember that we didn’t always do the right thing but that we are still working to treat all men equally.
Remember in your own families how God has brought you through hard times. How he has blessed your family through the generations. Think of all the things that he has blessed you with. And praise Him for it.
Today Michele and I want to remember and share a few things from our own family memories. We love for you to share in the comments about your own traditions and memories of Thanksgiving and the blessings Gods has bestowed upon you.