Food for Thought

This morning my co-worker and I were discussing the crazy fact that Thanksgiving is ONE week away! We both acknowledged that the lack of snow and super cold weather has not helped us to feel as though this holiday is right around the corner.

For the past couple of years it seems as though more and more people are taking sides to what is possibly becoming one of the hottest topics around the Thanksgiving season. Either you are on all for the Christmas season beginning before Thanksgiving or a huge advocate of it not starting until after.

Last Friday in our church’s weekly newsletter, Jake shared his thoughts on this ongoing debate:

We find ourselves now firmly planted in one of the most bizarre and confusing times of the year. For many people, November is a month defined by the holiday of Thanksgiving, an annual reminder for us to look around and take stock of the countless blessings in our lives. On the other hand, the marketing machine we call Christmas continues its march backward, it’s kickoff date landing earlier every year, it seems. One hand gently says, “You have enough, give thanks,” while the other says, with a mocking laugh, “You call that enough?”

Meister Eckhart, a mystic theologian who lived in the 13th and 14th centuries, once wrote, “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was ‘thank you,’ that would be sufficient.” Eckhart and other theologians who have what we might call a “high theology of gratitude” are surely on to something. I believe that in our day and age, the ability and commitment to appreciate what one has is perhaps the most counter-cultural postures possible. The choice to say, “No, thank you” to the multi-billion (-trillion?) dollar Christmas industry and instead (if only for a short time) focus on cultivating an attitude of gratitude reminds me of Jesus’ refusal in the wilderness to give into the devil’s temptations. Just because someone tells you that you can or should have something doesn’t mean that they’re right. What they’re selling you often ends up costing much more in the end anyhow.

So this month, let us try to cultivate a growing sense of gratitude. Several times in the last week or so, I have witnessed a couple of my Facebook friends posting about things for which they are thankful. For these people, updating their Facebook status with a giving-of-thanks is apparently a daily ritual. Each update is preceded by a number that coincides with the calendar. May we be bold enough to join with them in their giving of thanks…online or offline, publicly or privately… and truly believe it is enough just to say “Thanks.”

If you’ve read this blog long enough, you know one of the things I am thankful for is the ability to make and eat good food.  Jake and I have shared this cheesy potato soup a couple of times now this fall and its one worth sharing.

Cheesy Potato Soup

adapted from allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 3 strips of bacon
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • crushed pepper
  • 3 cans of chicken broth- 14 ounces
  • 5-6 Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 cup of half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 cup shredded cheese-we used pepper jack
Directions:

The original recipe calls for baked potatoes, but I decided to boil mine.

Be sure to peel and dice the potatoes into small pieces. Boil them in large pot until tender and a fork easily slides through them. This should take about 15-20 minutes after the water is rapidly boiling.

While the potatoes are boiling, in a large pot, cook bacon until crisp. (Use the same pot you will use for the soup. If this isn’t possible, that is okay).

While the bacon is cooking, dice up one small onion,

and two garlic cloves.

Once the bacon is done cooking, take the strips out and set aside. Add the diced onions and garlic to the bacon drippings.

Saute onions and garlic over low-medium heat until the onions are translucent.  Add the flour, basil, salt, bay leaf (not pictured) and cracked pepper.

By adding the flour to the bacon grease, you are making a roux, which will thicken the soup.  Combine well by stirring with a wooden spoon. It will look a little like a paste. This is a good thing. 😉

Slowly add the three cans of chicken broth. Bring this mixture to a rolling boil for two minutes, being sure to stir often.

Turn the heat back down to medium and add the cooked potatoes,

half and half,

and cheese!

Using a potato masher, 

mash those potatoes!

Keep soup on medium heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring often.

Prior to dishing up, be sure to take out the bay leaf. Dice up the bacon strips, shred some cheese and chop up some green onions to use as a garnish for your soup.

This soup was super creamy and had the most delicate flavors. A win-win in our house and got a rating of 8.

What side of the debate do you fall on? Does Jake’s writings give you a different perspective to the debate?

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2 thoughts on “Food for Thought

  1. You husband is a very wise man. Thank you for linking me to this, not only did I get a great read but a recipe too! Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

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