In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued an historic document that started with the following words:
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.
The Proclamation continues:
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.
President Lincoln has set the day apart for us by making it a National Holiday – great! But he also requested that we observe it, and how do we do that? By eating lots of turkey and stuffing – not the turkey but our own bellies! – with “the blessing of fruitful fields? Somehow I doubt that this is what he had in mind. Among other news reports today, I heard two that stuck in my mind as a sheer stark contrast.
A young man ambushed, shot, and killed a police officer in San Antonio, Texas. When arrested, he said, “I am sorry.” He then explained that he was angry after a child custody hearing. He was mad at a judge who ruled not in his favor, and so he “took it out on those who didn’t deserve it.” Are you getting it? It was definitely premeditated murder; he killed a man, an officer of law, and all he could say was “sorry”? It left me speechless, but fortunately, this outrage was immediately followed by a story about a waiter who received a $750 tip on a bill of a little over $120 with a note “Hopefully, you can get back to Ireland for the holidays.” A random act of kindness committed in Houston, Texas, has spread waves of goodness and love across the world.
Granted, not everyone can spare this much money, but how many opportunities do we encounter every day to do something for others without a great expense? We are all His children, which means that we are all brothers (well, some of us are sisters), and to show our gratitude to our Father, don’t we have to demonstrate that we have learned and are implementing His values: love, goodness, kindness to our fellow human beings and to the rest of His creations?
Please take a few minutes to listen to a renown psychologist and a captivating speaker Dr Leo Buscaglia. Hopefully, it will help you get into the spirit of Thanksgiving!
Whether you are cooking a turkey or a Tofurky, the message of this holiday is the same: to give thanks for our bounty, physical and spiritual, by sharing it with others and having the courage to do it in a myriad of different ways.
This is a recipe for a stuffed turkey breast, rather than a traditional whole turkey. You can use the same combination of flavorings and the same stuffing for a whole turkey, but you’ll have to brine it, bake it in the oven, and baste it. All this is avoided by using a crock pot, especially since we don’t really stuff ourselves with turkey, what’s with all the other goodies on the table! It does look and smell heavenly, though, as befitting this holiday.
- 1 bone-in turkey breast (3 – 4 lb)
- 1/4 cup softened Smart Balance or any other NOT butter
- 1/4 cup sweet red wine
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 – 4 large garlic cloves, squeezed
- 1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon fresh chopped basil
- 2 -3 sprigs of thyme
- 2 – 3 sprigs of sage
- Fill turkey breast cavity with stuffing (for recipe, please click here).
- Combine the rest of ingredients, except thyme and sage, mix well.
- Place turkey breast into crock pot, brush with mixture. Arrange thyme and sage sprigs on top.
- Cover crock pot, cook until tender (4 – 6 hours on high, 8 – 10 hours on low).
Have a very happy Thanksgiving – enjoy!