A Gift for You In the Spirit of Christmas

Several appreciative readers have told me that my thought-provoking Substack commentaries here are a gift to them. They said that getting them to have a new perspective on the societal issues I cover (education, election integrity, energy matters, etc.) has been interesting and informative. In any case, it has inspired them to get more involved in their community on these issues — which benefits us all.

That said, in the spirit of Christmas, I will add something more.

Since we eat several times every day, the significance of food is something we can forget to think critically about. Having a quality meal can provide multiple important benefits. For example: 1) we feel better, 2) it improves our health, 3) it provides an ideal setting to be able to discuss family matters, current events, etc., and 4) it establishes tradition (e.g., good memories), etc. (For more see this and this.)

Special holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc.) are times when we tend to think more about food, but I’ve been blessed with a wife (Elaine) who makes me special meals several times a week, all year! She is a gourmet chef — even though if you tell her that she adamantly denies it. She looks at herself as a farmer’s daughter, just making a good effort to have tasty, nutritious meals.

Some cooks are specialists (e.g., bakers), but she continually produces quality results whether it is Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner (hors d’oeuvres, salads, entrees, sides, desserts, etc.). People who experience these firsthand often ask me why I’m not 50 pounds overweight! (The answer is that I’m an active person, burning off those calories.)

I appreciate this blessing even more, as most of this is now in the past. Elaine has Parkinson’s (plus more), and is now unable to stand unassisted for more than a few minutes. Further, her hands have major tremors, so she has difficulty even holding a fork. For example, I’ve recently had to cut up the food on her plate for her.

Our meals now come from Factor, grocery stores, local meal providers, restaurant takeouts, etc. These have generally been very good. That said, they rarely have the quality and pizzazz of her prior culinary efforts.

Since she could see the end in sight, her birthday gift to me this year was a hard-cover binder, with over twenty of her best recipes printed out on special, decorative paper. What a treasure! (FYI, she came by these recipes from multiple places: family, friends, good cookbooks, experimenting, etc.)

My gift to you is that I will share three sample recipes of hers for you to enjoy with your family. I know some people relish (note the pun) tweaking a recipe. Please do NOT change it the first time! If you can’t help yourself on subsequent productions, I understand.

Recipe #1 is a morning celebration drink (e.g., great before a special breakfast): Orange Frost. Although it has no alcohol, you’ll likely want seconds…

Recipe #2 is a salad of sorts: Bing Cherry Jell-O. Whenever she serves this I tell her to skip the dessert, as I’ll just have more of this…

Recipe #3 is a vegetable side: Veg-all Casserole. Something illegal must be going on here, as vegetables are just not supposed to taste this good.

Savor and enjoy while keeping the Christ in Christmas.

©2023. John Droz, Jr. All rights reserved.

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