Give Thanks in Difficult Times, Too

Now that the election is over, and the public airwaves are free of the hurtful and negative messages, I’m looking forward to giving thanks for my America.

No matter what happens in the four years ahead, I still have plenty to be thankful for. I have a wonderful family – parents, siblings, and a daughter. I have friends who are wonderful and supportive. And I live in a community filled with delightful people.

Leeks, apples, pumpkin, potatoes, and more in the Post Apples CSA bag.
Leeks, apples, pumpkin, potatoes, and more in the Post Apples CSA bag.

And that community is also quite bountiful. Today I picked up my weekly bag of Community Supported Agriculture produce from Post Apples CSA . It was filled with apples and potatoes and squash and leeks and, and, and … I’m thinking of soup, pumpkin bread, apple butter, and pies. Thankfully, much of the bag will keep for a while so I can enjoy some of the produce into the new year.

The weather is so delightful that I can walk every morning without boots. My garden still has snapdragons, nasturtium, and hydrangea, in addition to mums. My herbs are flourishing, with parsley, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, and sage still going strong. There are even a few stragglers among the basil.

Unplugging for the past three days has given me this appreciation that these things around me will not change because of an election. These are the fruits of my labors, and the labors of those in the field.

My friends have not changed. Nor has my family.

We are all in this together. And for that I am thankful.

The end of the election season also marks the start of Thanksgiving planning, although some of your may have been at it earlier. I had the honor to be included in a family that celebrated Thanksgiving in August. Children and grandchildren had scattered around the country, but gathered at a cottage on Lake Erie. Knowing they wouldn’t gather for the fall feast, we prepared a turkey dinner with all the trimmings served beachside.


We had a roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, squash, gravy, corn, green beans, rolls, and dessert. All served at a picnic table with a view of Lake Erie. It was quite the celebration. Nothing like being able to go for a swim after dinner!

Among my contributions (in addition to roasting the turkey using the family’s paper bag method), were the Parker House rolls. The day after Thanksgiving is when these little rolls really shine. Stuff their buttery goodness with a few pieces of turkey and your favorite leftovers – whether mashed potatoes, stuffing, or cranberry sauce – and you have perfect two- to- three-bite sandwiches. So if you do put them out on the Thanksgiving table, be sure to tuck away a few for yourself for a delectable treat the next day.

Print Recipe
Remember to Give Thanks
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 3 hours
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 3 hours
  1. Proof the yeast by dissolving in the warm water and honey. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to make sure the yeast is active (it will bubble). Melt the 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter in 2 cups of milk either on the stove top or microwave. Allow to cool so that it is warm to touch, but not scorching.
  2. Pour milk/butter and yeast mixture into the mixing bowl of a large stand mixer.
  3. Whisk 2 to 3 cups of flour with the salt. Add, 1 cup at a time, into the wet ingredients, using the paddle until fully incorporated. The dough will be wet and sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, set in a warm place, and let the dough rise till doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  4. Punch it down and add in about 2 more cups of flour, 1 cup at a time, to make a dough that can be kneaded, Turn out on a lightly floured board. Knead until velvety smooth and very elastic - this will take about 15 to 20 minutes. Press with the fingers to see if the dough is resilient. Let rest for a few minutes, then form the dough into a ball. Put into a greased bowl and turn so that the surface is thoroughly covered with butter. cover and put in a warm, draft-free place to rise again until doubled in bulk.
  5. Punch the dough down with your fist, turn out on a lightly floured board, and let rest for several minutes.
  6. Roll out to 1/2-inch thick. Cut out rounds of dough with a round 2- or 2 1/2-inch cutter, or with a water glass dipped in flour. (The odd bits of leftover dough can be reworked into a ball, rolled out, and cut.) Brush the center of each round with melted butter.
  7. Take a pencil, a chopstick, or any cylinder of similar size and make a deep indentation in the center of the circle, without breaking through the dough. Fold over one-third of each round and press down to seal. Arrange these folded rolls, seam side down, on a buttered baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart or in a muffin tin. Brush again with melted butter.
  8. Let rolls to rise until almost doubled in size. They will probably touch each other.
  9. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  10. Brush them with the egg wash. Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes, depending on size. Test one by gently tapping it on the top. If done, you will hear a very faint hollow sound. Or take one, break it open carefully, and see if it is cooked inside.
  11. Remove the rolls to a cooling rack.
Recipe Notes
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Mom, blogger, former magazine editor in who loves family, friends, good food, and adventure. She is the owner of Meadballs, LLC, which delivers farm-fresh meals she has cooked in her northwestern Pennsylvania kitchen.

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