I love reading what everyone is thankful for this time of year. Most of the social media posts I read are about being grateful for family and friends, but I also appreciate the less profound posts like this one from my sister, who has a deep love for the Magic Eraser:
“I know the package says magic, but man, they are amazing. Every time I use them I swear I stand there with my mouth wide open in wonder it truly worked! Thank you Mr. Clean!” Whatever makes you happy, right?
I don’t share it on social media, but I do make a legitimate effort to say thank you for something each day of the year. Sometimes I say thanks for the simple things I usually take for granted, like having a bed to sleep in or the convenience of a working washer and dryer in my home. Other days I remember the big things, like how grateful I am for my health and the health of my family.
Yesterday evening before the start of a yoga class, I was chatting with a friend who mentioned he just returned from a lovely cruise to the Bahamas. I did not catch all of the details, but he told a story that went like this: There was a man on the beach selling shells, and my friend observed someone offer this man a trade of two pears instead of money for a shell. My friend said that man ate both of those pears right away because, “He was hungry!”
Emphasis on hungry. Thoughts of that hungry man on the beach stayed with me throughout the class.The cynic in me says I know nothing about that man or his situation or even if the story as I interpreted it is based in reality. But the theme of appreciation for what-I-have-yet-take-for-granted spoke to me through that story.
My dad has always said the one thing he does not understand about God is how He can give some people so much, yet others so little. There certainly is an argument to be made that people make their own luck and hard work can get someone anywhere, but when I look at the circumstances some individuals are born into, that seems like a pretty tall order. Take a moment and give thanks for something good, no matter how minor, in your life. Be grateful. Be good. Enjoy.
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
2 large sweet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon butter
1 large pear, finely chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup crumbled bacon, fully cooked
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- Pierce the sweet potatoes in several places with a fork, wrap each in aluminum foil, and place the wrapped potatoes on a baking sheet.
- Bake the potatoes at 350 degrees F for approximately one hour until tender.
- While the potatoes cool, plump the dried cranberries. Place the cranberries in a bowl and pour cover them with warm water (a few will float).
- While the dried cranberries fatten up, melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the chopped pear and sauté until tender and slightly golden, about 4 minutes.
- Drain the plump cranberries and add them to the skillet along with the walnuts, bacon, ginger, and brown sugar.
- Sauté about a minute to warm, then remove from heat.
- Slit each potato lengthwise and use a fork to gently mash the pulp inside each potato.
- Mound 1 cup of the filling mixture into and onto the sweet potatoes.
- Garnish each potato with one tablespoon of crumbled feta cheese.
The amount of filling this recipe makes could easily be spread across three sweet potatoes. Simply go a bit lighter than one cup of filling per potato.