A Cranberry Salad Recipe for the Holidays

305095614_dd169d1ab0_zI don’t feature recipes on my blog very often, but there’s something about autumn, something about the holidays, that makes me want to share yummy food with you. I always try to offer soul and spirit refreshment and nourishment here, and I think a recipe can fit the bill every now and then. I don’t know about you, but something yummy has a way of refreshing my spirit!

Last autumn I shared my mom’s Old-Fashioned Dressing recipe, and this year I’d like to gift you with Mom’s Cranberry Salad recipe. It was a regular on Mom’s holiday turkey dinner menus. Mom has been gone for two years now, and we miss everything about her—including the delicious food she prepared for us all the time. So I’ll share this recipe today in honor of Mom. Hope you enjoy!

Mom’s Cranberry Salad

2 c. fresh cranberries
1 c. water
1 c. sugar

Boil for 10 minutes with lid (not too hard of a boil).

Add:

2 c. mini-marshmallows
1 pkg cherry jello dissolved in 1 c. hot water. (Add to cranberry mix after dissolved.)

Pour in serving bowl and start it to set up in the fridge.

When partially set, add:

1 c. finely chopped raw apple with peeling
1/2 c. chopped pecans.

Stir and then let it finish setting up. Keep refrigerated.

God bless as you prepare for your family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. May your celebrations include not only yummy food, but love, gratitude, and lots of great memories as well. Be refreshed this season, my friends!

“‘Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.’” Genesis 18:5

*What are some favorite items on your holiday menus?

*Flickr photo by Half Chinese, Creative Commons License

Fruit in the Land of Suffering

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“‘God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.’” Genesis 41:52b

Some of the most well-known people in the Bible knew great suffering, and Joseph is among that group. By the time he was thirty years old, he had experienced great grief and trial more extreme than many of us might experience in a lifetime.

At age seventeen, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and taken to live in Egypt, a foreign land. While serving his master, he was unjustly accused of a serious offense and thrown into prison. During his prison stay, Joseph helped one of Pharaoh’s officials and had reason to hope that this official might be able to secure his release. However, the official forgot him, and then Joseph had to endure another two years in prison.

Finally Joseph came to the attention of Pharaoh. Pharaoh was so impressed with Joseph’s God-given ability to interpret dreams that he put him in charge of all Egypt. By God’s power and blessing, Joseph went from being a slave in Egypt to being in a position of great power, second only in command to Pharaoh himself. God then went on to use Joseph to bless the entire nation of Egypt as well as the surrounding nations during a time of severe famine. Joseph remained humble, however, and gave all glory to God, saying, “‘God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.’” (Genesis 41:52b)

Many lessons can be drawn from the life of Joseph, but today let’s focus on the fact that even during times of suffering, God can use us and bless our efforts.

I’ve seen this happen in my own life. For example, during periods when Don’s mother was extremely ill, I had very little time to give to my writing. I was in a land of suffering, so to speak—a place I hadn’t chosen for myself, a place where I was frustrated by my lack of time to get pieces written and submitted. God took the little in my life, though, and blessed it. He allowed some of the few pieces I did have submitted to be accepted for publication. Another example unfolded when I was grieving my mother’s unexpected death. Years of work came to fruition as I was offered agent representation. That’s right, God blessed me with fruit in the land of my suffering.

If any of us are currently in a land of suffering, let’s be encouraged—God can make us fruitful even now. Whether physical fruit we can see and touch or spiritual and emotional fruit in our lives or the lives of those we impact, God can and will use us and bless our efforts, however small they may be. Yes, friends, he’ll make us fruitful in the land of our suffering.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

*When has God used you or blessed your efforts in a time of suffering?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early November. Sign up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by CaptPiper, Creative Commons License