Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

The good news is that the Thanksgiving menu written out more than two weeks ago hasn't changed. Altering or tinkering with as well as adding to the menu is almost unheard of in my world. Being in the grocery store (almost daily), looking through current or old issues of food magazines, and continuing to spend time going through all of the fall cookbooks I have purchased thus far, can sometimes make me second guess or sway me into changing my menu. With the exception of possibly making another dessert to drop off as a surprise Thanksgiving gift for a friend, I am going to stay focused, for once.

I thought it would be fun to put together a Thanksgiving menu post this year, but realized there are several things I will be making for this year's Thanksgiving dinner I have yet to share on the blog. However, there is a silver lining here. The Boursin Spinach Gratin, Sweet Potato Casserole and Wendy's Mashed Potatoes are all perfect dinner party or holiday dishes, ones that pair incredibly well with main dishes other than turkey. Hopefully I will not be so wild and crazed making the 'dinner' that I will be unable to capture a few photos to share in the weeks ahead. Wish me luck. 

To go along with the pre-dinner cocktails and wine, this year's appetizers will be the Chicken Liver Pate with Pickled Shallots and Pounded Cheese with Port Syrup and Walnuts, both recipes coming from two of my favorite new cookbooks (The New Midwestern Table and A Boat, a Whale and a Walrus).

In order to give me enough time to make the gravy, I thought Yotam Ottolenghi's Roasted Onion Salad with Walnut Salsa would be the prefect prelude to the dinner. This salad may be one of my favorite recipes coming out of his new cookbook Plenty More.

Hands down the Spiced Cranberry and Dried Cherry Chutney is my favorite way to bring cranberries to the Thanksgiving table. I happen to someone who loves cranberries so I am showing some restraint by having only 'one' cranberry dish. Having made many cranberry sauces and chutneys over the years, this is the one that gets rave reviews. It also becomes a perfect condiment for those turkey and stuffing sandwiches on white bread. You know the ones we all crave the day after Thanksgiving. Having leftovers is the proverbial icing on the cake and one of the many reasons I love to cook for this holiday.

It shouldn't be too much of a surprise that there is always more than one dessert on the holiday table here. For the traditionalists, it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without a pumpkin pie. And we happen to really like pumpkin pie (once you have a great one you would really like it too!). This one happens to live up to the greatness expectation. And to take the Bruleed Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Swirl up another notch I thought I would serve it with Rococo's Sweet Cream Ice Cream (that amazing Maine ice cream ordered a couple of weeks ago). Fortunately the ice cream has remained 'safe' in the freezer as the certain someone with an ice cream obsession has been traveling.

Ending a meal without a little bit of chocolate would be akin to serving stuffed cabbage as the main course for Thanksgiving. In other words, the entire meal, no the entire holiday would be ruined (it has been decades but I am still recovering from the Thanksgiving meal without turkey). The S'mores Fudge Tart should be what I hope everyone will want a slice (or two) of, no matter how full from dinner they are. Besides being wickedly scrumptious, none of Thanksgiving guests have ever had this tart before. I can hardly wait for them to taste it. Oh, the anticipation.

For all of my excitement over Thanksgiving, one thing I know for sure. There is so much more to this holiday than the meal. It is the one day simply about giving, gratefulness, and gratitude. On the other 364 days of the year we can easily get caught up in 'life' and forget to appreciate all of the blessings that come to us, maybe the most important of these coming from friendships. People who come into and stay in our lives because they want to and because they get as much or more out of the friendship as they put into it. 

In this past year, I have reconnected with several friends, people who I let slip out of my life for awhile, sometimes even for a very long while (mostly because I let my life get in the way). More than being thankful for having them back in my life, I am even more grateful they let me back in. So while I will be spending a significant amount of time on making what I hope will be a memorable dinner this Thanksgiving, remembering that enduring, memorable friendships also require an investment of time and attention will not get lost on me. 

Wishing you all a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving. See you after the holiday!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hummingbird Cake

"A great many things can be resolved with kindness, even more with laughter, but there are some things that just require cake" was a quote I discovered on a card years ago. It made me think how great life would be if all conflicts or misunderstandings really could simply be resolved with cake, preferably one homemade, but not necessarily made with chocolate. Whether or not cake could have such healing powers, I thought at least life would be so much more delicious.

Initially I set out to make a banana cake with chocolate ganache frosting this week but then remembered there was a cake I had been wanting to make for really long time. A dense, moist cake lathered with a rich cream cheese frosting. Not a carrot cake, not a spice cake, but a hummingbird cake.

Up until reading an article in Cook's Illustrated I had believed a Hummingbird Cake was either a Southern invention confection or American in origin. If someone claimed this cake originated in Jamaica, was served on Air Jamaica in the early 1970s, and was initially published under the name of doctorbird (the name of Jamaica's hummingbird) cake, I would have thought he/she had a very active imagination. Much to my surprise, he/she would not be delusional but actually have the facts right. The 'birthplace' of the hummingbird cake really is Jamaica. However, the popularity of this cake here in the states is largely attributed to the recipe for "Hummingbird Cake" published in Southern Living (1978) as submitted by Mrs. L.H. Wiggins from Greensboro, North Carolina (I can't help but wonder if she based her version of the recipe on the one published by the Kingston Gleaner seven years earlier).

Why does it seem like forever when you are waiting for bananas to ripen? I could have put them in a brown paper bag along with an apple or a tomato to speed up the ripening process, but thought I would patiently allow them to ripen all on their own naturally. The sweetness of a banana increases as it ripens, thus really ripe bananas create more flavorful cakes and breads. So whether you are making banana bread, a banana cake, or a hummingbird cake, you want really ripe bananas.

There are many ways to mash bananas (the most common being using a fork as the 'masher'). But With Thanksgiving approaching I thought I would try using the potato ricer to get them as creamy as possible (a technique suggested by another food blogger). Chunkier versus creamier mashed bananas causes the cake to be 'mushy' and results in a cake with a limited banana flavor. While it was a little messy, the potato ricer created a perfect creamy banana mash.

Like quick breads, this is a 'mixed by hand' cake. Using a spatula, the wet ingredients are added to the dry ingredients and stirred just until just combined. Again, over mixing could lead to a 'tougher' cake or one not having a tender crumb.

Most recipes for the Hummingbird cake call for using eight or nine inch round cake pans or a 9"x12" rectangular pan (baking times for those pans are provided in the directions below). However, I wanted this to be a tall cake (and one with a little bit more of a wow factor), so I used three 6" cake pans. 

In a preheated 350 degree oven the six inch cakes baked for almost 45 minutes. Actually the baking time was somewhere between 40 and 50 minutes, however, as I kept adding additional time in small increments I wasn't keeping track. Use either the toothpick inserted in the center of the cake (it should come out clean) or pressing lightly on the top of the cake (it should spring back) to test for doneness.

Because I wanted each of the cake layers to be flat, I used a serrated knife to cut the 'dome' of two of the cake layers. To ensure that crumbs would not get into the frosting, each of the layers was inverted so the 'baked' side was up and 'cut' side was down. Note: I did not cut the bottom cake layer, but inverted it on the cake stand. 

After frosting between each of the layers, frost the sides and top of the cake using a cake spatula (for a smooth finish) or a pastry bag (for a fancier design). How you finish the cake is all about personal preference and the options are endless.

Instead of chopping additional pecans to decorate the sides or top of the cake, I decided to use pecan halves to create a flower-like design (inspiration for the design came from Swedish food blogger Linda Lomelino). I loved the simplicity of this design, however, the next time I finish a cake with this look, I will chill the cake slightly before dragging the skewer through the cream cheese frosting.

If you have anyone in your family or any friends who love the flavors of banana and pineapple, you need to make this cake for them. The finished three layer Hummingbird Cake had the 'wow' factor I was going for. There is something attention getting, appetite wetting, and compelling about a tall six inch three layer cake (this could be why the cakes made at or in the style of Momofuku's Milk Bar bakery in New York are so popular).

With Thanksgiving next week, most everyone will be serving pies or tarts for dessert (and I will be too). Cakes don't always seem to take center stage on Thanksgiving, particularly where dessert traditions are strongly tied to pies. Unless it would cause anyone in your family to have a meltdown on Thanksgiving (some families have strong holiday meal expectations), why not add to the array of dessert choices and make this cake too? And if you just also happen to be celebrating someone's birthday over the Thanksgiving holiday, wouldn't it be nice to celebrate their day with a cake, a homemade cake, a Hummingbird cake? On the remote possibility that conflicts or misunderstandings happen during your family Thanksgivings, it might be worth seeing if there really was healing power in cake to resolve them. But if there wasn't, at least there would be a deliciously sweet ending to the day.

Hummingbird Cake (adaptation of Joy of Baking's Hummingbird Cake recipe)

3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups mashed bananas (from 4 to 5 really ripe bananas)
8 ounce can of crushed pineapple (do not drain, use the juice)
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped (plus additional toasted pecan halves for finishing)

Cream Cheese Frosting
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectionary sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of sea salt (or kosher salt)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking pans with vegetable spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
3. Add lightly beaten eggs and vegetable oil to dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.
4. Add crushed pineapple, mashed banana, and toasted pecans. Gently stir until all ingredients are combined.
5. Divide batter equally among baking pans. Note: Recommend weighing cake pans if using more than one pan.
6. For 6 inch round pans, bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until cake is done. For 8 or 9 inch pans, bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
7. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting. Note: Can place cooled cakes in the refrigerator before frosting.
8. To make the frosting, whip cream cheese, butter, confectionary sugar, vanilla and pinch of salt until mixture is smooth and creamy.
9. Place frosting on each of the cake layers before frosting the sides and top of the cake. Note: The options for the frosting finish are endless. For this cake, I used the end of a skewer to create lines on the side of the cake and concentric circles on the top of the cake. Would recommend allowing the cake to chill slightly before dragging skewer through the icing.
10. Serve immediately or place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. If refrigerated, allow to sit out at least 20 minutes before cutting and serving.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cranberry Nut Bread

I have come to realize that basements and attics are not my friends. Instead they conspire to keep me from throwing things away or at least make it easier for me to procrastinate on making the throw away/sell/give away decisions. Over the years I have, with much reluctance and some remorse, thrown away many cooking magazines, however, I cannot seem to be able to part with my back issues of Fine Cooking, Cook's Illustrated and Saveur. For me these are the magazines that have taught me the most about cooking, significantly added to my knowledge about food, and have been sources of inspiration. Even in this day and age of the searchability and accessibility of recipes on the internet, nothing replaces the experience of leafing through a back issue of a food magazine (and not every recipe printed in every magazine has an accessible electronic version).

As I was trying to reduce the clutter and chaos I have created in the basement, my stream of thoughts went something like this, 'when is the last time you went through those boxes containing old issues of food magazines?', 'how many of the recipes in those magazines are you really ever going to make?', 'how many of those recipes do you really want to make?',  and 'even if you made one recipe a week from all of those magazines how many decades or rather centuries would that take?' As I was on the cusp of a moment of rationality and on the verge of making decluttering progress, I came across a recipe for a Cranberry Nut Bread in a back issue of Cook's Illustrated. Not just any Cranberry Nut Bread recipe, but 'the best Cranberry Nut Bread' recipe. Finding a recipe with the words 'cranberry' and 'best' in them was enough to convince me to hold on to those back issues. Not to mention that I suddenly I found a reason to justify the purchase of some small loaf pans I picked up at an estate sale. So much for having a moment of rationality.

In addition to using cranberries to make the (best ever) Spiced Cranberry and Dried Cherry Chutney and (insanely delicious) Nantucket Cranberry Pie, I had found another recipe to put my love of cranberries to good use.

Whenever cranberries come into season I cannot walk through the produce aisle without either putting a bag in my cart or just admiring their deep red color (my affinity for the color red is due in large part to the colors of a school district I had once worked in, one having an Indian as a mascot). In a sea of mostly greens, yellows and a little bit of orange, red cranberries reign as one of the most beautiful, versatile, deliciously tart autumnal fruits.

To coarsely chop the cranberries for the bread I used a small food processor. After measuring one and one half cups of cranberries, I processed them them batches to ensure they were not liquified or finely minced. You can easily chop them with a knife, but the food processor worked well.

Like in many cranberry recipes, the orange plays a critical supporting role. In the list of ingredients in this 'best' recipe, only one orange was listed. But for whatever reason, I needed two Valencia oranges to get 1/3 cup of orange juice (sometimes it is a good thing when I buy more than what I need). In addition to the juice from the oranges, the bread contains one tablespoon of orange zest. The combination of the tart cranberries and sweetness of the oranges makes for a bread with great flavor.

Like most 'quick' breads, this bread also comes together in a bowl (no need to bring out the mixer). The wet ingredients are combined with the dry ingredients just until the entire mixture is moistened and no streaks of flour can be seen. The coarsely chopped cranberries and toasted pecans are then gently mixed in. Over mixing a 'quick' bread results in a somewhat tough and without a tender crumb bread due to too much gluten in the flour. Note: While the Cook's Illustrated called for using toasted pecans, toasted walnuts and even pistachios would pair well with the cranberries.

After spraying the small loaf pans with vegetable spray and lining them with parchment paper, the batter was divided equally among them. Whenever I am dividing a batter between two or more pans I always weigh them to ensure uniformity in baking.

The breads are first baked for 20 minutes in a 375 degree preheated oven. The oven temperature is then reduced to 350 degrees and they continue to bake until lightly golden or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. For the smaller loaf pans, the breads baked for an additional 20 minutes. However, if using a 9"x5" pan, the cranberry nut bread will continue to bake upwards of 40-45 minutes.

This is a dense, moist bread. I added some sparkling sugar on top of the breads before placing them in the oven (for some added crunch and a little bit of sparkle), however, they would be equally delicious without it (although maybe just a little less pretty). This is one of those breads so flavorful and scrumptious (the kind where you want more than one slice) all on its own, a schmear of butter or cream cheese would actually ruin it.

In a season where everyone is making pumpkin or banana bread, the Cranberry Nut Bread is a refreshing change. Whether you are making it to enjoy at home or packaging it up to gift friends and neighbors, it should definitely be one of the breads you make while cranberries are still in season. It might end up being declared the 'best' cranberry nut bread by more than just me and Cook's Illustrated. And hopefully you will be as happy as I am that I hung on to my 1999 issue while still managing to  reduce the clutter and chaos in the basement and throwing away quite a few 'they shall remain nameless' magazines.

Cranberry Nut Bread (adapted from the Cook's Illustrated Cranberry Nut-Bread recipe, 1999)

1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (used 2 Valencia medium sized oranges)
1 Tablespoon grated orange zest
2/3 cup buttermilk
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, measured first then coarsely chopped
1/2 cup pecans, toasted then coarsely chopped (toasted walnuts or pistachios would work as well)
Optional: White Sanding Sugar for finishing

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line three 3.5"x6" pans or one 9"x5" pan with parchment paper, spraying sides and bottom of pan with vegetable spray. Set aside.
2. Coarsely chop cranberries (if using a food processor, chop in batches). Set aside.
3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together buttermilk, orange juice, orange zest, melted butter and egg until combined. Set aside.
4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula stir until just moistened. Stir in cranberries and pecans (be careful to not over mix).
6. Divide equally into the three pans or pour all batter into a single pan. Liberally sprinkle sparkling sugar, if using. 
7. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook for an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until top is golden and a toothpick inserted into center of pan comes out clean. Important note: If baking in a 9"x5" loaf pan, baking time will be an additional 40 to 45 minutes.
8. Cool bread in pan(s) for at least 10 minutes, then transfer bread to wire rack to cool at least one hour before cutting.

Cape Neddick Lighthouse in York, Maine (photo taken in September 2014).

Gay Head Lighthouse in Aquinnah, Massachusetts, Martha's Vineyard (photo taken in September 2014)

Portland Headlight Lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine (photo taken in the fall, 2013)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Roasted Onion Arugula Salad with Walnut Salsa

This past week I had dinner with a sorority sister I had not seen in decades. While we lived in relative close proximity to one another, our life paths never seemed to intersect. Yet in spite of this, along with our different life experiences, and the fact that we have both aged (gracefully of course), the person sitting across the table from me was still the same person that had sat across the table from me at 'house' dinners way back when. As we were seated at one of those 'community' tables, I couldn't help but laugh as this wasn't any different than dinner at a community table in the sorority house. Well, okay it was a little different. The food was better (homemade guacamole and fish tacos worth driving a hundred miles for were not sorority house fare) and alcoholic beverages replaced glasses of milk (if anyone in the house had alcohol at the dinner table I would have been clueless at the time). As corny or cliche as this may seem, there really are some bonds formed in our lives that never break, no matter how much the same or different two people may be and no matter how much time passes.

In the million different conversations we had during dinner, we discovered we both had a passion for sharing our love of food with others (she as a former caterer, me as a food blogger), were inspired by Martha Stewart (we probably could have but didn't recall in detail those early Martha Stewart holiday specials), and remembered the pre-Food Network and Cooking Channel days when there were only a handful of cooking shows on television.

As much as I would like to believe I can recall both recent and past events with great clarity, it was somewhat amusing when I received not one, but two copies of Yotam Ottolenghi''s newest cookbook "Plenty More". Apparently getting on the computer in the middle of a sleepless night causes one to repeat actions taken during more fully awake moments. (Note to self: Stay off the computer at three in the morning.) Rather than send one back, I gave one of the cookbooks to my sister as an early birthday present (because her birthday falls just days after Christmas and I don't always give it the fanfare she deserves). Separately we both seemed to be intrigued by several of the same recipes. Not only did she make Ottolenghi's Red Onions with Walnut Salsa before I did, so did Food52.

When I first saw the recipe for this salad I thought it would be a perfect start for this year's Thanksgiving dinner. Normally I don't make a salad for Thanksgiving (too many sides, too many desserts preoccupy my mind and time), but there was just something about this salad that made me rethink the menu, rethink serving a salad. Let me be so bold as to say now the Roasted Onion Arugula Salad with Walnut Salsa is a perfect salad to pretty much start any meal, not just for Thanksgiving. I go even further and say that arugula, parsley, and roasted red onions lightly dressed with a chile walnut salsa (to give it some 'bite') and topped with goat cheese might even be a perfect salad. Leave it to Ottolenghi to create another masterpiece, another genius recipe. Maybe I should be so surprised that this  was one of the recipes in the book that captured the attention of others as well.

I love red onions, but I love them even more roasted as they transform into bites of incredible, addictive, just the right amount of sweetness deliciousness. When the fall arrives, the quality of red onions available at the markets and grocery stores makes a noticeable shift even though red onions can be found year round.

Ottolenghi's recipe suggests the onions to be cut into 3/4" rings and baked in a preheated 425 degree oven for 40 minutes. Mine were cut into approximately 1/2" rings and were perfectly baked at 40 minutes. Before going into the preheated oven, the red onions are lightly brushed with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt and black pepper.

Ottolenghi refers to the dressing as a salsa. Toasted walnuts, a finely diced chile, red wine vinegar, extra-virgin and salt are an unexpected combination of ingredients resulting in an unexpected refreshing 'dressing'. Using a red jalapeño instead of a red chile and toasting the walnuts were the changes made to the salsa. The red jalapeño had some heat, but not so much that it was a distraction. When choosing which red chile to use based on how much 'heat' you like, a pepper scale may help you decide. You will see my 'heat' tolerance is on the lower side.

Most salad dressings have a 3 to 1 olive oil to vinegar ratio, however, Ottolenghi reverses this ratio. Three tablespoons of red wine vinegar and one tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil create a dressing or 'salsa' that is just the right amount of tart. Allow the 'salsa' to marinate while the red onions roast to allow the flavors to fully develop.

Arugula and parsley pair perfectly with the roasted red onions. I increased the amount of arugula to two cups (instead of one) but did not proportionately increase the amount of parsley (but will the next time). There was just enough of the salsa for the increased amount of arugula, however, should I increase the amount of arugula even more the amount of salsa will need to slightly increase. This salad is not heavily dressed in the salsa and it shouldn't be or the flavors of the greens and roasted red onions will get lost. Besides who wants an overdressed salad?

There can be such a thing as the overuse of an ingredient, like kale (when will this overuse of an ingredient come to an end?). And goat cheese may also be one of the ingredients often accused of being one of them. There are times when goat cheese compliments a dish (like this salad) and times when it doesn't (like any dish having a strong lemon flavor). The creaminess of the goat cheese helps to balance out all of the flavors of the salad. Don't even think of replacing the goat cheese with any other cheese.

After a very light salting of the greens, I used about 1/3 of the salsa to dress the arugula before adding the warm roasted onions. The remaining 2/3's of the salsa was spread over the red onions and greens followed by topping with crumbled goat cheese. Ottolenghi doesn't just create dishes delicious to eat, he makes them beautiful to look at.

I am pretty confident my family and friends will be happy to see (and taste) this Roasted Onion Arugula Salad with Walnut Salsa on the Thanksgiving table and even happier that my change to the holiday menu doesn't include something made with kale (can you guess we have never jumped on this bandwagon?). After the appetizers, this salad will awaken everyone's palates, the surprise reprieve needed before the rich, heavy Thanksgiving meal that lies ahead. I didn't think it was possible for my anticipation for Thanksgiving to increase any more. But the Roasted Onion Arugula Salad with Walnut Salsa may have done just that.
Roasted Onion Arugula Salad with Walnut Salsa (slight adaptation to Yotam Ottolenghi's Red Onions with Walnut Salsa recipe from his newest cookbook Plenty More)

4 medium red onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rings (about three rings per onion)
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
black pepper
2 cups of arugula (original recipe called for one cup)
1 cup of chopped flat leaf parsley (original recipe called for 1/2 cup)
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

2/3 cups walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 red jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped (about 3-4 Tablespoons) - original recipe called for a red chile
2 cloves of garlic, crushed (original recipe called for 1 clove)
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place sliced onions on baking sheet, brush with extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and some black pepper. Roast for approximately 40 minutes or until onions are cooked and have browned lightly. Set aside to cook briefly.
3. While onions are roasting, put all of the salsa ingredients in a small bowl, stir and set aside (keep at room temperature).
4. On a large platter, toss together the arugula and parsley. Sprinkle very lightly with kosher or sea salt. Toss greens with 1/3 of the salsa.
5. Place roasted onions on top of partially mixed greens. Spread remaining 2/3's of the salsa over the onions and greens. Top with crumbled goat cheese.
6. Serve immediately.

"Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Philippians 4:8 King James Version). I first heard those words in college. While there may be some things that I really have forgotten, these words have stayed with me. Reconnecting with a college friend and with the Thanksgiving holiday almost upon us reminded me how timeless and how simple, yet how profound these words are.