Anticipating the Thanksgiving holiday, I purchased a frozen turkey last week. Stowing it in my freezer was made possible only by some rearranging. As I set things out of their cold storage spot, I kept reminding myself to make sure to put them back when the turkey found its temporary residence.
My freezer is in the basement laundry room, which is where I enter the house from the garage. Turkey taken care of, I carried other groceries upstairs to put them away. That is when I remembered an item I had forgotten to return to the freezer. Back downstairs I went, thanking the Lord for reminding me of said item. Upstairs again, I finished putting away the rest of my purchases. Then I thought of a whole chicken that needed to go back “home.” “Thank you, Lord, for the reminder!” I prayed as I descended the stairs again.
I was quite pleased with myself for managing to return everything to the freezer. There have been too many times that I have gone downstairs the day after re-arranging it and found something melted and ruined; I was determined that was not going to happen this time.
The next morning, I carried a basket of laundry downstairs. I also needed to put something in the freezer. I spotted a bag of cherries lying on the floor, completely thawed and very shriveled. I recalled noticing a slit in the bag the day before; I intended to put the cherries in a different container. Cherry juice soaked the rug in front of the freezer. As I moved a pack of bottled water, I noticed red liquid on the stack of coolers sitting beside the freezer. I remembered setting the cherries on top of them; when the cherries melted, the bag tumbled down to the floor. There was juice between the coolers, which were different sizes. I took the top one off and set it on the floor; it leaned over sideways, and cherry juice ran out of it.
As I cleaned up the mess (who would have thought a gallon bag of cherries would produce so much juice), I found myself thanking God each time I discovered more places that had been infiltrated by sticky liquid. I could imagine what would have happened if I had not found the juice inside the cooler. Even though it meant more work at the time, it saved a whole lot of labor (and maybe a ruined cooler) later.
I can remember times when an incident like this would leave me frustrated and fuming. Instead, I am grateful for the way it all worked out, which means my effort to find reasons to be thankful in every situation is paying off. It has been a gradual change, and I still have a long way to go; however, things are looking up (and saying, “Thank you!”).
Need help with leftover turkey or ham? I tried a couple of recipes recently with that in mind:
Crunchy Turkey Casserole
2 (10-3/4 ounce) cans cream of celery soup, undiluted (may use mushroom)
1/2 cup milk or chicken broth
4 cups cubed, cooked turkey (or chicken)
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and halved
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2-1/2 to 3 cups chow mein noodles
1/2 cup slivered almonds (optional)
In large bowl, combine soup and milk. Stir in turkey, celery, onion, water chestnuts, and soy sauce. Transfer to a greased 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with noodles and almonds (if desired). Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Broccoli Ham Ring
2 (8 ounce) tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
1-1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup fully cooked ham, diced
1-1/4 cups chopped fresh broccoli (steam slightly)
1 small onion, chopped and sautéed until beginning to soften
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoons dried)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Unroll crescent roll dough and place triangles on a 12-inch pizza pan, forming a ring with pointed ends facing outer edge of pan and wide ends overlapping. Lightly press wide ends together.
Combine remaining ingredients; spoon over wide ends of rolls. Fold points over filling and tuck under wide ends (filling will be visible). Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.