My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Therapeutic Thanksgiving

I love to cook.  Someone asked me on Thanksgiving, this year, if I was a therapeutic cooker.  I suppose I am. 

I love getting my hands dirty cutting fresh fruit and vegetables.  The dicing of a million tomatoes for a fresh spaghetti sauce.  The smell of garlic and onions grilling in a pan.  The special dance that Gracie does when she is helping cook something she knows is going to be "sweet".  I love kneading bread dough until my arms ache knowing that it will only be that much softer when it's out of the oven.  I love the sights.  The colors.  The smells. 
This Thanksgiving, I took the day off to prepare for our Thanksgiving day feast, knowing that we would have almost 50 people over for our big day.  After a delicious meal of chicken noodle soup and apple fritters (thanks to Stacy), Kathy and I prepared pies, apple and pumpkin, the night before.  Smells of cinnamon apples drifting through the kitchen with a little Micheal Buble Christmas, was just thing to put me in the Thanksgiving mood.
A batch of pumpkin cinnamon rolls were rolled up, baked, and frosted with a caramel frosting, ready for the breakfast of champions Thanksgiving day.
Thanksgiving day, I woke up excited for the feast, knowing that about 10 hours of cutting, peeling, baking, were ahead of me.  I put the YGAP team to work peeling sweet potatoes and potatoes.  We chatted and told stories, while I mixed up a batch of bread dough for rolls (ahhh...love the smell of yeast as it begins to work its magic!).  We listened to Christmas music as the turkeys were brined and ready for the oven.  Lydia and Lucy popped in throughout the day to taste and smell and see the goodies being whipped up.  They cut and prepped and helped with everything, lightening the load and enjoying the new foods we were whipping up (the rolls were especially a hit!).
By 5:00 pm, our friends had all gathered, the turkeys were perfect, the food set out (along with about 20 POUNDS of mashed potatoes...we overestimated on the potatoes a bit!), and it was time to taste.
Half the fun of cooking is to see the faces of those enjoying the foods.  And enjoy we did.  We stuffed ourselves silly with green bean casserole, sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top, mashed potatoes and gravy, turkey, salad, rolls, and more.  It was a holiday meal for 50 (though we could have probably fed 100 with that mound of mashed potatoes!). 
So, though I took the day off of work from the school, and even if I was on my feet for the majority of the day, walking back and forth from our outside bread oven where everything was cooking up, it was a therapeutic day.  A joy.  Family, fun, laughter, food...the makings of a great holiday!  Oh, and dancing.  You can't forget the dancing!

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