No matter how crazy life gets, how challenging certain situations become, how harried I sometimes feel, all I need to do is pause, take a look around, catch a glimpse of my amazing family, friends and associates and it hits me: I live such a blessed life. On this date, in particular, I always feel this way.
It was November 24th, more than two decades ago, on a Thanksgiving night that I headed down to the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri, with a group of long-time friends. After Thanksgiving dinner, we congregated at the old Gran’falloon to grab a drink and catch up on one another’s lives. There, in that bar, we spotted another group of friends – most of whom we’d gone to high school with. Among the group was one Marc Hammer – a guy from my graduating class who I knew of, but had never spoken to. Well, fast forward exactly 22 years later and we’ve now been married for 19 of them! We have a beyond gorgeous teenaged son. We have an amazing life. I’m so thankful that I went out with my friends that night in 1994… that I fell into conversation with Marc… that we continue to count our blessings.
I implore you, take a moment today to do the same. Pause and take a look around. Be sure to think of at least three things for which you are grateful. And, whatever you do, don’t let the turkeys get you down. Stand up tall and let out a big “Gobble. Gobble. Gobble!” Happy Thanksgiving!
Special Note: One year to the day after we’d met, Marc and I went on day one of our three-day first date. My mom drove us both to the airport to catch our respective flights – he was headed back to Chicago, I to New York. Before he headed to gate, we embraced and I gave him a little homemade gift prepared by my Nanny Rosie Carr… a candy turkey! I’m pretty sure that’s why he fell in love with me… for my grandmother’s baked goods! So, it’s with great pleasure that I share with you the recipe for making your own Thanksgiving candy turkeys… who knows, they may make someone fall in love with you, too!
- Oreo Cookies (2 per turkey)
- Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, unwrapped (1 per turkey)
- Malted milk balls (1 per turkey)
- Candy Corn (5.5 per turkey)
- Tube icing, for decorating (good colors to consider: white, black, red, yellow)
For each turkey…
- Separate one Oreo. You may discard (that’s code for eat!) the half without the cream center. Place the half with the filling, cream side up, as the foundation for your turkey. (Note: According to the Oreo, “To easily separate cookies, refrigerate for 15 min. before carefully twisting cookie top from cookie bottom so that the cream remains entirely on one half of the cookie. Use a knife to smooth filling if necessary.”)
- Place an unwrapped mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup on its side in the center of the cream filling.
- Behind the Peanut Butter cup, put a full Oreo cookie on its side, also in the cream filling foundation. Note: You can use a little tube frosting to hold the Peanut Butter Cup and Oreo in place.
- Around the top of the vertically placed Oreo, fill place 5 candy corns, point side in, to form the feathers of the turkey.
- On top of the Peanut Butter cup, place a malted milk ball (again, hold it in place with some tube frosting). This is the turkey’s head.
- Trim off the fattest part of one candy corn… the tip that remains is the turkey’s beak. Glue it on the malted milk ball, point side down.
- Decorate your turkey with tube frosting… you can add eyes, a gobbler and feet if you like!
- Enjoy with friends and family!