One of my happiest holiday memories comes from a time when we lived in Ohio. I am not well-known for my culinary abilities, so one year we decided to drive to the Mohican Lodge in south Ashland County. It was a beautiful place with walking trails through the woods and a view of Pleasant Hill Lake. At Thanksgiving time, they had a big buffet, with every kind of food anybody could want. Anybody but my son, Billy.
Billy, who was four the first time we went, was an extremely picky eater. Even though we gave him a little bit of different things to try, none of it struck his fancy. Finally, we hit on the perfect combination of foods, one that made him grin like last month’s Jack-o-lanterns: fresh strawberries and whipped cream.
While my husband and I dined on turkey, new potatoes, stuffing, green beans, and crusty rolls, Billy ate a big bowl of strawberries slathered in whipped cream, washed down with a tall glass of milk. When we moved on to pumpkin pie and chocolate cheesecake, he ate more strawberries, and was quite happy.
For the next two years, we continued the tradition. And every time we went, we offered Billy a variety of food, but he always went back to his staple. Always enjoyed the strawberries and whipped cream.
Billy is 18 today, and has branched out a little in his food choices. But to this day, that fruit and dairy combo reminds me of my son, and the Thanksgivings our family shared in that beautiful place.
JENNIFER ALLEE believes the most important thing a woman can do is discover her identity in God – a theme that carries throughout her stories. She’s done extensive freelance work for Concordia Publishing House, including skits, Bible activity pages, and over 100 contributions to their popular My Devotions series. Her previous novels are THE LOVE OF HIS BROTHER, (Five Star, November 2007) and THE PASTOR’S WIFE (Abingdon Press, February 2010). Her upcoming novels are THE MOTHER ROAD (April 2012) and A WILD GOOSE CHASE CHRISTMAS (November 2012) both from Abingdon Press. Jennifer lives with her husband and son in the grace-filled city of Las Vegas.