Using Your Talents To Help Others

I really enjoy cooking. It makes me happy - I can't say I am good at it, as there are plenty of times I make dishes and spit them out almost immediately proclaiming how disgusting they are. It's the joy of trial and error that it doesn't matter if I fail on 100 dishes, I have at least one that I truly enjoy and can feed my heart and soul with.

I enjoy cooking for others and thus had to develop awareness of my other senses as I can't taste-test the food in which I am providing to them.

A very good friend that we have essentially just adopted into the family, asked my sister and I over for a Halloween movie night. I figured, since I am off on a little mini-vacation and not working, I would give them a gift that I do not always get to have myself and that is, walking into a house with a home cooked meal!  I looked around my parents' house to see what we had an abundance of today. P.S there is always an abundance of one type of food or another as we do love our farmer's market finds which usually result in cases of food!

I found a case of butternut squash, a case of pineapple, and a very large pumpkin in which we needed to bake down.

I went with a fall favorite of chili and added my own spin to it - creating a butternut slow cooker chili. I pan roasted the onions, ground beef, and tomatoes / pepper mixture with coconut oil before placing it into the slow cooker. Then I left it on medium heat all day to prep for dinner.

Then I thought, what better to go with chili than cornbread? HMMM....pumpkin cornbread!? Why not, so I mixed everything up and backed my cute muffins tins for the drive over.

Lastly, we need a dessert for our mini-movie party!  I found a cute apple-pineapple hand pie recipe. It was pretty easy: cut up an apple and two sliced on pineapple into small pieces, pan fry with some butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until mixture is soft. We added a "touch" of rum to our mixture. Then take 8 pieces of white bread and cut them into a circular shape and flatten them (I let mom do this part as to not 100% contaminant myself). I left everything as is so that when we arrived at Chyle's we could just place the filling into the bread and pan-fry them with some more butter.

When we arrived at Chyle's that evening, I started heating the chili and baking the cornbread to discover that our night was about to have a twist to it. That is, Chyle's husband had received word that it was very likely he would be deploying much sooner than anticipated and that he would miss their second son's 1st birthday, the holidays, and much more.

They had asked for our opinions, but Mia had such a perfect way of putting it, "it wasn't fair for us to provide input as we had never been in a situation such as this". She was right, we have never been in love with someone, created a family, purchased a home and built a life with someone to know that without choice, that special someone would have to deploy at some point in time. How difficult that must be to not only miss and fear for the one you love but now also have the responsibility of an entire family, house, etc fall into your responsibility.

I felt the only thing I could provide was to reassure them that I was here (only 2 hours away) for anything and everything they might need. I was glad that we were that night to provide a nourishing meal and hugs where needed.

I spent the night thinking about how I would feel and what I would do. Wondering, am I strong enough for such a life occurrence or would I crash and burn? Do I have the support team around me that would allow for me to conquer this life event?

While I don't have the answers, I do have a profound new outlook on the lives of those that fight so nobly for our country, and for the families that they leave behind.


  1. I wish I liked to cook. Your food always sounds so amazing.

  2. Maureen, It's my zen! We could always have a cooking party date!


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