Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.                        1 Thessalonians 5:1

Thanksgiving used to be my favorite holiday of the year. I guess that shows I was a foodie, even as a youngster. My grandmother, known as “Lonnie B,” hosted the big dinner for many years and prepared the same buttery dishes each year. Consistency was her trademark. Once I witnessed her dump an entire cheesecake from the oven into the garbage and start over again because why? It had a crack.

Call her “OCD;” call her a perfectionist. All I knew as a child was I could count on her to make the same delicious dishes each year and I would not be disappointed. The rest of the year, however, it was a daily gamble at my own home. I don’t mean we starved though.

My mother, born and raised in Baton Rouge, had a mostly “Laissez les bon temps roulez” attitude about cooking. “Let the good times roll” to her meant, “Don’t think too hard about cooking. Just wing it!” That translated as, “Wait until you feel inspired to prepare dinner. If inspiration never strikes, then microwave whatever raw produce and meat is on hand; add Tony’s Cajun Seasoning.”

I joke this is what drove me to culinary school, but much deeper reflection reveals God’s sanctifying flag flying over our home on those disappointing evenings. I admit, I did not give thanks in those circumstances, but now I can. I understand God’s gift of food is much bigger. It points to a deeper communion with Him…a taste that trumps even the finest food we can imagine. I learned my hope lies in His consistency, not ultimately possible in others. Jesus did not wing it when he came to save us. He perfectly satisfied God’s wrath by dying in our place, atoning for our sins, and rising from the dead. He now invites us to sit with Him at the feast of all feasts.

I truly have the best mother, but her creative talents show up in other places so I leave you a recipe from Lonnie B instead – a nostalgic pie from holiday’s past. If you mess it up, by all means, do not throw it away or be embarrassed to serve it! Gladly enjoy and celebrate, for it makes us hungry for Christ’s perfection!  ~Lauren

Chocolate Icebox Pie

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

1/3 cup flour

4 tablespoons butter

2 cups whole milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 9-inch baked pie crust

Freshly whipped heavy cream (beaten with vanilla extract and sugar)

  1. Place all ingredients in a stainless steel 2-quart pot. Beat with wire whisk. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, scraping down sides. Be sure to keep the mixture from sticking or scorching on the bottom.
  2. Cook until thickened, about 30 minutes. Pour into baked pie shell and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before cutting.
  3. Serve with whipped cream.