Monday, November 19, 2012

Theme Week: Giving Thanks

Good morning!  How was your weekend?  I had a fantastic couple of days filled with time spent with good friends. One of my oldest friends (we've known each other since 4th grade!) came with her six-month-old son to visit for a few days.  We explored the city, held each other's babies, ate soup and doughnuts, stayed up way too late, and laughed a lot.  After they went home yesterday, we went to church and then Annabel and I drove up to Fredericksburg to meet my college roommate.  We caught up on each other's lives, I got to meet her sweet boyfriend, and we enjoyed seeing each other after way too long.  I just love catching up with old friends!  

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, this week WeThree will be writing about something we're thankful for.  After the fun weekend that I had, it was an easy decision for me to write about how incredibly thankful I am for my friends.

I've been thinking a lot lately about making friends as an adult (I really hesitate to call myself an adult, but I guess, technically, that's what I am).  I've made some really good friends since I graduated from college but have found that in general, it's far more difficult for me to make friends as an adult than it was as a child/teenager/college student.  While I am very grateful for each of these relationships, it sometimes seems that my adult friendships never reach the depth that childhood friendships do.  It's entirely possible that I just haven't given them enough time yet or maybe I haven't given it enough effort, but it seems that some (not all!!) of my adult friendships stay pretty close to the surface - kids, husbands, activities, elementary school/preschool, etc.  We very rarely get into anything deeper than that.  And sometimes, that's really ok - I need those types of relationships just as much.  But other times, you need someone who knows you so well that they can almost finish your sentences.  Let me tell you a little bit about the girls I spent my weekend with...

Have you ever had a friend that, no matter how far apart you lived, or how long it had been since you last saw each other, you could pick up right where you left off?  Kerri - my friend that visited over the weekend - is one of those for me.  She and her husband moved to California several years ago so we only got to see each other in the summer or maybe over a holiday.  But each time we got together, it was like no time had passed at all.  After they had a baby back in May, they decided to move back east to be closer to family, and lucky for me, they ended up a mere two hours north of us!  Since then, she's come down to visit a few times, and each time is just the same - FUN.  We can talk about anything, we laugh almost non-stop, and I feel like we really understand each other.  It's really great to have a friend like that.  Having her close enough to see on a regular basis has seriously made my life better.

As a freshman in college, I was extremely fortunate to be paired up with a fantastic roommate.  I chose to go to an out-of-state school where I only knew one other person from my high school (a guy that I didn't know very well at all).  Maureen introduced me to her friends, ate lunch with me several times a week, and generally made my difficult freshman year far less difficult.  We decided to room together our sophomore year as well, and our relationship just got better from there.  We survived a ladybug invasion, ate a ton of gummy bears, IM'ed entire conversations while we were sitting right next to each other, fell in love with turkey reuben's from Owens, had Mighty Ducks marathons, and just generally had lots of fun.  I'm so glad that we live close enough to get together on a fairly regular basis.  It's so fun to see where life is taking her after college, and fill her in on where I am as well. 

As we begin this Thanksgiving week, I'm reminded of how incredibly thankful I am for all of my friendships - past and present.  As we get closer to and head into 2013 (what?!), I'm determined to spend more time with friends over one of my favorite things:  soup!  

Wow, what a perfect segue into soup!  Here's my last soup recipe (for assured there will be others in the not-so-distant future):

Beef and Cannellini Bean Minestrone from "Weeknights with Giada" by Giada de Laurentiis.

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
salt and pepper
8 ounces ground beef
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
4 cups beef broth
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 15-oz can cannellini beans rinsed and drained
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, carrot, celery, salt and pepper and saute until vegetables are soft.  Add ground beef and garlic and cook until meat is browned.  Add tomato paste, beef broth, tomatoes, beans, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer and cook 30 minutes. Before serving, remove bay leaf and garnish with parmesan cheese.

Notes:  If you don't want all the fat from the ground beef in your soup, you can cook it in a separate pan and just add it at the appropriate time.  Also, I like pasta in my minestrone, so I cook some separately and add it to each individual bowl.  If you're making this for guests and there probably won't be any leftovers, you can cook the pasta directly in the soup for the last 10 minutes or so.  If there will be leftovers, you'll want to cook the pasta separately so it doesn't get mushy in the refrigerator later.  The first time I made this, Will declared it one of his "most favorite things I've ever made."  Which means:  it's good.

I hope you'll take time this week to reflect on what you're thankful for.  Friends and soup are right up there at the top of my list.  Have a great week!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, just read this while snuggling with Ollie and it brought a tear to my eye! I'm so thankful for you, for our friendship, for your blog, for your soups, for our kids, for all the fun we have and, of course, doughnuts!