November 14, 2012
Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Was, in fact, indulging myself in what a word I just learned best describes: gemutlichkeit (n) (guh-myoot-lish-KYT): warm friendliness; comfortableness; coziness. The word came from Anu Garg's "A Word a Day" email I receive, and I could not get it out of my head. I even played the pronunciation over and over again, and practiced. I want to know this word.
Important, these months ahead, to seek and find comfort. Important always, I guess, with the storms we face, and the aftermaths. So much comes at a human life, one can't help but think gemutlichkeit a kind of reward, if not a necessity. So often the promise of getting home can get a person through a day.
What's so ironic this time of year, the holidays coming along and all, is that what was once, for me a great source of gemutlichkeit has become nearly the opposite. When I was a child, the shopping after Thanksgiving, maybe a week or so after - sometimes that weekend -- in stores all decked out for the holidays, was something I looked forward to and enjoyed with my mom and my brothers. Now? Now they call it "Black Friday." The music has already begun, and from what I hear, the sales will begin sometime on Thanksgiving Day. How insane is that.
Come on, people. Thanksgiving is a day out of real time to be with your family, to share your gratitude, to immerse yourself in gemutlichkeit. It's a day to pause. NOT to rush to You-Know-What-Store(s) to get the giant TV on sale, to get the video game, the latest phone, whatever. You don't even NEED a TV. And I'm guessing not many people you know do, either.
Consider not shopping until the turkey has grown cold. Until it's gone, even. Consider making sure you have enough groceries before Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, then not leaving the house til Saturday, Sunday even. Consider simply being. Not buying. Your loved ones don't want stuff. They want you. To be near you and with you. Comfortable, and cozy. That's my plan, and you're invited.
Because they hate the smell, I often open a can of sauerkraut when the kids aren't around, and I eat it. With a fork. Right out of the can. Mixed up in a hotdish, however, is one way to get them to at least consider eating it. Especially with cheese sprinkled on top.
1 lb ground beef, browned
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
28 oz sauerkraut, drained
2 cups wide egg noodles, uncooked
12 oz cream of celery soup
12 oz cream of mushroom soup
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
Mix all ingredients but cheese together.
Pour into casserole. Sprinkle cheese over top.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour, and up to 20 minutes more until lightly browned.