It feels good to be thankful

features@beaufortgazette.comNovember 28, 2012 

After reading the article "Up Your Gratitude," by John Kralik, I decided to adopt his life-changing advice.

In 2008, Kralik vowed to send a thank-you note to a different person every day. He succeeded, although it took him more than 365 days. I embarked on this same endeavor but did not reach one a day. I have, however, become more mindful of showing gratitude on a daily basis.

I enjoy making people feel good; it makes me feel better. More than that, showing appreciation makes a difference.

I was at a Subway once and one of the employees did not seem to want to explain the sandwiches to me. Worse, she seemed to think I was wasting her time. But another employee there was so helpful that I called the manager to tell him about the favorable employee, making sure I did not mention the one who was unfavorable. I told the manager that the employee's attitude made me want to come back.

Another time, I was heading to Washington, D.C., to celebrate my husband's 80th birthday. When I told my friend about the trip, she relayed the message to her daughter, who sent the message to her children. What a surprise it was when the brother-sister team planned the entire weekend for us, making the birthday celebration even more special. We were very grateful for this above-and-beyond act of kindness.

There are times when I do not send a thank-you note, such as when a former student invited her former teachers to a dinner at her home, or the time I arrived home and found that a former student had left collards and sweet potatoes on our doorstep. I owe thank yous to many people, including the readers of my column.

There are times when readers request recipes, and I search to find just the one that will satisfy their appetites. In spirit of gratitude, let's make it our mission to pass on good feelings to others.


Note: This recipe does not call for butter or margarine.

2 medium sweet potatoes

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

3 eggs

3/4 cup half-and-half

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place sweet potatoes on baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour. Do not turn off oven. Cool sweet potatoes for 10 minutes. Peel by pulling strips of skin away from the flesh with a sharp knife. Mash potatoes in medium bowl with potato masher or fork.

In large bowl or large mixer bowl, combine potatoes, brown sugar, eggs, half-and-half, cinnamon, salt nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.

Beat at medium speed until smooth. Pour into pie shell. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until filling is set and a knife inserted in center comes out clean. If crust edges turn brown pie is done.

Recipe from "Southern Plantation Cooking"


Makes: 9 servings

For the gingerbread

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup molasses

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup hot water

for the Lemon Sauce

Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons

2 eggs

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

1/2 cup water

To make the gingerbread: Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy; add egg and molasses, beating well. Combine flour, soda, spices and salt; add to creamed mixture alternating with water, beating after each addition.

Pour batter into a greased 9-inch square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool in pan on rack.

To make the Lemon Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until the mixture thickens. Serve with gingerbread.

Southern Living's "The Dinner & Supper Cookbook"


3 cups zucchini, shredded coarse

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup sharp cheese, shredded

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 cup biscuit mix

Combine zucchini, eggs, cheese, onion, and biscuit mix; use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to pour batter. Fry slowly in a little oil or butter. Place on paper towel when done to drain. Serve hot.

"Recipes by Remembrances, Warrenton, N.C., Woman's Club" by Cynthia Dickinson

Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition. Email her at

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