I am so blessed to be friends with some truly wonderful people, and I’m also blessed to even know some of their elderly parents so well that I call them friends, too. The father of one of my best friends is not in good health, and her mother cares for him full-time now. Once a month, I try to cook a meal for them, and I’ve also kept them supplied with fresh tomatoes from our garden for the past few months, which they have absolutely loved. Taking a meal to them is also a treat for me because I enjoy chatting with them. They are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met and take this difficult stage in their lives with a patience that I only wish I possessed.
About two weeks ago, I took a meal to them which consisted of Pioneer Woman’s potato soup and some sweet cornbread to go with it. I joked with them that they were test subjects for this new soup recipe from PW and that I was afraid it might not be fit to eat. Of course, anyone that knows anything about Pioneer Woman’s recipes knows that they are all pretty much fabulous. My friend’s mom told me that I could cook anything for them anytime, especially if it was a PW recipe, and I agreed to continue to look for more of PW’s amazing recipes online to prepare for them in the future on my monthly visit.
A few days ago, my friend’s mom stopped by to return my dishes from that dinner, and to my huge surprise, she brought this along, too…
… and it is for me!!! 😀
I would have purchased this cookbook at some point on my own because I’m a huge PW fan, but receiving it as a special, unexpected gift from a dear friend makes it a treasured keepsake for me, not just a cookbook. She also gave me a card with a sweet note inside that she had written, and I just got very teary when I read it. I love these people so much and never, ever expected something like that. I can’t wait to make them a meal from the new cookbook now, too. Unexpected gifts are just the best, aren’t they?
As I think about the gifts I will give to others this year for Christmas, I need to continue to try even harder to find some special gifts that will hopefully be remembered and treasured, even if it is not the primary gift that I give them. I did a great job of doing just that a few years ago, when I compiled family recipe scrapbooks for my kids, as well as one for me. The scrapbooks contained all of our long-time family recipes, and I made sure to include my own recipes, as well as recipes from their grandmothers and great-grandmothers. I worked very hard on the scrapbooks for about two months, and both kids were just blown away by them, even our son. Both kids spent a lot of time on that special Christmas Day looking through their new scrapbooks and realized that I had put a lot of work into them. Honestly, I’m not sure I will ever top that gift, but I would like to keep trying to find ways to give more thoughtful gifts like that – the gifts that will be treasured for a long time.