Dia de Gracias

Today, November 25, is Thanksgiving Day (Día de Acción de Gracias) in the U.S., so I’d like to say to all my WOW readers around the world a great big “Gracias!” Thank you for being part of this beautiful, invisible golden web of connectedness that has helped sustain me for seven years. How else could I, an American expat in Mexico, have kept in touch with everyone on such a regular basis over these past years?

For me, enduring friendships are the bedrock of my being.  Those of us who cannot claim membership in a traditional “happy family” – and there are more of us than you might think – find our sense of “family” in friendship.

Each week when I write a new WOW post from my heart and send it off into cyberspace — like a message in a bottle thrown out to sea — I imagine my friends in far-off places reading it and in this way visiting with me.

There are Martyn and Melanie, friends from then-Salisbury, Rhodesia, circa 1970, who now live in Wales; Marie-Laure outside of Paris, France, who’s been a dear friend for nearly fifty years, after we met on a tennis court in Saint Martin in the Caribbean; historian Sandra in Kirriemuir, Scotland, whom I met in 2011 when I was doing research for my historical novel Jamie’s Muse there; Gigi in England, whom I’ve known since she was a little girl but who is now a grandmother; Amparo in Australia whom I’ve known since my Peace Corps days in Gabon (1996-98).

And many, many more – overseas, all across the States, as well as here now in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I am blessed with friendships, old and new, for which I am deeply thankful.

An acquaintance said to me recently, “You write your blog posts every week for yourself, don’t you? So it doesn’t really matter whether anyone reads them.” And I immediately wondered: Would you say to someone preparing Thanksgiving dinner, “You’re making this for yourself, aren’t you? So it won’t matter if no one shows up.”

No, these WOWs are for my extended “family,” made with love and care, in the hope that you  find what I serve to be tasty and nourishing. For myself, I write every day in my personal journal. That’s just a bowl of chicken soup.

So let’s pretend, on this Thanksgiving Day, that I’ve made my favorite winter-holiday tart for you for dessert. It’s too late for you to make it for your own Thanksgiving feast, but Christmas is just a month away. Here’s the recipe. It’s easy to make, and I have no doubt it will become one of your favorites as well:

Cranberry-Walnut Tart

[From my book Sweet Tarts for My Sweethearts: Stories and Recipes from a Culinary Career, published by Nighthawk Press in 2020:]

1 prebaked 9” tart shell

2 large eggs

½ cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

a pinch of salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup whole fresh cranberries, picked over, washed and dried

1 cup walnuts

1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine in a food processor the eggs, brown sugar, honey, melted butter, salt, and vanilla. Process until smooth. Add cranberries and walnuts and pulse just until roughly chopped.

2)  Pour filling into prebaked tart shell and bake at 350 until set and golden, about 40-45 minutes.

Again, thank you – gracias! — for coming to my table. Every week when I write to you is Thanksgiving for me.

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And a special gracias also to those WOW readers who made donations to ABBA House. (See my previous post for the backstory: www. blog.bonnieleeblack.com/ABBA-House/.) Thanks to your generous support we were able to buy many more skeins of yarn for our new knitting and crocheting project.

The last time we were there we found that the longer-term residents, many of whom had only just learned to knit or crochet, had begun making hats and scarves for the migrants who would be in transit, traveling north in these colder months. So the blessings are being passed along.

Here is a photo of one happy little learner, Tiffany, whose beautiful young mom, a double-amputee, is one of ABBA House’s long-term residents. Tiffany’s mom is learning to knit, so Tiffany wants to too:

24 thoughts on “Dia de Gracias”

  1. My beloved Bonnie Black! Friends as family, indeed. More grateful now than ever, and ever grateful that out paths crossed, intertwined so beautifully and sustained the test of time. Happy Thanksgiving, indeed! xoxo

    1. Yes, dearest Michael, “intertwined” and “sustained.” What a treasure you are in my life. Thank you! And Happy Thanksgiving to you and Tony. — Love always, BB xx

  2. Happy Thanksgiving, Bonnie. Last year I bought your Sweet Tarts book and tart pans for each of my daughters-by-marriage. They loved both the book and making tarts from your recipes, and showed each other their successes! So a very belated thank you for creating the perfect gift!

    1. Oh, I’m thrilled to get this feedback on the book, dear Marge! Thank you for sharing it with me. And Happy Thanksgiving to you and George and your whole family. Mucho love from MX, BB xx

  3. Happy Thanksgiving Bonnie. And you should cook a Turkey just for the aroma. I don’t think you eat meat, right? Mostly veggies and tortes? All our love.

    1. Me too, Suzanne! Imagine if someone had told us when we were in the same high school class that one day when we were old(er) women we would be neighbors in a charming little city in the mountains of central Mexico? We would have thought that person was loco! Ha-ha!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving Bonnie! I spent today on a horse in the campo of Mexico City — I had no idea there was a sort of forested wilderness here! Thankful today for your friendship and your blogs 🙂

    1. Yes, I’m so thankful for our friendship too, querida! Remember when we had a Thanksgiving picnic lunch at the botanical gardens here (quite against the rules, we later learned)? That’s a delicious memory. 🙂

  5. Happy Thanksgiving Bonnie from CDMX where Señor Roberto and I are cooking a Pavo thigh en adobo and counting the blessings of being back in Mexico after a long Covid hiatus. Your blog brought me joy during our long absence and it continues to do so. There are indeed more of us than one can imagine who no longer fit in a happy nuclear family and friendship is the rock on which we reside. Thank you for bringing us your insights weekly.

    1. Thank YOU, dear Carol, for your kind words. Yes, that’s the thing about good friendships, isn’t it — they get to the heart of the matter, where we feel each other’s joys as well as hurts. Can’t wait to hear how your turkey in adobo turned out! See you next week, I hope, when I’ll have something for you…

  6. ¡Qué bonito! Feliz Día de Acción de Gracias, dear Bonnie. I am thankful for our friendship and the pleasure of reading your beautiful blog. It takes me to San Miguel de Allende, where I hope to be in person someday.

  7. Feliz Thanksgiving, Bonnie. AS you rightly write, our family is built from many branches, and sometimes our longtime friends are the strongest part of the tree. Look forward to seeing you in SMA soon.

  8. Dear Bon,

    We should be thanking you for for providing the means for us to stay connected. Every week I look forward to visiting with you. We have know each other approximately thirty-four years now. For much of that time we have been far apart in terms of distance, but thanks to the power of words, we remain together in spirit. I am so thankful to have you in my life. I have only to read your words, and we are sitting right next to each other.


    1. Dearest Paul — Your sweet words touch me deeply. I think that everyone who reads this post and its comments section should know how you helped me get through my Peace Corps experience — by writing loving and encouraging letters to me every week and always tucking a crisp $5 or $10 bill in the envelope. Our friendship and correspondence over all these years have meant the world to me. Mucho love siempre, BB xx

  9. BONNIE,
    We have not met but i have grown to know you through your writing. I am not only impressed but in awe of your sharing your San Miguel life, thoughts and impressions with us. I am thankful to my relative, Joyce who shared your post information with me so i could see her lifestyle and get a glimpse of just one of the wonderful people she has met living there.
    I am also a woman of “a certain age” and appreciate your positive attitude, generosity and talent. May you continue to thrive and THANK YOU for all you do. Laura

    1. Dear Laura — How kind of you to take the time to write such a lovely note. I deeply appreciate it. It’s good to know that my “messages in bottles thrown into the sea” find their proper destinations. May you continue to thrive as well. — BB

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