When this Mouse comes out, we will still be sleeping off the tons of turkey that put us to sleep with “El” Tryptophan. Sounds like a bull fighter who can cook. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas my family celebrates with a super-secret recipe called… wait for it… The Pink Stuff. For years it has been a hidden treasure at our place and visitors often ask for the recipe. Sadly, my Mother, Arlene, did not believe in sharing the recipe. She did however make restaurant size portions of… The Pink Stuff, and we ended up delivering it to friends and relatives all over Albuquerque. As a FREE multi-denominational chaplain for the last 20 years, I have found a truth: “Food is better blessed when shared.” So, I am breaking with tradition and setting a new custom. I am giving away the secret family recipe for… wait for it… The Pink Stuff.

You need three packs of fresh cranberries, a quart of heavy whipping cream, a can of crushed pineapple (20 oz. is TOO much, 14 oz. can is better and it must be completely drained), one entire bag of tiny marshmallows, yes the entire bag. Two-plus cups of white sugar and a little more for the whipped cream, say half a cup. Cut the cranberries up in a food processor or go crazy, it’s Thanksgiving, cut them up by hand. Do not use a blender though, you are not making a smoothie. Add the pineapple to the cranberries and then dump two cups of white sugar on them and let them sit in the fridge. Whip the heavy cream to firm peaks and add some more sugar to taste, but a half cup would do. Put the entire bag of marshmallows in and let them sit covered in the fridge. Mix together and let the entire thing set overnight. Did I mention you need to do this the day before you are going to serve it? Well, you do. It is not really a salad or a dessert. It is… The Pink Stuff! Now you know you can be thankful in retrospect.

Every year we are all grateful for mostly the same things: family, friends, good health, plenty to eat, your jobs if you do not work in a restaurant. What should we be grateful for that we have not seen in the past, but with the pandemic, things are clear? With my mask on and my black plastic gloves in place I went to get groceries. Now this part of the tale is also for Walgreens and Walmart. I stood outside of Smith’s for only about 10 minutes. The line moved well, and it was not very cold. A worker sat at the door and counted us in and out. Once inside, there were Smith’s employees scampering to help in all ways, on the registers, sacking groceries, baking, deli, and restocking the supplies. Other members of the team were shopping and getting ready to deliver to the designated parking outside for those who can not make it inside.

I had a list to help me hurry and let others in, but the beautiful Christmas display did delay me to handle my sugar fix. A young man with a huge trolley pulled in front of me and said, “Please excuse me, we just need to unload this pallet and we will be out of your way.” To which I replied, “No, Thank you for working so hard to keep us fed.” He smiled and took off. I cashed out and as I watched, an 18-wheeler turned sharply to get to the side loading docks. He had come a long way. I unloaded and went to the drive-through to pick up my prescription, insulin. Shhh. Don’t mention the Christmas candy! And as I drove home, I thought that there are more people to thank than I can count.

On Nov. 14, the local Edgewood Lions Club had a drive-through food drop at the soccer fields. In the cold Edgewood wind, as only it can blow, they gathered up several truckloads of food for Bethel Storehouse and East Mountain Food Pantry. The Estancia Valley and the East Mountains communities are very generous, and such good people make this a blessed holiday season. Thank you all from the Mouse and me, and I sure hope you try The Pink Stuff!