I often have so many things going on, I can easily be at my computer from morning until night. It’s one of many reasons I love my dog, Piper. She gets me out of the house as we go on our daily walks. This morning, as we were out and about, I was running through my list of things I needed to do to get ready for Thanksgiving, and realized that Thanksgiving just made me happy.

Many studies have shown that giving thanks can make you happier and the idea of being thankful, being grateful runs throughout the whole holiday of Thanksgiving.

I truly enjoy Thanksgiving, one of the least commercial holidays we celebrate. No presents or extravagant decorations, just a celebration of food, family, friends and traditions. I grew up watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. One year my husband and I took our sons to New York City to watch the parade in person. We nearly froze but it was so much fun! I enjoy watching The American Kennel Club’s National Dog Show, which is almost as much fun as napping through the football games, waking up just long enough to have a snack of leftovers, usually dessert because I do have a sweet tooth.

One of my sons is gluten-intolerant, and I feel better when I reduce my gluten intake as well.  In the spirit of abundance, I’m sharing a delicious gluten-free and not overly sweet dessert that is perfect for the season. But don’t limit yourself, this is good enough to enjoy any time of year!

Maple Pumpkin Custard

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole milk
4 large eggs
3/4 cup Maple Syrup
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Heat milk over low heat in a small saucepan until barely steaming but not boiling.
  • Whisk eggs and syrup in a large bowl until smooth. Gently whisk in the warm milk (a little bit at a time so the eggs don’t cook). Add pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt; whisk until blended.
  • Divide the mixture among six 6-ounce (3/4-cup) custard cups. Skim foam from the surface. Place custard cups in roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the custard cups. Place the pan in the oven and bake, uncovered, until custards are just set but still quiver in the center when shaken, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer custards to a wire rack and let cool for 45 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until chilled.

To serve, top each custard with a dollop of whip cream and a sprinkling of maple sugar or crystallized ginger.  Can be made ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. It reminds us that whatever our individual challenges and difficulties, it is important to pause every now and then to appreciate what we have.

Unfortunately, I find that gratitude doesn’t come naturally to me. It’s a skill and a habit I’ve worked hard on over the years, and I start every morning thinking of the many things for which I am grateful. What helps you cultivate thankfulness?

In this season of thankfulness, I’d like to thank each and every one of my readers for taking the time to read and review my books, follow me on social media, and encourage me with their emails and postings. I am also grateful for the many authors who have helped me through the years, and whose words have inspired me to be a better writer.

The Christmas season starts after Thanksgiving, and if you can’t wait to get started, I’ve partnered with 15 other Amish fiction authors to bring you a collection of Christmas stories. Let me help you discover someone new!

A Lancaster Family Christmas – Kate Lloyd

An Amish Christmas Bakery – Kelly Irvin

First Christmas on Huckleberry Hill – Jennifer Beckstrand

Christmas Grace – Mindy Steele

The Amish Author’s Christmas – Ashley Emma

An Amish Christmas at the Apple Blossom InnTracy Fredrychowski & Debra Torres

Unlikely SeasonJennifer Spredemann

In a Sniper’s Crosshairs – Debby Giusti

The Forgiving Quilt – Lenora Worth

Snowbound Amish Christmas – Jo Ann Brown

Enter my Thankfulness Giveaway for a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card plus a copy of my latest novel, A Lancaster Family Secret or another of my books if you’ve already purchased a copy. US and Canada only. Winner will be announced Tuesday November 22 and has three days to respond to my email. Only by responding to my email can you win.

Enter Kate's giveaway by April 25