Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Rocks: Foodies & Funk Addicts Unite

My favorite holiday is almost upon us. You know the one where I get to give thanks for the blessings in my life AND show off my culinary excellence. I love Thanksgiving and I have no shame. I’ve spent the morning crafting my menu and it’s hot lol. So, for all the foodies out there who struggle to make others salivate in a good way. Here goes…

I might include a beef roast for the red meat lovers. In fact, here’s a bonus recipe for Rib Roast, guaranteed for rave reviews. The whiskey gravy is almost better than sex! Props to http://www.epicurious.com for making every holiday sublime ;).
I found musical inspiration on YouTube while reviewing and have decided to make a 70’s playlist for my mom, all funk, all the time, so we’ll be grooving as well.

Life…in motion

Thanksgiving has come and gone and I am still full! The food coma was delightful and this year I actually managed to practice gluttony without getting ill. A fine accomplishment, in my own mind lol. Even though we went to my Sister’s for Thanksgiving we cooked. I love to cook and have cooked every Turkey day for the last 23 years. Amazing, but true. This year, our menu consisted of Turkey with Herb Butter and Balsamic Vinagrette gravy, Mashed Potatoes with Creme Fraiche & Fennel; Macaroni & Cheese; Wild Mushroom Stuffing; Green Beans with Lemon & Pine Nuts; Cranberry & Cherry Sauce and Red Velvet Cake with Raspberries and Blueberries. I saved the Pecan Pie for another day. And yes, that is scaled down from the usual lol. It was all dee-licious and is still being savored.

Festivites aside, I was gratified to be invited to two different places this year. I ended up at my Sister’s which was, suprisingly, completely free of any drama. As many of us have said and lived, holidays are a mixed blessing. They can leave you cursing, exhausted and depleted or elated. I am happy to have experienced elation. Due in no small part to a concerted effort to leave my negative preconceptions behind and just be open to the experience.

It was wonderful to be with my Mom and sister. We are together so rarely. It was even better to see the kids and how they have grown. My niece, 16, and my cousin, 13, are growing so incredibly fast and it is fascinating to see how their minds are developing. My niece, in true Cancerian fashion, is now interested in Fashion and Cooking and like her auntie loves a good book. The child in me is delightfully alive and so we had a groovy conversation about Harry Potter, Dobby and the Twilight Series lol. I loved just looking at them. In them, I can see my Mom, my Grandmom, my Uncle….DNA is incredible. They don’t realize how heavily their mental makeup, expressions, likes and dislikes and physicality are influenced by their relatives but I do. And so I delight in seeing the old combined with the new and relish being part of their journey as I witness their becoming. Life…in motion.

I found myself surrounded by unconditional love and that is the best feeling in the world. It gave me joy which is even better than all the yummy food lol. It trumps all difficulties, all drama and past hurts. It reminded me, once more, of the need to be thankful, present and ever mindful. So, it is only Thanksgiving but I have already begun to craft my list of resolutions for 2011.

We strive, we grow, and hopefully attain wisdom. Never forget to share.

On Being Thankful….

Thanksgiving looms on the horizon and excited cooks and epicureans everywhere are busy planning and shopping for their feasts. The holidays are a happy time, aren’t they? I am happy at the prospect of cooking my favorite dishes, the smell of the house filled up with spices and goodness, diet abandoned and commitment to satiate your taste buds perfectly acceptable. Of course, there is also spending time with family and friends…but for some, my self included, that is a double edged sword. Are there any normal families or is that simply a misnomer? 🙂

But this Thanksgiving is different for me….I am happy about all the usual things but I have to pause and contemplate the state of the people around me and it is sobering. So many people right now are unemployed. What kind of holiday will they have this Thanksgiving? When it is time to spend that extra $$$ for food to make their feast will they be able to make the grade? If they are one of the many millions of homeowners who have lost their homes to the mortgage crisis where will they hang their hat this season? Will it be a new shade of hell as they can’t help but recall the homes they put so much of their love and lifeblood into but is now lost? And what of the homeless and the brutal cold that is winging it’s way towards us to complicate their plight? The numbers of the homeless have risen disproportionately and are reflected in our streets, on food lines, at Church giveaways. What of the everyday couples that I see struggling with coupons in the supermarket, trying to figure out what they can do without? Do you see them too or are you one of the blissfully unaware who read the headlines but remain intact and therefore unchanged?

The worst feeling I ever had was last Christmas in Target. The store echoed eerily with the absence of shoppers. For once, we did not trip over people in the aisles or curse the overly enthusiastic and inconsiderate people. Those that were present, stood hunched, wraith-like in the aisles, hovering over merchandise with worry creasing their brow as they shopped for what little they could afford.   As a forty something year old, I have been lucky to live my life without being a witness to mass deprivation…until now and it has changed my entire perspective.

This year, I am truly thankful. Thankful for my home, thankful for my love and friends and family. Thankful that my journey and struggles continue and that my life, while tremendously altered by the economy, is still recognizable. I am thankful that my interior landscape has been altered and cleared of unnecessary, material obsessions to make room for consciousness, awareness and compassion. Be aware….be thankful.