Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We hosted again this year (we opted not to last year with a week-old baby), although Tyler's family couldn't join us last minute.  It was a quiet, small Thanksgiving without them, but I don't doubt we'll make up for it next year.  With only six of us adults yesterday, it was the smallest group for whom I've ever prepared a Thanksgiving meal.  Apparently, the half of me that planned the menu didn't get the message Tyler's family couldn't make it, because I made enough food to feed both our families.  We'll have leftovers in the fridge and freezer for a while.  

Yesterday's menu: appetizers included a cheese plate and fried vegetables (warming up the deep fryer); butternut squash soup with parmesan and fried sagefresh, hormone-free, anti-biotic free, free-range turkey; Grandma's stuffing; mashed potatoes with turkey gravy; roasted sweet potato wedges with smoked chili cream; Mom's amazing pickled beets; creamed spinach deluxe; pan-roasted farmshare brussel sprouts and red pearl onions; egg noodles (a holiday staple in Tyler's family); roasted beet, red onion, and fresh cranberry relish; and for dessert, pumpkin ginger cheesecake pie with fresh whipped cream and locally roasted coffee.  

My favorite recipes of the day were the butternut squash soup and the pumpkin ginger cheesecake, both of which are likely to become new Thanksgiving traditions.  Tye's favorites were the squash soup, egg noodles, and later the whipped cream- which she devoured, protesting loudly as soon as her mouth was empty until it was once again filled with the rich, creamy goodness.  Another favorite of the day- Foodie Fight, a trivia game my parents brought over that is a cross between Trivial Pursuit and The Food Network.  

A long-standing tradition in our family is to go around the table during the meal and each say something we're thankful for that year.  For me, it reminds me of my past responses and the journey on which life has taken us.  Two years ago, I sat at the table and broke down into sobs when it was my turn, choking out that I was thankful for a loving husband and close family who had helped me, physically and emotionally, through surgery after an ectopic pregnancy the week before.  Last year, as I held my week-old baby, my gratitude for her life in ours was overwhelming.  

This year, I'm thankful for a healthy, happy daughter and the joy she brings into our lives, and for a loving husband who is the best father in the world for her.  I'm grateful for my own health so that I can care for her completely, for the health of our family members, and for the love and support of our family and friends who have made our transition into parenthood such a wonderful one.  I'm thankful for the things we have- the physical things, like our home with heat and hot water, a dependable car, and good food in the refrigerator that will strengthen us, as well as less tangible things, like Tyler's steady income.  I'm also thankful for the year ahead of us and the faith that this will be another year filled with good things.  

This year, I've been hit hard with the irony of following a season of gratitude with a season wrought with so much greed.  As I watch Black Friday commercial after gadget commercial after toy commercial this year, I am discouraged that our day of Thanksgiving is so easily overwhelmed by a desire to have more things.  This year, I am making a conscious effort to avoid the consumerism-driven aspect of the holidays and instead share with family and friends reminders that we have so much for which we should be thankful.  I hope the attitude of gratitude is contagious and brings more peace and joy into the holidays, with a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.  It's just something I've been thinking about a lot this week.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that your attitude of gratitude extends through the holidays.

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