Thankful: Holiday

Kitchen Magic
Challah Bread for Thanksgiving. One for today, the other in the freezer for the future.

The American day of Thanksgiving is here. I find the narrative of the peaceful Pilgrims to be problematic and wrought with falsehood: so I do not ascribe to it. For me thanksgiving is just that: A culmination of a year of joys. Usually I spend today with some of my immediate extended family, and occasionally friends who didn’t have plans. This year is different, as it’s just our household. We’ll do some video calls today,but we aren’t leaving the house (also, we are still quarentinging from our trip out of town, even though our COVID tests came back negative). That has not stopped me from making too many sides with ingredients obtained via contactless curbside grocery pick-up.

I keep a copy of each year’s menu in my recipe box.
  • Turkey Breast with Gravy
  • Challah Bread
  • Garlic Sauteed Mushroom with Caramelized Onions
  • Cranberry Sauce (see below)
  • Mac-n-Chz (for the kids, we have leftovers we might just use)
  • Stuffing (threw a bunch of stuff into the bowl)
  • Crispy Potato Stacks
  • Green Beans (just normal)
  • Sweet Potato Pie (roasted instead of boiled potatoes) with Whipped Cream (this crust)

Honestly, the turkey is my LEAST favorite part of the meal. We are making a breast this year. Although, I wish we were also doing a vegetarian faux-meat turkey-ish loaf too: I like those better. Usually I make green bean casserole, a favorite of my parents and my brother (it reminds us of holidays with my Grandmother), but the kids won’t try it. I love it,but I don’t need THAT MUCH green bean casserole for 2 people. But my favorite, I mean ABSOLUTE FAVORITE side is cranberry sauce. Yeah. I make mine from scratch. I usually make a double recipe, but this year I’m only doing one bag of cranberries. It’s super simple:

  • 12 oz fresh cranberries washed
  • 1 cup orange juice/water (a juiced orange topped up with water)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • some cinnamon (optional)
  • Put everything in a pan, stirring periodically, boil mixture until most of the berries burst and the whole mixture is super thick, like a jam. (20-30 minutes)
  • Put into a container and cool. Refrigerate before serving

I put “leftover” cranberry sauce in plain yogurt, into oatmeal, on sandwiches, sneak spoonfuls as a quick snack. Seriously. It’s my favorite holiday food.

This was my grandmother’s. I have no idea how old it is, but it works better than any other rolling pin I’ve ever owned.

While food plays a HUGE part of today, being thankful is the central theme. I have so much to be thankful for. Some of these things are superficial and some are much deeper. I’m thankful for my brain- buzzing full of ideas and always making connections. I’m thankful for my body, it may not perfect, but it’s mine. I’m thankful for my strength, physical and emotional. I’m thankful for so many ways to express myself creatively. I’m thankful for the strong women of history that make my independence possible: my ability to vote, wear pants, have an opinion, be autonomous. I’m thankful for having more than I need, and being able to share my abundance with others. I’m obviously thankful for my family, we are a team. I’m thankful for being able to see beauty and joy in mundane situations, the way the light filters through the trees, tiny violets in the grass, seeing strangers enjoy themselves without restraint. I’m thankful for nature and Earth. I’m thankful for useful kitchen tools. I’m thankful useful objects that belonged to previous generations of my family. I’m thankful for books, physical, digital, and even audio. I’m thankful for my enjoyment of solitude.

I’m thankful for the ability to be thankful.

My pie crust game needs improvement, but GOLLY that’s a beautiful pie. It smells AMAZING.

Time to start the turkey, then go for a WALK! I have knitting to talk about tomorrow (or Saturday).


5 responses to “Thankful: Holiday”

  1. Have a wonderful day! I love making cranberry sauce from scratch. No one else likes it other than hubby and I. They all prefer the canned jellied stuff. So, I just make a batch for hubby and myself to eat with leftovers. My recipe is the same as yours!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve also had amazing results with brown sugar instead of white sugar. This year we have a ton of white sugar on hand so I used that. In the past, I’ve partially substituting maple syrup or honey but it does not gel as thick.


  2. Everything looks delicious! For me, Thanksgiving is about family and food. I was a little down at first yesterday, but I briefly got to see everyone’s masked faces when we dropped off meals, and that perked me up.

    Liked by 1 person

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