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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011: Heaping platters of gratitude and love

Fall colors
© L Kathryn Grace
All rights reserved
Thanksgiving is always a special time for my sweetheart and me. Earlier this week, we celebrated our twenty-third anniversary. This year, for the first time in many years, we both took time off to spend most of this week together in ways we don't often do anymore: Go for long walks, be tourists in our beautiful city and, perhaps, discover some new, hidden treasure here, make and enjoy a Thanksgiving feast just for us.

Since we love the foods of Thanksgiving but not all the fuss and mess for a single meal that is over in thirty minutes, we decided to spread it out. Yesterday, we stuffed and roasted our "petite" turkey, as the store called it, along with sides of roasted yams, roasted Brussels sprouts, this delicious cranberry-apple stuffing, and fresh pears.

Today, we'll enjoy leftovers, homemade cranberry sauce, more fresh fruit, and twin helpings of mashed yams and uber rich mashed potatoes. Tomorrow, I plan a broccoli-rice casserole that would ordinarily have been another side dish at a big gathering and perhaps the pumpkin pie I have yet to make. Or we might have that on the weekend.

It's a week of smaller scale feasts. Spreading it out like this gives us an opportunity to savor the dishes we love most this time of year and helps us avoid overeating. As much as possible, I've substituted healthier versions of all the things we love so well.

We are fortunate that we have the means to purchase all-organic foods. Even the turkey is organic-pasture-raised, its supplemental diet also organic and vegetarian. I noticed when I cleaned it that it did not smell of poultry poop or blood, as the turkeys we used to get, almost always turning my stomach as I washed and prepared them.

Giving gratitude

On this day especially, I give thanks for the turkey and for the family and farm hands who took so much care in raising and processing it.

I give thanks for the farm workers, mostly here in California, but also in Mexico and lands far away who raise, harvest and process the fruits and vegetables we eat every day.

I give gratitude for the activists around the world who have worked for decades to raise awareness of the need for fair labor practices, organic agricultural practices, and certifications for both so that we, the consumer, can trust that we are getting what we pay for when we buy Fair Trade Certified and Certified Organic foods and products.

I give gratitude for this woman who has shared so much of life with me; for my family who, though they may not always understand me, love me from the bottom of their hearts anyway; for good health, which I have learned never to take for granted; for the richness of peace I enjoy; for each individual any where on this planet who works for peace, who stops and takes a breath and finds a way to make peace in a moment of conflict; and for you, my faithful readers, for encouraging me, for sometimes prodding me to open my mind a little differently, and for showing me so much of your world in your own blogs and publications.

May you all be blessed beyond measure this day.
We make peace in a million small ways every day.
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, copyright L. Kathryn Grace. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

kario said...

Such lovely sentiments today. Thank you for sharing your simplified and deliberate Thanksgiving traditions. I hope your weekend is peaceful and fulfilling.

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