Thanksgiving kicked off this most unusual of holiday seasons for our family, and we did our best to make it our own.
Yesterday, Mom and I began the day with yoga. She'd never done yoga before, and it's been years since I've practiced, but we did great. You'd never have known that Mom didn't know her Shavasana from her Sha-Na-Na, and I was surprised at how quickly it all came back to me! I didn't even mind Downward Dog as much as I used to (that probably has everything to do with my improved physical condition and health). It was the perfect start to the day. Aligned. Calm. Om.
I was in the zone when I got home, cleaning, prepping, baking, playing a few rounds of Bananagrams with the girls. Katie helped by putting together a batch of autumn sangria with apples and cranberries.
Yesterday was the first of two all-out Thanksgiving meals I'll be preparing this year and I didn't want turkey for both. I kept it in the family by making chicken thighs -- specifically, Bacon-Wrapped Smoky Chicken Thighs (a recipe from Practical Paleo). Hello. They were absolutely delicious! I didn't have enough bacon for all the thighs (16 in all), so I left the skin on some (it's good that I overlooked the "skinless" part when I was shopping). I'd planned for a few to be left over, and so I'm very happy to have a couple of them in my lunch today.
I served simple mashed sweet potatoes (peeled, cut, boiled, mashed with a little coconut milk, butter, salt and pepper), steamed asparagus, and corn (bought/froze from the farmer's market) to accompany the chicken.
For dessert, I made Everyday Paleo Pumpkin Pie (scroll down) from Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook. I think I overbaked the crust just a touch, and forgot to add the honey to the filling mixture until after I'd poured it into the crust -- I probably didn't add as much as I should have (didn't measure) and stirred it in as best I could. Ha. It turned out fine. Ali brought whipping cream... everything's better with whipping cream.
Ali also brought some homemade Brussels cookies (shaped like Milanos) and they were fabulous!
I'm really happy that I was able to prepare and eat a terrific meal, that everyone fully enjoyed, and that was still very much within my guidelines. It's a holiday! I'm so okay with a little whipped cream and a couple of homemade cookies!!
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A note about ingredients and their cost, the cost of eating "this way." The main "guidelines" stress any/all of the following when it comes to choosing ingredients: fresh, real, organic, pastured, grass-fed, etc. Some of those descriptors can add up to BIG BUCK$ right quick. A resource I forgot to mention the other day is this:
The Kindle version is $2.99, or Prime members can borrow it for free. Basically, DO THE BEST YOU CAN. You know? I certainly can't afford to buy everything that way all of the time, so I pick and choose and make compromises -- I do the best I can. Yesterday, our chicken was plain old chicken from the grocery store -- it was the best I could do -- but I'd splurged a while back on some really great bacon, and I'm so glad I did. It was *so* worth it for a meal like this. Our asparagus, too, was right from the regular produce department at the store; the sweet potatoes were some I had that were locally grown and organic; the corn was fresh/frozen last summer from a local farmer. I tried to make my own pumpkin puree for the pie but I wasn't happy with it, so I got out the can opener and Libby's came to to the rescue. Not organic. I can live with that. It was still delicious.
And, really, the main thing IS to choose ingredients. I always think to myself when I buy something that's not *perfect*, "Well, at least it's not Hamburger/Chicken/Tuna Helper." That's one of my benchmarks, though probably not even the worst example, of the processed type of "food" that I'm trying to avoid.
Okay, climbing down from the soap box. Again!
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We cleared the table after the wonderful hubbub of dinner and, as I put away leftovers, Maddy took over the kitchen clean up! She had later plans with friends, so declined our invitation to go see Lincoln (loved it -- so many amazing performances!) and was still humming along with a sink full of suds when we left, which meant that I came home to a completely cleaned up kitchen after the movie!