Friday, November 27, 2009

My Thanksgiving

Well, I made it through another Thanksgiving madness. I know the main focus of the holiday is supposed to be giving thanks. However, it seems to have become a holiday focused on devouring a bird and eating tons of casseroles and other unhealthy foods that you would normally never eat at any other time of the year. Somehow the holiday has gotten off track and everyone is so focused on "their" holiday traditions, "their" holiday meals. People think they HAVE to have this casserole or that casserole or the holiday is a bust. What happened to just getting together with family and friends and enjoying the fact that you are together?

As a vegetarian, Thanksgiving has become one of my least favorite holidays simply because the focus is on the consumption of a bird and all sides, for whatever reason, seem to require the addition of either meat, butter, or some other unhealthy component somehow justified because it's a holiday. Of course, I am being ever so slightly hypocritical because I do allow myself to indulge in desserts that I normally would never bake or eat, no matter how much I would love to.

Because I enjoy baking, I volunteered to make wheat rolls for my family's meal as well as desserts for my family and the in-laws. I made Pumpkin Cheesecakes and Pumpkin Angel Food Cupcakes with Molasses Cream Cheese Icing. While neither treat was exactly "healthy" I did try to make them lower fat at the very least. It did make me feel just a bit better about indulging in a large slice of the creamy, slightly spicy cheesecake and the sampling of the gooey cupcake.  

Last year my husband and I actually opted out of Thanksgiving Day. Instead, we spent Thanksgiving in a small fishing cabin together with our two Cocker Spaniels. It was a relaxing and enjoyable day. We made what we wanted to make, when we wanted to make it. Both of us really enjoy cooking and trying out new recipes. Since our families typically want their "traditional" menus, we decided to have a pre-Thanksgiving meal of our own. So, we made a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner the night before so that I would be able to enjoy at least one meal in it's entirety. I told my husband what I wanted and he executed the plan. Sometimes he spoils me!

Our pre-Thanksgiving dinner menu was:
  • Quorn Turk'y Roast with mustard sauce
  • Roasted brussels sprouts and butternut squash
  • Smashed new potatoes with herbed cream cheese
  • Homemade wheat roll


So, I know I sound like a Thanksgiving Scrooge, but I think it's because the holiday has lost it's purpose. It's not really about the food, traditional or not. It's about being with those you love and enjoying that fact that you can be together.