Thursday, November 26, 2020

How Wonderful Life is While You're in the World

Thanksgiving Plate 2020
2020 brings to mind many things.  Thanksgiving 2020 brings to mind one. Thank goodness all of our families and friends stayed alive through the virus.  Many friends lost family and coworkers were hit very hard.  But somehow, even with all the scares, we stand lucky and alive.  So even though 2020 itself was a major hardship, it didn't kill us.  For that, gratitude is in order.
I had one day off for the holiday so I was threatening a Reader's Digest version of dinner but in the end I was blessed with the Hunter's moon that put my energy stream into overdrive.  I made the pie after working late the night before to have with coffee in the morning and then just tackled each recipe with a focus only the full moon can allow.  
I finished the roast garlicky mashed potatoes in the crock with sour cream, milk and butter and they definitely became the creamiest ever.  I love the fresh raw cranberry citrus relish and the way it makes all the savory turkey flavor pop.  
The salad was a lightened up broccoli carrot and apple salad normally slathered with Mayo but I mixed in lots of yogurt and apple cider vinegar.  I have learned that although salads never sound great for this particular meal when you just want to get at the good stuff, they are very necessary for balance.  And somehow the vegetable essence comes through even more.
I made a 2020 version of my mom's famous stuffing with pecans, wild rice and exotic mushrooms and I loved it so much, I'd use it as a side dish in regular rotation. 
I fried my own shallot rings for the green bean casserole. 
I'm a hit and miss kind of gal with baked goods but this Buttermilk Cornbread was a big winner in the cast iron pan with a recipe from Damn Delicious, and that it was.  Buttery but loads of texture, moist enough yet not cakey in the least. 
My gravy was on point made with turkey drippings and stock from the necks of the the bird. 
My appetizer came in the form of this refreshing and bright Shrimp Ceviche!  I was too busy to enjoy it then but later that night was able to stand at the open fridge door, Nigella Lawson style and scoop up a bunch with crackers.  
The bird barely fit in my tiny oven, so it's little belly got some burnt buttered herbs but other than that it was what it should be.
I found out that many family members had gone against recommendations and gathered, traveled and you guessed it, all unmasked.  I wrestled with some odd desire to teach them a lesson, but quickly realized that a horrible thought.  To those of us that understand the risks, their carelessness felt shocking and slightly disrespectful, even though I'm sure it's not personal.  But in the end, none of that matters although now I hold my breathe in the hopes that I find them all healthy and fine in the coming weeks.  Regardless, I can take this day to remember how grateful I am for every single person in my life.  Even the stupid ones. 

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