The past few weeks have been absolutely wonderful. I love the holidays and all of the joy the season brings. From Thanksgiving until New Years, everyone seems slightly happier despite the shifting temperatures (read: cold), and there’s a definite sense of camaraderie among strangers. Or, maybe that’s just in the Midwest. Whatever it is, I am truly grateful to have spent the past few weekends with loved ones, and I am so excited to spend Christmas with my family, and am especially excited to celebrate my niece’s first Christmas with her.
I spent Thanksgiving with my dad at his place in the south, which by the way was no warmer than it is up here. I was severely disappointed by the temperature, but the moderate-yet-more-than-Ohio-has-gotten-in-a-while sunshine was a pleasant consolation prize. And of course, my dad is the cutest and the bestest ever, so seeing him made me a million times happier.
There are a few days in the year that “fat free” ingredients just won’t cut it, and Thanksgiving is absolutely one of them. Other such days include Christmas, New Years Eve (hors d’oeurves and champagne galore!), the Super Bowl (a variety of dips are the best part of any sporting event), your birthday, your significant other’s birthday (they can’t eat chocolate cake alone, you know?), and National Chocolate Day, obviously. This year’s Thanksgiving menu was no exception. We used real butter, real cream, real cheese, real deliciousness.
The key here is portion control, and combining small portions of heavy, fatty, yummy entrees and sides with lighter, healthier options too. Which is why we made a salad, obviously.
Many people are curious to know what vegetarians eat at Thanksgiving in lieu of a turkey. When the table consists of mostly meat-eaters/turkey lovers, vegetarians often resign to eating a plate full of gravy-less mashed potatoes and bread rolls. While I do load up on mashed potatoes every year, our fully vegetarian meal features some sort of pasta (usually ravioli or lasagna) as the main entree. Always carby and delicious.
Clockwise: Caramelized Onion Gravy, Sweet Potato Tikka with Corriander Chutney, Apple and Raspberry Salad with Gorgonzola Cheese, Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes, Daddy’s Special Lentil Soup, French Baguette, and Four Cheese Ravioli with Tomato-Cream Sauce and Fresh Basil.
Dad and I are generally extremely informal when it comes to Thanksgiving, because, well, it’s usually just the two of us. Therefore, we sat on the sofa, used the coffee table as the dinner buffet, and watched football/Harry Potter while we ate. But we did bring out fancier plates! It’s important to remember that Thanksgiving isn’t about the formalities and the fine china and extensive tablescapes. My Thanksgiving this year was my perfect Thanksgiving, spent with my most incredible father (who I still call Daddy all the time by the way), eating yummy food that we only get to eat once a year, browsing the sale ads in the newspaper, creating a strategy for the shopping to follow, and sharing a giant bowl of chocolate ice cream with my dad, in our sweats, at midnight.
Dad and I at a late night screening of ‘Last Vegas’.