Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving! I am indeed thankful for so many things this year--for the news of TWO matches in the cord blood bank for a little girl I know who needs a bone marrow transplant, for my amazingly beautiful and interesting and just-fun-to-be-with children, for my dear husband and his new scratchy mustache, for my teaching work and engagement with plans for the future for all the family, for my amazing friends online and local, for my country, as flawed and frustrating as it is, and most of all for my great God, Who does so much for me that I often take so for granted.


(All counts are approximate--I don't remember exactly what I did.)
2-3 pink grapefruit
2 navel oranges
2-3 tangerines
3-4 clementines
1/2 cup shredded coconut (yes, mine is sweetened)

Peel and section all citrus, peeling off most of the membranes but leaving some so that there are distinguishable chunks throughout, adjusting quantities for the right mix of colors. Then mix in the shredded coconut and stir well, leaving in the fridge overnight. Better as the days go by.

Verdict--Excellent! This is one of my favorite Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions, though I often make it with just navel oranges. Those and coconut constitute the traditional Southern version, though some might sneak in some sugar, if the oranges aren't juicy enough.


Turkey--It's pretty healthy to begin with. I'll have a few ounces, and yes, some dark meat, but no skin.

Gravy--My turkey roasted so moistly there weren't really any browned bits in the pan, so I'm just reducing the stock (chilled overnight and skimmed of fat) and adding some white wine and seasonings, no thickener. This is amazingly good--try it!

Dressing--Instead of adding a whole stick of butter to the bag of mix (combined with half a skillet of homemade cornbread), I used just a couple of tablespoons, with which I sauteed an onion and two ribs of celery and a bunch of sage from our garden. I used chicken broth for additional "body" and flavor.

Mashed potatoes--Instead of lots of butter and cream, our big three quarts or more has about a half a stick of butter and a half cup of sour cream with 1% milk to correct the consistency.

Green beans--Instead of a casserole, with mushroom soup and canned fried onions (why does everyone find it necessary to make this?!), we're having a nice batch of plain steamed green beans, though I might add a bit of butter and some slivered almonds if I feel they need dressing up.

Sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce--A guest is supplying these, and I'll have a little of each.

Rolls--To reduce temptation and labor, I purchased some pretty ones (mixed types) from the grocery bakery. I can leave those alone, or just taste one of the rye ones.

Appetizers--I will put out a dry salami and good cheese with crackers. As long as I don't open the Boursin cheese, I won't be too tempted, but I might sample the salami (a sliver). I am thankful that I am so well nourished and not "craving" most of the time, so that I can really enjoy "just a taste" of these kinds of things.

Pies--My daughters made traditional apple and pumpkin, and I'll have a bite or so of each, but that's it. I'm saving up for . . .

COMPLETELY WORTH IT INSANE INDULGENCE--Priceless Pecan Triangles. One 48th of the recipe is 160 calories, 100 of those from fat. I plan to have no more than two of these today, and maybe just one, fully savored with a good cup of coffee.


Breakfast--Leftover oatmeal with apple and ginger and cinnamon

Lunch--Scant three ounces of mixed white and dark meat turkey, (measures following approximate) 1/4 cup dressing, 1/4 cup mashed potatoes, 2 tablespoons reduced turkey stock (see "gravy" above), tablespoon homemade cranberry sauce, 1/4 cup sweet potato casserole, 3/4 cup green beans (dressed with scant dab of olive oil and lemon juice), 3/4 cup AMBROSIA; two bites each of apple pie and pumpkin pie, equivalent of one pecan triangle

Supper--Salad of red leaf and iceberg lettuce with red bell pepper, canned beets, 2 oz. turkey breast, and a tablespoon of cucumber dressing with two tablespoons of plain lowfat yogurt; 1/2 cup canned baked beans with navy beans; one pecan triangle

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