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Post-Thanksgiving Thoughts

November 30, 2009

Hello all. I finally have time to update this! I have made quite a bit of food in the last few weeks, but nothing for Thanksgiving, alas. The boy and I drove the 11 hours to Ohio to visit my mom’s family (but no Mom & Dad, unfortunately, they were having Thanksgiving with my other grandparents back home) and had a lovely Thanksgiving Day and a productive (and kind of expensive), but not stressful Black Friday. We drove home on Saturday to avoid the traffic and stopped in Pennsylvania to visit friends and their adorable little boy and have lunch at a great diner that had amazing pie. I had coconut cream and the slice was like a quarter of a pie. Ginormous. I was unable to finish it and felt a little sick afterwards, especially since it was topped with meringue, not whipped cream. Ooof.

Thanksgiving dinner was lovely. Grandma made deliciously moist and fatty turkey with oven-baked stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, corn, and sweet potato casserole, in addition to her amazing bread-maker bread (sooooo good!), raw cranberry relish, and apple and pumpkin pie. The sweet potato casserole was a revelation. She baked the sweet potatoes, then peeled and mashed them smooth with sugar, egg, and a little spice, then put it in a casserole dish and topped it with brown sugar and chopped walnuts. It was so smooth and sweet, it tasted like pie! I had some with little turkey sandwiches for dinner.

Friday night we had leftovers at my aunt’s house and she made broccoli cheese rice casserole that was also amazing. *nom*

Now that we are home, things are slowing down a little finally. This week is my last week of class and I’m down to 10 hours/week at work. Which kind of sucks, but is kind of nice. I start my consulting work in January (which will be 30 hours a week or so, so it will even out) and class starts again January 20th. I’m only signed up for one class so far, but I think I’m going to try and make my consulting job my internship and maybe take one more class, depending on what my parents’ insurance company says, anyway! The parents have also offered (well, Mom demanded, actually) to help pay for school, which is nice and a big load off my shoulders but also makes me wonder, am I ever going to be able to take care of myself? Lol…

It’s a dark and rainy day today and it’s put me in a contemplative mood. I always get contemplative in late autumn and into winter. It’s nice to slow down and not have the stress of giant papers for school looming overhead. That’s one thing I think our urbanized society is missing that was present in rural and agricultural societies: down time in the winter. All the cold and darkness makes you want to just hole up and sleep late and read and conserve energy and cook and do craft projects. Which, if we were living on a mid-19th century farm, is what we’d be doing! Well, except for the sleeping late part. The animals need feeding, after all!

I didn’t get much time to think about thankfulness during Thanksgiving. I was too busy with school and packing for our trip and getting up at 5:30 am and driving 11 hours in heavy traffic and rain and then doing Christmas shopping and trying to avoid the crowds (which we did ably by going to places like Home Depot, Sears Home & Hardware, Lowe’s, and Bass Pro Shops). But now I have time to think. And here’s what I’m thankful for:

  1. The boy. : ) He’s the love of my life, he makes home a home, and I can’t imagine living without him. Did I mention that he’s funny and interesting and incredibly easy to talk to and get along with? I’m thankful that I’m able to just be with him every day.
  2. A roof over my head and the ability to put food on the table, even if we have to save up for things like bookshelves and other furniture.
  3. Friends and family. Especially family, for taking care of me and paying for things I’m too poor to pay for myself. And friends, old and new, for being awesome and fun.
  4. The opportunity to go to graduate school in a field I love.
  5. Having a job in the field and opportunities to expand my experiential horizons, even if the pay is kind of crappy and there are no benefits.
  6. Fresh food. I love fresh, whole fruits & veggies and am very lucky to live in an area where not only are they readily available, but are also local and often organic and usually pretty cheap.
  7. Good kitchen tools. They are slowly being amassed. I still don’t have enough enameled cast iron, though.
  8. Creativity. It’s the only reason why I can cook.
  9. Books. Cookbooks, fiction, hell, even textbooks. They are lovely. But I have too many of them. Would you like some? Please ask.
  10. Pretty things and things that make me feel pretty.
  11. Self-control. This is the stuff that makes me do my homework, clean (occasionally), and not buy cute shoes and clothes that I not only probably can’t afford, but don’t have room for.
  12. Vintage/antique stuff. Not only can it often be cheaper, it’s usually better quality and prettier than new stuff. Plus, hello? Reuse!
  13. And lastly, Facebook. Yes, Facebook. Because lord knows I never call anyone and it’s my only way to keep in touch (however tenuously) with far-flung friends and family.

There. How’s that for a list? Not too long, not too short. Half serious, half irreverent. Just like me.

And now, my dears, it is that time of the day in which I must start rustling up dinner, putting away washed dishes, and maybe, just maybe, washing the dirty ones before the boy comes home. I hope you all had lovely Thanksgivings. Tomorrow I’m off from work, so I think I will write about my Thanksgiving-inspired food goals/recipe list. Because we all need one. : )

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