Thanksgiving to me is like a very long chorus of TRADITION from Fiddler on the Roof. Each person’s beliefs about the foods needs to be considered.
Each person must feel welcomed.
Our little family’s is an mish-mash of traditions from Ireland, German, Dutch, Native American, tossed gently with years in the food industry for seasonings.
So we get a bit eclectic with our meal. When Holiday time comes, you just want to make things feel familiar but also change them up just a teeny bit.
Discovering fresh red pearl onions at the market gave me the chance to change up a favorite part of Thanksgiving for my husband. Creamed onions are so simple. The organic Cream truly does all the work once it is in the pan to smoothly coat each tender bite of sulfury vegetable. The more difficult part is the peeling. I like to cut off both ends of each onion and then put them into a bowl of water and scrub the peels off.
Sometimes that makes it simpler, other times I just let go and enjoy zen like focus, slipping each little pearl from its paper jacket.
If you can’t find these in your market, the frozen ones work ok too. Just let them thaw and drain before using them in the cream.
Vegan Version?: I just don’t know how you would make creamed onions without the cream. But if you sauteed the olives in a bit of olive oil and lots of fresh herbs, they would be a very appealing accompaniment to the meal.
Slam of the car door, the whoosh as the child collapses into the seat.
Famished, ready to eat the cat if it stands still long enough. Or maybe even if it doesn’t.
Sudden Death time. Food better be on the table quickly.
Haven’t we all had days like this? When your body is so in want of food that the idea of taking even an hour to make dinner is just too long. The Hangries have reared their ugly head, that devastating combination of hungry and angry that stems from low blood sugar.
What is your go-to food for these times?
Do you have a repertoire of 7 or so meals that can be on the table in 20 minutes or less?
I do, simply because it isn’t an anomaly, this need for food quickly is the norm ’round our house.
With two working parents and two typical pre-teens, our evenings are packed with music lessons, sports events, late patients and such.
So when we finally pull in the driveway, we want food, fast.
Thank goodness my mother impressed upon me the benefits of a well stocked pantry. Maybe it was her Depression era upbringing that made her always keep enough food around the house. Maybe it was because with a family of 8, shopping was truly a chore. So if you did it in large quantities, you could shop once a week instead of daily.
Or maybe my mom wanted to be able to put a good meal on the table anytime she wanted.
I’ve got to admit that my pantry is vastly different than my mom’s.
Gone are the canned vegetables, soups and fruits, replaced with glass jars of tomatoes for sauce, Did anyone else grow up on Spatini sauce?
Gone are the packaged foods, the instant potato flakes, the Mapleine to make syrup.
Do they still make Mapeline? (yup, they do!)
My pantry more closely resembles what I image my grandmother’s pantry would have looked like.
Large bags of flours and grains, homemade jams and jellies, bags of nuts and frozen vegetables in the freezer with a smattering of canned foods. Sardines, wild caught tuna, and beans are the predominant ones.
And then there are the foods that neither my mother nor my grandmother would have stocked at all, kalamata olives, gluten free pastas, capers, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and polenta.
These all form the basis of my fast, healthy weeknight meals.
Here is how I do it.
So much snow for a small community, so much to be overwhelmed with by Mother Nature, inches gracefully drifting from the sky, adding up to feet of fluffy coldness.
Shutting down traffic, closing schools, and giving us all a chance to stay home and cook instead of being overwhelmed, but with grass-fed Beef Stew in the crockpot all feels right.
Almost like the feeling I got when I realized my family needed to be gluten free. All four of us had had symptoms for so long, but it was so easy to explain them away.
We can’t now. We’ve been gluten-free for a month and we all are feeling so much better.
No farting in the mornings, no foggy heads, unable to put together comprehensive thoughts beyond 8pm.
No dark under eye circles on any of us. Terrific.
So the girls (fraternal twin almost 7 year olds) got the week off from school and were horribly disappointed!
They had to spend their time with games, sledding, reading and baking Gluten-Free snacks with Mom and Dad.