A Tale of Two Thanksgivings

First…thank you guys for all of your kind words about Garrett’s grandma. I know he appreciated them, and taking the week off to just focus on hanging with Garrett and his mom, seeing family, chowing down on some delicious treats, and watching football were just what the doctor ordered.

We spent Thanksgiving Day with Garrett’s family, which was so fun. I made this Pomegranate Champagne Punch, which was tart and bubbly and super refreshing. And then because I was assigned the appetizers and can’t help myself, I also brought way too much food. I am recently obsessed with Whole Foods and their Bacon Jalapeno Cheese Ball, but Homesick Texan has a recipe that looks eerily similar. So delicious as a treat on carrots and celery.

Christmas Dinner

Speaking of carrots and celery, I also made a veggie tray with dip. You can’t have holiday noshing without veggies and dip. It makes you feel like you are being healthy, even when you know you are knee dip rich, delicious (sometimes not-so-healthy) foods. I also made these Baked Artichoke Squares and when they were hot, they were DELICIOUS. At room temperature, despite what the recipe said, they were sort of ho-hum. Ah, well. I’ll know for next time.

Also, I can’t do holidays without a cheese platter, but there is absolutely nothing Paleo about a cheese platter. IT IS MY KRYPTONITE.
Christmas Dinner

We were lucky that we also got to see my side of the family as well during the week and it got me thinking about Thanksgiving and food traditions. We have the exact same thing each year at Thanksgiving, and there is something so comforting about that, I think. We always have a big roasted turkey with gravy.

Garrett is a dark meat fan, but I always opt for the white meat. Mostly because I like to have it with a little homemade cranberry compote. I need to blog that recipe sometime, because it is FREAKING AMAZING and people always end up just eating it plain when I bring it somewhere. When was the last time you did that with jellied cranberry sauce from a can?

There is also, of course, stuffing. The first year we went paleo I completely avoided my Uncle Mark’s famous stuffing. But I missed it so much that I haven’t skipped it since. It is one of those once a year special occasion foods that I enjoy with abandon because Thanksgiving just isn’t the same without it. So despite it being a complete gluten bomb, I savor every sage-y, toasted, black olive filled bite.

Every dish isn’t a complete paleo deviation though — there are plenty of brussels sprouts with bacon and walnuts, which is a family favorite.

And aside from the marshmallows, the maple and sweet potato casserole with pineapple isn’t toooo bad (ok, maybe I’m rationalizing.)

There were mashed potatoes too, and then my mom and grandma always make a delicious green salad. This year was butter lettuce, almonds, orange slices, avocado, green onions and pomegranate arils.

Very refreshing to actually see some green on the plate with everything. Speaking of everything, here is the entire spread:
HOLY MOSES. Food coma in 3, 2, 1…

After all of the eating (MY GOD, WITH THE EATING) we took Buster out for a walk around the neighborhood. It’s just starting to look like fall around here, and people are putting up their holiday decorations so it was a fun diversion to get out and get some fresh air.

This weekend our backyard decided to finally start looking like fall too. For a while were wondering if this tree would ever change colors, and then practically overnight it changed into this:
And just like that, it has turned into fall in our backyard.

Despite the sad news about Garrett’s grandma there were a lot of high points to the week. Of course as of today we are both back to work but that comes with the added benefit of being back to normal life. While we both wish vacation would last juuuuuuuuust a few more days, it will be nice to go back to cooking and eating good nourishing food, exercising hard and continuing to watch the season unfold. I am making it my mission from now until Christmas to just focus on the tiny little mundane details of our lives and to be conscious of all the joy that those little routines bring. I think it will help keep me sane, and I am determine make it through the seasonal craziness with my sanity in tact.

That’s one helluva lofty goal, frankly, but I’m starting today.

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4 Responses to A Tale of Two Thanksgivings

  1. So glad to hear you ended up having a good celebration despite the sad news. Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!

  2. Linda Sand says:

    I scooped some sweet potatoes out from under the marshmallow topping then my neighbor thought he got a real bonus with my marshmallows added to his. Talk about win-win.

  3. sizzle says:

    Now I want some cheese.

    Sounds like you guys really enjoyed the holiday. Togetherness is key! I’m trying to focus on the holiday spirit and not get bogged down with buying a bunch of stuff that we can’t afford. I’d like to just settle into life and enjoy the little moments- they whiz by so fast.

  4. San says:

    I am sorry about Garrett’s grandma, but it’s nice that you got to spend time with family and reminisce….

    this cheese platter looks AMAZING!