Posted by: Hil | November 15, 2008

Is It Thanksgiving Yet?

Thanksgiving is coming!  I am so excited about Thanksgiving.  We are having a small Thanksgiving with a group of people we really like:  my mom, her childhood best friend, and one of our good friends from college who lives in the area.  And the food will be amazing.  My mom knows how to throw Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving last year was pretty much my ultimate feast.  It was delicious and rich and we didn’t leave out anything that we wanted.  We just added more veggies and left out all of the carbohydrate laden dishes that we didn’t like anyway.  We all loved it so much that we decided to repeat it pretty much exactly.  Here is our projected Thanksgiving menu for this year.  Recipes will be forthcoming! 


We like to have a late-ish Thanksgiving dinner, which means that we need to have plenty of things for people to eat in the meantime so that they don’t starve.  A simple offering of vegetable soup, bread and cheese fit the bill perfectly.

  • Gourmet Cheese Platter with Crackers–my mom’s friend brings this, and she goes all out.  She has a great local cheese shop with lots of delicious artisan cheeses and she brings a wonderful selection.  It’s a sight to behold.
  • Homemade whole wheat bread  (courtesy of the Lemonator)
  • Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup
  • A seasonal signature mixed drink–My mom makes exciting mixed drinks when she sets her mind to it.  Last year, it was ginger juleps…this year cranberry margaritas are  front runner.


  • Roast Turkey
  • Mushroom, Fennel and Sausage Stuffing with Wild Rice–we have a lot of bread-stuffing haters in my house, so this is my alternative.  I will definitely blog this when I make it, because it is delicious and unique.  We use fresh made chicken apple sausage from our local market.
  • Homemade Cranberry Sauce
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Turkey Gravy
  • Roasted Brussel Sprouts
  • Sautéed Green Beans with Tomato, Shallots, Garlic, Basil, and White Wine


  • Sparkling water
  • Red wine
  • White wine


    • Apple Pie
    • Pumpkin Pie

    I call last year’s Thanksgiving a meal that changed my life.  People laugh at this, but it’s true.  For me, this meal was the absolute perfect feast.  It was fresh, seasonal, varied and bursting with flavor.  Every dish seemed more delicious than the last.  It had all of the seasonal treats that I love and none of the heavy dishes that I only feel so-so about.  (No yams with marshmallows or orange juice concentrate, no bready stuffing from a box, no cranberry sauce from a can, no rolls slathered with butter, no canned soup drenching the poor green beans.)  Iwas incredibly filled and happy at the end of the meal, but I didn’t feel the slightest urge to stuff myself.  I was so completely satisfied with my food that there was no need for that.  I was full, but definitely not “Thanksgiving full.”

    As a matter of fact, we had a pretty big crowd last year and NOBODY stuffed themselves to the brim.  Not even the guys.  I was shocked.  Doesn’t everyone stuff themselves silly on Thanksgiving?  Not last year.  Everyone ate one good heaping plate of food and one small piece of pie. We ate what we wanted, but we didn’t go totally crazy. Looking back, I think it’s because so much of this menu is lean protein and veggies–nutritious, filling fare.  We had vegetable soup, two veggie side dishes, turkey, and stuffing primarily made of veggies and lean chicken sausage. The cheese was very rich, but it filled us up and we didn’t totally gorge ourselves on it.  Our two big treats were the mashed potatoes (full of butter and cream) and the pie. And everyone took sensible amounts of those things.  It was wonderful.  Thanksgiving last year really inspired me to think about the ways that taste and nutrition of my food affect my perceived satisfaction after a meal.  It was a huge leap forward in my mindful eating efforts.

    I can’t for this year’s Thanksgiving!  I am going to make the stuffing and the green beans, and the Lemonator is going to make the bread and brussel sprouts.  And, of course both of us will be on hand to sous chef and do dishes as needed.

    How about you?  Do you you have a favorite Thanksgiving dish or tradition you are really looking forward to?



    1. your menu looks fab – sounds like a great holiday!

    2. I’m looking forward to making new traditions – this is my first Thanksgiving not with my family since Bobby and I live so far away 😦 But I’m hoping it will be awesome! I still have to work out the menu and figure out what we’re doing.

    3. That DOES sound life changing! For being such a good-eating holiday, it’s amazing that some of the food is so craptastic.
      Last year I went home for the first time since we moved to Texas and was so excited that I ate too much and threw up! LOL it was hilarious! Then I took a nap.
      Hope that wasn’t too gross. I’ll never forget that Thanksgiving!

    4. Looove Thanksgiving as well – great menu plan you got there!!

    5. Can I please come to your place for Thanksgiving? Please, please??

      I kid…. but your menu looks delicious!

      I am looking forward to a slice of my grandmother’s pie. She’s 92 years old and still makes the best pies in the world!

    6. Wow, the menu looks amazing! Happy early Thanksgiving! Canadians here already celebrated way back in October! -lol-

    7. I love Thanksgiving so much!

      My mom makes THE MOST AMAZING stuffing. My family always intersects traditional Thanksgiving dishes with Russian foods, so it’s always such a pleasure to come home to! I love it =]

      Plus, I haven’t seen my family since early October, I am sooo excited!

    8. Can I come to your house for Thanksgiving?


      Maybe I’ll pretend I’m American so I can have a Thanksgiving dinner in November as well as October… hehe.

    9. Wow, what an awesome menu!

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