Thursday, November 18, 2010

Let's Talk Turkey

Can you believe that next Thursday is Thanksgiving 2010? I was tickled pink when Rob turned to me (as we watched the Thanksgiving themed cooking shows last Saturday) and said, "Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday." It was very sweet. Rob, being an English ex-pat, had never celebrated Thanksgiving until he moved to the US in 2001. Those first few years he was ambivalent about the whole thing and just didn't get why I didn't want to have turkey on Christmas. LOL!

I'm looking forward to it because it is a day that Rob and I get to spend together doing what we love, a hike up the mountain, watching the parade and working in the kitchen sharing a bottle of wine. And of course, the turkey. On Friday we're attending the annual curry cook-off at Lisa and Bill's home. I bought a large turkey so I could transform some of the meat into delectable Turkey Tikka-Masala. I'm also going to make Sag Paneer, which is spicy, creamy spinach that is topped with morsels of Indian paneer cheese. Fun time with friends around homemade Indian dishes, now that is something to be thankful for.

The food shopping is done and I just finished cleaning and organizing the house. Rob and I will make all the side dishes on Wednesday so that on Thursday we will just tend the turkey (a lovely plump bird named Nigella) and make the gravy.

I have memories of my mother cooking up feasts of epic proportion with so many amazing and elaborate dishes but she stressed herself out so much that I wonder if she ever enjoyed any of it. I'm keeping the menu fairly streamlined and have some good outdoor physical activity planned because endorphins and fresh air make for great mood and decreased stress. A holiday isn't a holiday if I'm stressed out. I mean, what is the point?

Whatever your holiday plans are, make sure you look after yourself so that you can truly enjoy your holiday weekend. Get plenty of rest, get some physical activity in and drink lots of water to stay hydrated if you plan on imbibing on flowing holiday wine. Eat slowly, savoring every lovingly prepared morsel. Eat mindfully, enjoy a little of everything but pay attention to when your body says "STOP EATING." Take some time to reflect on all the things that we have to be thankful for, our health, our loved ones, the fresh air, the blue sky, all the little things that make life joyful.

What are your Thanksgiving plans and what are your strategies for keeping this holiday healthy and stress free?


  1. My strategy is to only eat the things I REALLY REALLY love, and to eat those is reasonable portions. If I don't really really love it, its just not worth it on such a high risk day. :-)

  2. Nigella is a great name for a turkey. I'm sure she'll be tasty.

    Major strategy for diffusing stress: don't feel obligated to do anything you don't want to do just because you are "supposed" to, its supposed to be fun.

    T-Day dinner is going to be roast chicken and veg with suffing. And some kind of dessert. That's it. And we'll go out to the radio station we volunteer at and sub a shift (, 2-6 EST in case you are curious).

  3. I am going to get in some good exercise on turkey day with a 4 miles run. I do struggle when I go down to my sister's house for Thanksgiving. There is just so much food and it is food that I really only eat on the holiday. I just try not to get so stuffed that I am uncomfortable. I will take seconds on those things I truly love, but try to not do a bunch of nut and cracker snacking before eating dinner.

  4. For the first time in my 38 years of marriage, my parents are coming to my house for Thanksgiving. My mother volunteered to bring the dressing (she makes a killer cornbread kind, yum!) and we (Mr. Stellans and I) are doing the rest. The rest includes my family favorites not necessarily those I grew up with; we're having fresh fruit salad, sweet potato casserole, green beans, turkey (spatchcocked and grilled), cranberry sauce, Parker House rolls, and a humongous relish/crudité tray. Believe it or not, that isn't quite half of what my mother used to put on!

    Mr. Stellans will do the turkey on Thursday, and like you and Rob, we're putting together all the sides on Wednesday, ready for cooking.

    Luckily, the house isn't in bad shape at all, so there's no need for a frantic stuffing of closets or anything. It does feel good, I have to admit...