Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. We celebrate Thanksgiving with a large meal. We do not have any family living close by, so we tend to celebrate the holidays at home quietly. There is usually significant time spent talking to the relatives over the phone, wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I grew up in rural Ontario. Thanksgiving brings back fond memories of fighting over one more helping of dressing (I was the only girl living with 5 boys)and playing cards. We always had our meal on the Sunday preceeding Thanksgiving which is celebrated on the second Monday of October. It was served at 5:00pm. We hardly ate a bite all day to save up and make room for all of the delicious goodies that were being served. It wasn't anything fancy at our house, but that didn't matter. There was always a large turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas and carrots, and salad. Pumpkin pie or cheesecake were the desserts. We stuffed ourselves. My husband swears that I suffer from food envy. Until recently, I tried to eat as much as he does during the holidays. This food envy comes from not wanting the "boys" to get more than their share. I love holiday food! I knew that if I enjoyed every bite, I might not get more. It isn't as though there wasn't enough made, but it seemed that the more food there was, the more food that was eaten. I laugh just thinking about the absurdity of it all. I miss visiting my great grandmother in the home and singing some really old songs. I miss going to my grandma's and eating pie with butterscotch ripple ice cream. I miss my family who live to the west and far east of here. I always wonder what it would be like to be home for Thanksgiving again. My children are growing up without knowing their cousins, or aunties and uncles. They have met a few, but only see them on rare occassions (when they come visit). I long to visit the family that is thousands of miles from here in all the places I am familiar with. Nonetheless, I am determined to start our own family traditions for the holidays.

Even while living in Germany, we celebrated a "Canadian Thanksgiving." I made a turkey or a chicken. We opted for a chicken in our earlier married years, because we (dh & I) were eating it pretty much on our own. We invited my mother-in-law to join us, but she didn't like my stuffing. She wasn't actually sure what it was. My dear husband fell in love with my stuffing and didn't mind if his mother didn't like it. My mother-in-law ate her first pumpkin pie and wasn't sure what to make of that either. It was interesting and fun trying to bring my strange culture into a German home. My husband insisted that we continue to celebrate Thanksgiving. He was thankful that I would go to all the trouble of preparing so much food for him to indulge in. So Thanksgiving stayed an important feast in our small family.

Now we have three children, two of which are hungry growing boys. The pot that once cooked potatoes for the whole family is now the veggie pot. The large soup pot is now the potato pot. Some day I will have to make potatoes in the dutch oven just like we did when I was growing up. The chicken is no longer big enough and a 10lb Turkey will have to do. There is much more food in general. This year I have decided to go all out. I am making my first ever gluten free Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for gluten free products and recipes.

Our Thanksgiving dinner menu looks like this:

Cranberry,Walnut and Feta Salad

Spicy and Super-Juicy Roast Turkey

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Gluten Free Gravy

Cornbread Stuffing

Pumpkin Cheesecake(I used GF Graham cracker crumbs and GF Flour)

Jello Salad aka St. Joseph Salad


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