JT and I tried to get some volunteers hours in Thanksgiving AM with the first annual Lost Our Home Pet Foundation’s Turkey Trot. First we walked two min-pin looking chihuahua mixes, Simon and Minnie and then took a short spin with Shadow (who had already been on a mile and half walk but was still so wound up that we were afraid he might get away from us – that boy was strong!) When we got home, Shenanigan could smell we had been visiting other dogs, so we took him on a nice long turkey trot too.
Once we had our good deeds behind us, we lazed around the house and did some of our cooking prep. JT was in charge of the turkey and I had tasked myself with some vegan side dishes. The stuffing was easy – Stovetop (cornbread version) from the box made with vegan margarine (no different from real margarine – super processed and pretty gross to eat plain but at least they offer a soy free version), a veggie dish and the cranberries.
For my veggies side, I made a roasted brussels sprouts and cinnamon butternut squash dish with walnuts and dried cranberries (recipe here). I’m usually not a fan of sweet and savory together but this really works and I’ve made it a few times now, all to good reviews. The cranberries were something my dad would always make for family gatherings in Iowa. I remember packing the food processor, bag of cranberries and oranges in the minivan for the schlep. I don’t know that he had a written recipe he followed and I’m also pretty sure his had gelatin in it, so I’ve found a veganized recipe that still holds on to what I liked best about his version – the freshly grated cranberries and whole oranges (even the peel – recipe here). In place of the gelatin, this recipe simply uses sugar (I toned that way done if favor of a more tart recipe) and raspberry jam. I had an organic superfruit jam blend that also had cherry in it, really good. My mother-in-law and her husband brought the rest of the feast with them, including a “wacky” cake for dessert and we were all set.
I love setting the table for nice meals. This year I used a white flannel sheet I had bought at Goodwill’s half off day. It was much less stress of worrying about wine or cranberry or anything else that might get on the table. The napkins are the embroidered “T” napkins we used at the head table at our wedding, almost twelve years ago now. The table runner was an impulse buy at Target and I think it is a Nate Berkus design. It had a really ugly black tassel on the ends that I removed as it was too harsh of a contrast between the white, light grey and silvers.
I am thankful for a lot in my life but I do have to say how very thankful I am for our old dog Shenanigan. He is so sweet and calm and sometimes silly and he brings so much comfort to our lives. He was happy to see his grandma but also happy to lay on his “pillow cloud” in the corner and hang out with us all evening (one of the dog beds is usually under the table but since we had the tablecloth on, I added it to his pile.) His face is almost all the way white now and his fatty tumor is so big that people ask if he is pregnant and I know our time with him is growing shorter every day. We’re trying to enjoy every last drop.
JT and I just had a nice lunch of leftovers and are enjoying one of the few gloomy days in Phoenix to lounge around and relax. I’ll be back later with our #opt outside events from yesterday and some gift ideas for the new-to-the-outdoors people like me. I hope you all had a great time gathering and feasting with your friends and families. Cheers – CT