Thanksgiving has never been my favorite holiday. Sandwiched between my birthday/Halloween and Xmas, Thanksgiving just seemed lackluster in comparison. Plus, I was never a fan of the turkey/pecan pie food coma. Sometimes food isn’t worth the crappy feelings that come after it!
This is not how Jesse sees it. Jesse has always believed Thanksgiving to be a magical holiday. Some of his favorite memories are of Thanksgivings past, eating huge amounts of good food with his grandparents, parents, sisters, and other relatives. To Jesse, there is nothing better than food and family, and the best things in life happen around the dinner table. Thus, Thanksgiving is his very, very FAVORITE holiday.
It is with this in mind that I flew down to participate in my first, real Thanksgiving with Jesse’s family. It is true that when your significant other is really excited about something, it makes you excited as well. We also planned on doing things a little differently than we did last Thanksgiving season. Last year, I did not get to attend Thanksgiving dinner, however I was in Portland prior, and did try to participate as much as possible. I did a decent amount of cooking, but Jesse was too busy and too exhausted to help much with the process. This year, we made a promise to do all of the cooking together. With Jesse being paleo and my new vegan diet, this was also highly necessary since it is very hard to feed both of us. We decided to set aside time Thanksgiving eve and Thanksgiving morning to cook dishes that we could both eat. We decided to make paleo/vegan cashew pumpkin mini cheesecakes, vegan/paleo squash gratin, paleo/vegan mushroom gravy, and I would bake some tofu steaks just for me.
We had a wonderful time. We even had enough time for sleep, some homemade bath and body product mixing (one of Jesse’s hobbies), and we got to watch the documentary Happy. I think one of the biggest contributions to our combined happiness (besides being together) was not being worried about how our food turned out. Perhaps because last year we had to say goodbye just before the main event (Thanksgiving dinner), we were just happy to be able to spend the holiday together.
For the record, the gravy and the cheesecakes were delicious! The gratin was good, but could have used a little more squash, and a little less cashew cheese. That wasn’t the recipe’s fault! That was all me and Jesse thinking that more cheese would be better! Jesse’s family didn’t eat much of anything that we made, but we sure ate the crap out of all of it. I discovered that when you are vegan, stuffing your face doesn’t actually lead to an instant food coma. I also didn’t put on much weight, despite stuffing my face multiple times. That was very nice!
My favorite thing was Thanksgiving night. After all was said and done, Jesse and I got all ready for bed, and made a podcast about what we were thankful for. Perhaps it will not surprise you that we talked a lot about our families, and each other. I really liked that.
Maybe I can learn to appreciate this whole Thanksgiving thing a lot more.
(If you want to listen to the podcast, you can click on the link below. Warning, it is very full of the awwwwwwwww factor!)
This Week in Updates:
So, I think I talked a lot about how the week went already. Things that have not been mentioned, include a wonderful letter from my sister Jennifer Dahlquist, a very fruitful orange tree in my back yard, and the fact that I did not work out for three days straight. I haven’t done that in… over five years!
The last day of break was caused by a very sore throat and a headache. Knowing Jesse was sick, I felt the sudden onset of symptoms and knew my system was responding to some buggy invaders. Because of that, after flying home, I just went grocery shopping and went to bed. Jesse feeds me pretty well, so I had tons of healthy veggies in my system. We had also managed to get decent sleep during my visit. Also, I may have splurged a little bit on a chipolte sweet potato sandwich from the Sacramento Natural Food Co-Op (my favorite!) which was also loaded with good vitamins and food. I am tired this morning, but my throat doesn’t feel like a balloon. Thus, I’m hopeful that the rest was a good idea! No matter what though, heavy weight day is definitely on today’s TO DO list.
The Recipe: Vegan pumpkin cheesecakes
So not my recipe, but the results are so good that it deserves a mention! I think I loved my vegan dessert this year, better than any other non vegan thanksgiving desserts that I ever had. That’s saying something, isn’t it? Sometimes tradition isn’t really the best thing for you, or even the best thing for your happiness! A little tweek here and there, and both Jesse and I discovered something new and delicious. We are thinking some mini cheesecakes definitely need to be made for xmas at the Dahlquists (my family). Maybe… chocolate?