Thanksgiving, recap

I wasn’t going to do this because after all, everyone in the U.S. who cooks the traditional fare, cooks basically the same thing on Thanksgiving. But I didn’t see too many other Thanksgiving feast food photos in my reader, so here they are.

Here is the table. After we discovered I had turned off the oven where my husband was baking the stuffing, and it had been off for half an hour, I decided to drink some of the sherry I used for my squash recipe. The wine glass is a gift from my friend and critique partner, so it’s a nice reminder of one of the people in my life for whom I am very thankful.

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All the way back in 2005, Sunset Magazine did a contest for Thanksgiving and put all the recipe winners in their September (I think) issue. I use that magazine every year to make this because my husband and mother in law love it. It’s not super sweet, which they prefer, and it’s quite fluffy and light (though not low-cal).

Sweet potato maple cream cheesecake with a graham cracker and pecan crust
Sweet potato maple cream cheesecake with a graham cracker and pecan crust

That magazine also has a recipe for stuffed kabocha squash. I noticed these squash at the store this year so I decided to go for it. I’m so glad I did. It was fantastic, tho’  the photo’s a tad blurry.

Kabocha squash stuffed with veggies and glazed with a sauce of Worcestershire, soy sauce, sherry, cumin, cayenne and butter and olive oil
Kabocha squash stuffed with veggies and glazed with a sauce of Worcestershire, soy sauce, sherry, cumin, cayenne and butter and olive oil

The turkey was my husband’s masterpiece. It finished a couple hours sooner than we expected, necessitating a bit of an acceleration in the kitchen as I had been using the long afternoon to write a new scene in my work in progress novel. The turkey stayed on the barbie for another hour, on low, gently smoking to a crispy-skinned exterior while retaining a succulent interior (due to being stuffed with quartered oranges):

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He also made the best cranberry-orange relish I’ve ever tasted, with the mushy part being pleasantly sweet from sugar and the best orange crop ever from one of our trees, and contrasting with lots of whole and nearly whole cranberries which burst upon the tongue with freshness and a tangy tartness.

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I am thankful for my health, for my family, for my friends, for having enough to eat, for all the variety of life, and for being a writer. I am also thankful for a new habit I have of thinking about things I like and appreciate for a minute and a half, first thing upon waking every day. This new habit is better than coffee for setting up a joyful day. I recommend it.

I signed a pledge not to shop on Thanksgiving. I am also not going to shop today! So there! I’m going to do my favorite thing: write.

Thanks for visiting, and enjoy the day.

Here are a few people who blogged about Thanksgiving:

http://cookiedoughkatzen.com/2013/11/29/the-holiday-season/

http://followthatleader.com/2013/11/29/being-thankful/

http://chasetheredgrape.com/2013/11/29/crossfit-energise/

Freedom from work, a poem by Nia Simone

Freedom from Work

How nice not to have to get serious.
No need to schedule a meeting.
No wondering when,
of four hundred and sixty
To Dos
one will fall through a crack.
And show up on my review.

No more having to be reasonable
or confine my passions to the acceptable.

No getting narrowly defined.
Though you made it worthwhile
for you (all y’all) accepted my narrowly channeled passion
and let me experience
work with
love.

Now I slipped through a crack
and I am free from work.

Copyright © 2013 Nia Simone. All rights reserved.

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Take a walk in the park… Rancho San Antonio, Cupertino, California

Note: All tree closeups I owe to sethsnap.com for teaching me to see  “tree art.”  http://sethsnap.com/2013/02/16/tree-art-of-halls-creek/

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Bridge over quiet waters
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Light storm
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Variety of life
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Pull up a stump and stay awhile
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Tree frame
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Tree cathedral

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Follow me
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What a tangled web we weave
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A distant, tranquil spot among the oaks
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Texture
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Silicon Valley

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Hiking

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San Francisco Bay
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Way home beckons
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Joy
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Peace
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Shadow of the observer