There Will be Turkey

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Ho Ho Ho! Did you hear the one about the Chihuahua and the turkey?

It ends with the turkey languishing in a hot oven like an executive in a sauna and the greedy Chihuahua drooling beside the stove, hoping the bird will make a last-ditch break for freedom.

We people are merry today because our family’s together and we have a lovely turkey on our table and a wonderful dog sniffing around underneath it. The pooch is happy because my sailor can’t resist those big puppy eyes so there will be tidbits coming her way.

Wishing you everything necessary for a joyous day this Christmas.

An Attitude of Gratitude

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Woo hoo! Thanksgiving’s next weekend!

It’s my favourite long weekend because of the magic three: amazing food, mild autumn weather and time to appreciate all that turkey goodness with my wonderful family. This year will be extra special because we’ll all be together. (Last Thanksgiving my Sailor was in Afghanistan and I was a nervous wreck, but he came home safely so we’ll focus on the positive.)

I love the idea of giving thanks for all the blessings in life, but I’m usually too stressed about things beyond my control to be thankful.

Fortunately, the most amazing source of all information (the internet) has tons of stuff about gratitude and thankfulness. Mind Body Green caught my attention with its “scientific proof that being thankful improves your health.” (Does this mean I’m actually harming my health because I’m too worried to be thankful??? I’m going to need some extra wine to get through this gratitude stuff.)

Thankfully (see how I worked that in!) it’s not really so hard to be thankful.

It turns out Oprah was right when she directed us to keep a gratitude journal. Every week, jotting down three to five things you’re grateful for (like season five of The Walking Dead) can lead to increased energy, happiness and hope.

Don’t limit your gratitude practice to journalling. Create art to demonstrate your gratitude. Speak about it. Blog about it. (For example–I’m grateful my Sailor demonstrates his gratitude for our family by cooking me a delicious turkey dinner every year!)

Train yourself to think grateful positive thoughts. This is a hard one for me, but I want some of that joy the grateful people flaunt so I’m going to give it a try.

It’s not like I have much choice. Gratitude combats depression, anxiety and loneliness. With stakes this high, I just hope I can be grateful enough…

Merry Thanksmas!

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I elbowed my sailor awake at 8:00 Sunday morning.

“Wake up!” I hissed. “You have to soak your turkey!”

His eyes popped open. Being a sailor, he assumed soak your turkey was a euphemism for something fun.

It wasn’t.

He had to soak his frozen turkey to defrost it for roasting. Sunday was to be our family’s Thanksmas celebration–an amalgamation of Thanksgiving and Christmas, the two turkey roasting opportunities he’d missed.

His initial disappointment aside, my sailor performed admirably, putting together a complicated turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, gravy, homemade stuffing, two different vegetables and cranberry sauce. (Okay, the cranberry sauce came from a can, but he did transfer that gelatinous mass into a pretty serving dish.)

He was in the kitchen for hours, chopping, boiling, mashing, stuffing and all manner of other cooking verbs.

Afterward, I loaded the dishwasher, but he dealt with the grosser aspects of clean-up–disposing of the stripped carcass and scrubbing the roasting tin.

In short, he performed like a kitchen champion.

And he thanked me for providing the opportunity to work his fingers to bone for me.

I love Thanksmas!

Gobble Gobble

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I picked up a surprise for my sailor on Friday–a frozen turkey!

I would’ve gotten him a fresh turkey, but the local Safeway only stocks them for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Turkey lovers looking for a fowl fix at other times must settle for frozen.

Fresh or frozen–it’s no big deal for me as I won’t be involved in its preparation. (I’ll likely be shopping or reading.)

The guy at the meat counter explained that my sailor will have to soak his turkey (breast side down, mind you–apparently this is very important for some reason) in cold water for six to eight hours before cooking to defrost it. He’ll have to remember to change the water every two hours.

It will be like caring for some flabby water-dwelling pet for the better part of a day–until he massages its wet hide with oil and herbs and slaps it into a hot oven!

I can’t wait for our upcoming feast, especially since I’m ultimately responsible for it. Although I won’t be cooking, I did take matters into my own hands (buying my sailor a frozen turkey.) Woo hoo–I’m finally going to get my much-anticipated sailor-prepared turkey dinner.

Surprisingly, my sailor’s come onboard and he’s also feeling pretty good about my plans. (Possibly because I also picked up a bottle of Jack Daniels, which I’ve heard is necessary for a happy turkey chef.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Ever since I was a university student, Thanksgiving has been one of my favourite holidays. It’s the first long weekend of the school year, the weather is usually glorious and who doesn’t love a day that centres around eating a delicious meal?

This year, with our resident turkey chef overseas (although I can roast a chicken, I can’t bring myself to cook an animal that’s bigger than the dog), we went out for our turkey.

We enjoyed the Thanksgiving buffet at the Empress.

As usual my boy demonstrated considerably more restraint than me when it came to dessert. He ate half his slice of dense, flourless chocolate cake then pushed the plate away, sighing with contentment.

I not only finished my own chocolate cake, but also my bread pudding and my cheesecake.

He noticed me eying his cake remnant and without a word handed it over to me–an indication of two things I really shouldn’t share: I have been known to clean my son’s plate and I have zero willpower when it comes to anything chocolate.

I was about to finish off the cake when two women went by on their way to the buffet, a snippet of their conversation over heard as they passed.

“…diagnosed with type two diabetes…”

My boy looked at me and then looked down at the cake.

I put my fork down. Perhaps three desserts at one sitting really is enough.