Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come, Raise the Song of Harvest Home; All is Safely Gathered In, Ere the Winter Storms Begin

Assume, for a moment, that you were in charge of creating a holiday. For one reason or another, you decided to make that holiday all about being grateful; for one day people can banish all greediness and for once just be thankful and generous.

Okay, now that you've decided the theme, how would you suggest people celebrate this Holiday? Maybe if they were thankful to their God, people could serve the poor, or go to church, or make little treats for the orphans in Korea. Maybe if people were thankful to their country, they could spend the day visiting the soldiers in the military, or cleaning up trash in a National Park. Maybe if they were grateful to the earth for a giving us air to breathe, or a bounteous crop, they could plant a tree or invent a new energy solution.

So what crazy deranged person decided that the best way to celebrate being Thankful, is to stuff as much crap (canned yams, instant potatoes, frozen pies) into your fat little mouth and then spend all day napping and watching football, all while blaming it on Pilgrims who massacred Indians. Am I missing something here?

Thanksgiving is a stupid holiday. Maybe it's because the smell of cooking turkey has always made me nauseous or maybe it's because I think American food is disgusting, and if I'm going to stuff myself until I explode I would much rather it be with Sushi, or maybe it's because high expectations of others and self + too many cooks in the kitchen + lazy men lounging on couch = very unhappy women, but I have never enjoyed Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving to me means one good thing: As soon as the meal is over it is officially the Christmas Season!!! And that, basically, is saying that the best part of Thanksgiving is when it's over.

But enough ranting. Last week my grandparents came out to visit me, because we had planned to go to them, and couldn't. While they were here, I got it in my head that I wanted to make Pumpkin Trifle, a delicious dessert my sister made two years ago and I have craved ever since. I couldn't just make the trifle for any old meal, so I decided to make a "Thanksgiving themed" dinner: homemade sweet rolls, spiced cranberry cider, and cranberry sauce. But what would I serve for the main course?

Last year I came upon an intriguing recipe: Orange You Glad It's Thanksgiving Soup. It is made out of squash, carrots and oranges. I decided this would be the perfect time to try it out. In the end I added sweet potatoes, and left out most of the squash (mostly because peeling a raw squash is the hardest thing I have ever attempted to peel and I gave up halfway through). The result?

It was surprisingly good. I was not expecting it to be that good. It was so good, I think I'll make it again, for a normal dinner.

The trifle turned out both beautiful and delicious:

and the table looked very festive:

It didn't take a lot of effort, we went to the beach that morning and played that night. We had plenty to eat, but we didn't stuff ourselves, the company was wonderful and the food was delicious. If I have to have a meal to celebrate a holiday, I would much rather it be like that.

Although, if I had my way, I would spend Thanksgiving digging wells in Africa. That sounds like a much better way to be thankful.

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