Thanksgiving has got to be one of our favorite holidays. I love fall and fall decorations (although I did not put any out this year). I especially love fall food, and Thanksgiving dinner is an opportunity to prepare many favorite holiday dishes. The kids love the food, but they also love dressing up, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, having daddy home from work, seeing grandparents, and playing with cousins.
For the past three years, I have hosted Thanksgiving at my house because most Thanksgiving feasts involve everything we don't eat (turkey, ham, cheese-topped or condensed soup flavored casseroles, and butter) so it is much easier to do it all myself so that everything is "safe". We eat a plant-based diet and that doesn't change even for the holidays. But the food is still delicious, I promise!
This year, because we have the homeschool table and our regular kitchen table, we were able to combine the two in our homeschool room (which is supposed to be the dining room) and have a nice long table for our family of 5 along with both sets of grandparents to sit comfortably and have all of the food on the table. I wish our house were a bit bigger to be able to have a family dinner more often. We are thinking that this may be our last Thanksgiving in our current house, but more on that later.
I am glad that my husband took a couple of pictures of the table while I was still getting things set up. He even managed to get me in one of them.
I did not manage to get a picture of my plate on Thanksgiving, but I did take this one the day after Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving leftovers!
Our vegan Thanksgiving menu this year was:
- Country Meatloaf (in place of the turkey)
- Mashed Potatoes
- Vegan Stuffing
- Golden Gravy
- Sweet Potato Fluff (courtesy of my mother-in-law)
- Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Candied Corn
- Panko Stuffed Mushrooms
- Polenta with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Vegan Bacon (courtesy of my dad)
- Green Bean Casserole (with homemade vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup)
- Cranberry-Orange Sauce
- Homemade Wheat Rolls (courtesy of my husband)
For dessert, I made an apple pie with apples from the orchard we visited on our recent trip to the North Carolina mountains. I also made pumpkin chocolate-chip bread as an experiment but it turned out to be quite tasty so I offered it along with the pie. I took things very easy on the desserts this year, as it has been my experience that most people are too stuffed to eat enough dessert to where I don't have so many dessert leftovers.
After our feast, my sister-in-law and her family came over to let the cousins play for awhile while we visited (she has three of her own and the six of them together have a pretty good time).
Things I Am Thankful For:
- My family. My children are everything to me, and the man they call "daddy" is pretty awesome too.
- The gospel. It teaches my children good values and it also helps me to want to be a better person.
- A home. We're outgrowing it quickly but I am thankful that it is ours, as I know many people have it much worse than we do. It keeps us safe, dry, and warm and that is what matters most.
- Employment. My husband has a great job with a great boss. He didn't always have this and we know what its like to work for the complete opposite, so we both appreciate the positive side of employment he gets to experience.
- Our country. I have too many ancestors to name that came to this country when it was just beginning. These ancestors came for freedom, the same freedom that many of us (myself included) take advantage of and do not always appreciate. Election years (and the year before) tend to get us in a grumpy mood when it comes to where our country is headed, and we all have different ideas. On Thanksgiving, many of us are able to put those differences aside and just be thankful that we are where we are.
Bridget is thankful for (in her own words):
- Heavenly Father because he teaches us the right things.
- Our family because I love them and they will keep us safe.
- My brothers because they are so fun to play with.
- For food that makes us healthy.
George is thankful for (in his own words):
- My teddy bear.
- My famiwy, my Mommy and my Daddy and my wittle bwother Wiam and my big sister Bwigit.
- Wiam because I wuv him.
- My teachers in the nursery.
Perhaps next year, Liam will be ready to tell me what he is thankful for too!