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24 November 2010

Organic Thanksgiving

I started today with a 2 mile wake up walk/run with Abbey. We talked about eating right for energy and a positive attitude, ridding our lives of all things toxic. Mostly I talked; she tuned me out. The rest of the morning I began the pre cooking ritual, gathering ingredients, finding the right bowls, playing Pearl Jam on Pandora.

Tomorrow we celebrate my first 100% fresh and organic Thanksgiving dinner. The menu includes Mr. John's famous smoked turkey and ham. A citrus brine with pineapples, oranges and apples stuffed inside the bird while it smokes all night make this turkey remarkable.

I handled the squash casserole and macaroni and cheese, sweet potato casserole with pecans, mashed potatoes, dressing with sausage, sage, and apples, green beans with butter and almonds, sweet peas, broccoli casserole, cranberry relish, gravy and dinner rolls, and also two organic pumpkin pies and an oatmeal, pecan, apple crisp.

We doubled everything and flash froze a second meal so when we see John's parents this weekend we can recreate the experience.

John made an eating rule: We can only eat leftovers if we introduce a fresh dish to the menu.

So on Friday, we'll add collard greens and black eyed peas to the ham leftovers. And I'm going to make, partly for nostalgia and partly because its dangerously yummy, my grandmother's peanut butter, banana, graham cracker cake, organic of course.

I spent the whole day in the kitchen. I love it. Abbey joined me from time to time, snapping green beans, or melting butter. Alex shredded some sharp cheddar cheese. I told them both to add a lot of love while they helped with the food so that it tastes better. I think they did.

Not even disaster could stop this meal's fruition. While Abbey was searching the spice cabinet for the pepper grinder, a narrow bottle of hot sauce landed plumb on a glass cooking bowl, sending shards o' glass all over the kitchen, contaminating every uncovered dish. The broccoli casserole, ruined. The sausage, sage dressing, ruined. The chopped apples, the cheese, all thrown away. Another trip to the store, another $1o0, and at 2:30 in the afternoon, I'm starting all over.

John wisely mentioned: Look at it this way, something had to go wrong to compensate for some other thing that wasn't right; disaster was necessary, so everything could be perfect. By 7:30, with everything in the kitchen prepped, nutmeg and ginger jump from dish to dish, and the once abundant produce in baskets, now mingles with rice and cheese and mushrooms and broth, morphing into delicacies in tin foil covered baking dishes.

Tomorrow, I will mash the potatoes with some butter and steam some green vegetables.

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