Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Thankfuller Thanksgiving

I've said it before, and I'll say it again...grateful people are happier, healthier people. And since we're stuffing our mouths with all kinds of foodie goodness this Thanksgiving, we might want to cut back in other areas. Say, take a fast from whining and complaining. Not only will we reap the benefits of our improved attitude, our friends and relatives and those gathered at our table will bask in our pleasantness.

In that gratitude mode, let me go visual on you:

I'm thankful that my husband, on a trip to the West Bank last week, is safely home. He also picked up this extremely awesome Palestinian nativity, complete with dividing wall and watchtower.

I'm so thankful that we finally got our front door fixed. The knob was all wonky, and we could barely get in and out of the house. We even joked that, if anyone broke the window, then reached through to turn the knob from the inside, it wouldn't have helped a bit. Ralph from Security Safe & Lock, you're our hero.

I'm thankful for family and friends and community. They keep us alive. If you don't think so, read this book:

When we connect, really connect, with our family or with a friend, we're doing ourselves good. We were designed for it. Maybe you're not looking forward to everyone who will be gathered around that Thanksgiving table--you be the one to listen to so-and-so brag about herself/complain unceasingly (even ask a few questions, as pure frosting!). You be the one to appreciate and encourage that person who is always trying to compete with you. What does it cost? Nothing. In fact, we get to let go of our own agenda and flit around, adding to others' enjoyment by seeing them and listening to them, instead of resenting them.

And, if you haven't been invited to a Thanksgiving dinner, host one! Invite those new neighbors or those co-workers. Food has always been my love language. And if I really love you, I'll make you something, using the best ingredients.

Have a happy holiday. (And look--I resisted putting in the link I saw, about how many calories we serve up on our Thanksgiving plate. Because who cares, really? Thanksgiving is about the Village Effect, not our diets.) Gobble gobble!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Buy or Make, It's the Last Market of the 2015 Season!

Oh my. We're headed for that long drought in fresh, local food called the Market Off-Season. Not only that, but Thanksgiving is only a week away!

Time to get your pilgrim on!
While I myself will be at a swim meet in Mukilteo all Saturday, I'll be thinking mournfully of the last Market and how I had no cash last Saturday to buy myself some Bloom Creek Cranberries. I even dragged my 12-year-old Sherpa with me through the rain to the BofA ATM, only to remember my husband had made off with my ATM card.

But you can be at the last Market. And you can fully prepare for your delicious feast. To help you out, I'm providing this Buy/Make Shopping List.

Bet our backyard squirrels would love to get their paws on these


BUY a Proven baguette and some Tieton cheese and smoked salmon. Or some Britt's pickles and Samish Bay smoked sausage for the relish tray.


MAKE some balsamic- and olive-oil roasted vegetables and some bread-machine focaccia, sprinkled with coarse salt


BUY some of the spinach or arugula or mixed greens and dressing at Growing Washington


MAKE it into your favorite salad by adding your favorite fresh vegetables. I saw these sunchokes last week, which are crunchy like jicama and lovely in salad.


BUY Hmm...hope you placed your order some time ago

And if you did, you'll still need to...

MAKE your roasted main dish. The New York Times offers these instructions.


Side dishes are the glory of Thanksgiving, in my opinion. And the Market is your source for side dish ingredients.

MAKE mashed or au gratin potatoes. Roast some squash and top it with your favorite sugar concoction. Grab some green beans or brussels sprouts. Don't forget to bring cash for your bag(s) of Bloom Creek Cranberries!


BUY a pie. Heck--buy a few and freeze the extras. It is always handy to have a pie in the freezer. You never know when you'll be invited to dinner, and pies are the best way to win friends and influence people. I've never met anyone who didn't like pie. Oh--actually, I did meet one person and instantly distrusted her because how can a person not like pie?


MAKE your own pies. If there was ever a time to make an effort, this would be it. All those crunchy apples, just dying to be handed to the kids to be peeled and sliced, while you make the crust. Some folks like their apples still firm in the pie, but we like apples that get nice and soft. Ask our fruit farmers which apple is right for you.

And don't forget to grab a hostess gift! Fresh flowers or a box of toffee or a bottle of wine.

Remember, after this we're on our own until May, which means months of get-togethers where people wheel out the same Costco offerings over and over. If you just sighed, you are not alone.

Happy Thanksgiving!