My friend Bo and I had what we called a rogue Thanksgiving this year. We didn’t want to celebrate colonialism or massively slaughter turkeys or sit down at a table to be “grateful for our food” when societally, we don’t show a lot of thanks to farmers. We didn’t want family drama. We wanted to celebrate slow food and friendship, so we broke off from all the other obligatory celebrations that were happening, and we stayed home, listened to music, and cooked delicious things all day. It was leisurely and unpressured. We used almost exclusively local ingredients: stuffing made from local bread from Balthazar; Hudson River Valley apples (some were in the stuffing and some will be made into a magical dessert tomorrow); roasting veggies like swedes, beets, potatoes, and parsnips from a New Jersey farmer’s market, grown in NY and NJ, and red sweet potatoes that were actually an incredible purple color from the same market; and Jersey fresh cranberries.
Our menu included…
a wheat-meat roast
butternut squash lasagna
roasting veggies mentioned above plus carrots and a TON of brussels sprouts
red sweet potato pie
steamed green beans
We adapted some of these recipes, which I’ll mention in another post with a bunch of pictures! But some of the pictures are on Bo’s camera and he’s tucked into bed, so I won’t disturb him for now. We also have a super awesome surprise dessert coming from the apples that we’ll make tomorrow. We didn’t get to it today, and since there wasn’t pressure from anyone, there wasn’t guilt, there wasn’t disappointment… we’ll just make it tomorrow instead.
We are grateful for the farmers who work so hard to grow us food, especially the ones struggling to maintain small family farms under ethical conditions. We’re grateful that we have access to farmers’ markets and community supported agriculture and co-ops, and that our access includes geographical location, transportation to the sites, and funds that we may choose to spend there. We’re grateful to have been been privileged enough to have met some of the farmers who have grown our vegetables, raised the chickens that laid our eggs, and started seedlings that we could grow in gardens of our own.
We’re grateful for friends, chosen family, and the people we love. We’re grateful for the ones we shared with today and will share with in upcoming days, and we’re grateful to those who understood why we wanted to do something different today, even if it meant breaking with tradition.
Why are you celebrating? How can you make your celebration even more positive? Is there something you can do to make your thanks more genuine with a small change? Remember, you don’t have to wait til next year!