Thanksgiving highlights

There are some days that happen and, even in the midst of things, you know it’s special and you’re going to remember it all for a very long time. And that’s how Thanksgiving was for us this year.

Just lovely. Good food, great people. Bad weather so no walk, but there was football (I’m sure someone cares about that even if it’s not me) and, for my father-in-law, at least, a nap.


Pearl is also a fan of the nap.

The minimalist and zero waste aspects of this day were on point, so there’s another win. The packaging around the turkey was the major waste of the day. But we got the biggest one we could find — almost 20 pounds — because it’s technically less packaging for one big item than two or more small ones. And I wanted leftovers for us AND to be able to send food home with anyone who wanted it.

Everything else needed for the day was low waste: Freshly squeezed orange juice, sugar, flour, salt and pepper, a crapload of butter. The fresh cranberries were wrapped in plastic, but I use two packages that my mother had bought … sometime … and had in her freezer (eh, they were gorgeous), so I figure points there because we didn’t buy a new package.

Eric put the leaf in the table and we covered it with blank newspaper — Jo is an artist and I can’t get all the paint spatters off, and I don’t have a tablecloth that big. It was leftover from work and recyclable, so I figure that’s okay. Johanna went through her crayons and put a jarful on the table. She was a little disgusted by my lack of decorations, so she found a couple of candles and then made an origami turkey. It took 10 minutes, Mom, she sighed, exasperated, when I said she’d just whipped it out, because apparently I wasn’t being truthful enough.

Oh, almost forgot, I had exactly enough plates for everyone, I brought out my double set of silverware, my in-laws brought wine glasses (but our everyday pint glasses got a workout too), and we used cloth napkins.

Mostly it was family who joined us, but we also had Abby’s boyfriend and parents over. Everyone else left around 5:30, but they stayed, and we played a rousing game of Apples to Apples, interrupted by leftovers at 7:30. It was awesome. I was slightly worried because these people are engineers and we are … um, goofballs, basically … but it was fun. That game really shows the inner workings of a person’s mind and values, which can be problematic 😉 but it’s also a good conversation starter, so.

Leftovers were forced upon them, either in their containers, or my jars, and when I ran out of those, I dug out some foil. I don’t really have plastic, I told them apologetically — I mean, this is my jam, I don’t expect everyone else to understand — but they didn’t seem too worried about it. I appreciated their ability to accept and adapt. (Ha.)



Action shot.

Saturday morning I made turkey broth. I figure that’s another way to honor the sacrifice of the bird (I know, deep) as well as get all I can out of something I had to buy in a package. Plus, homemade broth, that’s just full of win.

The only other thing I can think to mention is that it was so great having Abby home, although she wasn’t necessarily at home much — her friends were in town too. We are all looking forward to winter break, when she gets a month off. That’s just three more weeks!

How was your holiday? I want stories!


4 thoughts on “Thanksgiving highlights

  1. V says:

    Yay! I’m glad it went well. That sounds like the perfect Thanksgiving to me.

    We had a quiet holiday in (had to cancel travel plans last minute due to work schedules) complicated by all being quite sick. We ended up having our big meal on Sunday to give ourselves time to cook without exhausting ourselves. I’m inordinately proud that we were able to use up a big chunk of the leftover CSA veggies that were in danger of going bad in our fridge because of schedule changes and sickness the previous week. Now to eat everything we made from them….

    I thought of you and this blog recently b/c a headline about China refusing foreign waste popped up. A reminder to be a little more mindful.


    • Trisha Walker says:

      OH NO! That’s so sad, although I’m glad you were able to celebrate eventually. And bonus points for using up your CSA loot. Good for you — it’s easy to let it go, especially when you’re not feeling well. I ended up freezing some of our Thanksgiving leftovers (well, obviously the turkey, but also some sweet potatoes, as we ended up with two different dishes and the one Abby’s boyfriend’s parents brought was better — it was like eating pie, only it was a side dish! Thanksgiving is awesome).

      Yeah, it’s going to be interesting to see how this whole recycling ordeal plays out, especially when we finally get to the first of the year and the policy is solidified. I’ve got a follow up story planned for the paper, talking to the local recyclers, and will definitely follow up here as well. Let me know what happens on your end. It’s a fascinating, depressing problem.


  2. Roberta says:

    We had the usual craziness. We went up to my parents’ house, and my sister and husband and four kids were there. But it was a good craziness.

    We’re vegetarian, so I made chicken-fried portabella mushrooms with cream gravy instead of turkey, and pecan pie. Everything except the butter wrappers (compost) and cream was unpackaged. I brought containers, and my mother sent home lots of leftovers, without trash. But my son ate up my favorite leftovers the next day all by himself! Rotten teenage boys with hollow legs.

    Spent Friday at the shop with my mom and my daughter, decorating and bringing out Christmas clothes. It’s an interesting feeling, the internal push to get Christmas merchandise out early and the long-held belief that Christmas merchandise ought to go out the day after Thanksgiving. We held firm this week, but I kept thinking that we ought to get things out earlier for people who want to get pictures taken for Christmas cards.

    Then Sunday we went to a local production of the Nutcracker (tradition). My son has grown out of his trousers ALREADY! With the viewing of Nutcracker, we feel like Christmas has begun, and we’ve even started decorating the house — no tree yet, we’ll cut one out of the back yard closer to Christmas so I don’t have to clean up after it as long.

    Well, that certainly was a book of a comment!


    • Trisha Walker says:

      I love book length comments!

      That sounds like a fun Thanksgiving! I had to laugh at your leftovers/son remark — classic. That’s so cool and great that you brought containers — way to think ahead! And yay low waste! That’s awesome.

      I want to see a photo of a shop display!

      Oh, and I love that the Nutcracker is a tradition. Seriously fun.

      Thank you for the book! I enjoyed that!


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