It's that time of year again, turkey time, or tempeh-time if you are a vegan or vegetarian, which I most decidedly am not. I admire it, but I love flesh too much.

I am at a standstill about this year's Thanksgiving Day. My son and his wife are coming up, and I really want my food to delight and nourish them, not confuse and sadden them.

I thought of roasting a whole chicken using a cool method I found in "Bon Appetit" (which I usually don't buy because the complexity of the recipes depress me), where you preheat a black cast-iron skillet in a 425 degree oven for 15 min, then put in your chicken (previously salted and resting on the counter) along with thinly-sliced potatoes, some leeks and carrots. Rest before carving at least 20 min. I tried that, and it was delicious, if a bit lukewarm, and way too much work.

Then I thought about cooking a turkey, but I have a problem with turkeys after a neighboring farmer told me they are so blindingly stupid that some drown during rainstorms when they hold their heads up, and water runs in their noses, drowning them. How can you eat a creature that stupid? The foolish genes might migrate through your body, lowering your already compromised IQ from living under the Trump administration.

Eureka, I found a grand idea--how about a hearty SOUP for the main course, with plenty of sides and fabulous deserts? Here's my thought:

--a rich, thick minestrone with lots of veggies, cannellini beans, fresh basil, roasted garlic, some elbow macaroni and some of my Magic Tomato paste (see earlier post on Ennumeracy Fail) to spike up the flavor?  Could do in slow cooker to relieve time pressure.

--First side: I saw on the "First Mess" blog of brilliant Laura Wright a great comfort-food dish for the holidays: sautee up a collection of mushrooms (remini, shitaki, and oyster--see her blog for details), top with fluffy mashed potatoes with shredded parmesan, stick in 400 degree oven, and roast for 30 min. Sounds good, right? I use butter and sherry for the sautee as they work with FODMAP meals.

--Second Side--Brussel Sprouts: I know not everyone adores them, but try this; simmer in lightly salted water for 8 min., toss with a few tablespoons olive oil, pepper, salt and Maple Syrup, and if you are eating meat, throw in some cooked, shredded bacon. Bacon makes everything better, right? Roast in 375 oven on sheet pan lined with foil for 20 min. or so. Cool slightly, then serve. If you hate these tiny cabbages, use carrots instead.

Ok, on to deserts!
--I like pies, but being on a non-gluten diet for now and trying to avoid huge amounts of sugar and fat, I want something different. How about some phyllo dough with sliced apples for deliciousness? Spread 1-2 sheets of dough on 8 x 8" pan and either brush with melted butter OR use (I know, heresy, but it works & cuts the fat way down) PAM butter spray. Top with thinly-sliced apple, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, layer another leaf or two of dough, and continue until you reach the top of the baking pan. Spray or brush with butter, put in pan, and cook at 400 for 25-30 min. You can make whipped cream using a full-fat can of coconut cream (I know, fat!) that has been in fridge overnight; open, scoop out cream part, and whip. It works!

--You could also make small pumpkin tartlets in a muffin pan, using phyllo dough again, and mixing organic pumpkin with eggs, sugar and spices as well.

Finish: Get out a box of Thin Mints or Whitman's Pantry Chocolates, make some espresso, and celebrate
with some Prosecco for festivities, or sparkling Pellogrino with lemon if you prefer. Enjoy!

Oh, and don't forget to say Grace before falling on the food, because this is what it's all about in the end:


Can somebody say Amen?

(And, lest we forget our brothers and sisters, I plan on lifting a prayer for The First People whose lands we took, whose children we stole, whose faith we suppressed, and who continue to live in poverty on poor land, surrounded by broken promises.)


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