I didn’t really know what to expect this Thanksgiving but after my conductor gobbled at EVERY stop on my train ride back to Connecticut, I had a good feeling. (No, I was not able to nap because of his outlandish noises but I give the guy credit for being all festive I guess.) After years of putting on the hoopla for my grandmother and uncle’s sake, my parents, sister and I didn’t really know what to make of the holiday without them. We originally planned on going north to Vermont, avoiding tradition altogether, when our good friends–or should I just call them family at this point–invited us to join them for dinner. It was pretty perfect and after my dad being sick and all, it was nice to not have the added stress the holiday can present. Plus, since we stayed local, I was able to run in the annual Turkey Trot with my favorite running pal! Doesn’t get much better than that.
With my half so close (one week from today…ahhhh!) and Mandi training for one, as well, we decided to turn the five mile race into 10. You know those crazy people running to the race? That was us. Surprisingly enough, it was a great idea. It felt good to get such a nice warm-up in before getting our Turkey Trot on and as Mandi put it, pushing through the last five with so many people around kept us moving toward that finish line. I mean, everyone from our towns were there, we didn’t want to embarrass ourselves after all. All of that running lent for a guilt-free Thanksgiving, which was two plates full of turkey, slaw and roasted veggies for me! My simple, seasonal broccoli slaw salad was awesome, if I do say so myself (recipe below). The perfect crunch to pair with the whole turkey and mashed potato bit with a sweet tang from chopped apple chunks and the occasional dried cranberry…I may have singlehandedly ate half of that bowl.
12-ounce package of broccoli slaw
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Stevia packet
Salt and pepper, to taste
Since my family loves leftovers–who doesn’t!–we ended up making our own bird and a few favorite side dishes the following night. It was weird not having Mike around to devour a plate or two of grub with me. The man I’m most thankful for couldn’t celebrate this year because of work (stupid football!) but don’t you worry, I brought him back a huge container of his favorite Thanksgiving things to show him how grateful I am to have him. I mean, come on, no Thanksgiving? That’s just plain wrong and he deserved some turkey. As you can see, the slaw made another appearance. You know a recipe is good when you make it two days in a row. Oh and in my opinion, avocado trumps gravy any day. Yum!
I have so much to be thankful for this year although, as you know, it’s been a bit of a crazy one. It was a bit strange not having Grandma Ginger and Uncle Ricky across from me Thursday night, but as I toasted to all that I am thankful for and clinked my wine glass with my dad, I couldn’t help but focus on the positive. I’m living in arguably the best city on Earth with the guy I fell in love with when I was 17-years-old. I have a dream of a job that I look forward to every single day. I am surrounded by the most incredible, supportive friends and family anyone could ask for. After quite the scare, my dad is well and even starting to run again. I cannot wait to jog alongside him as I compete in my second half marathon. Let the carboloading begin!
What dish did you contribute to your Thanksgiving dinner?
Sprinkled with Love,