Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A No Food Shopping Thanksgiving

We couldn't let the no-food-shopping challenge deter us from making a veritable feast for the Thanksgiving holiday.  We just gave it some thought and poked around in the cupboards tossing out ideas for what our main, centerpiece dish should be (you know, since we don't eat turkeys). 
Success!  Matt's goal for this year was to extend the growing season enough to have fresh greens at his thanksgiving dinner.  Next year the goal is Christmas.

When we found a can of coconut milk it sealed the deal.  Caribbean Au Gratin Casserole.  The coconut milk makes it feel super decadent and special which we thought would be perfect for a holiday occasion.  We had potatoes, thyme, and fresh greens from the garden and even a couple yams that my mother gave us weeks back because she wasn't going to use them up.  We used lentils instead of beans because we already had some cooked up in the fridge.

Corn, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, Caribbean au gratin casserole, and rich, brown gravy.  Yummmmmmmy!
We typically share Thanksgiving with Matt's family since they live here in town.  Sharon cooks--and is a great, great cook.  Matt cooks, too.  We play games--cards, Apples to Apples.  The TV is tuned to football.  This year the boys even got a blast-from-the-past dish washing session in since currently the dishwasher is broken.  There was much joking about how Ryan always dried and how there certainly was no dishwasher when they were growing up...or there was and it was them!  I took pictures--and certain individuals made silly faces in them mid-snap.  Sharon got out one of the embroidered table clothes made by Matt's grandmother--and announced when she spilled on it so we didn't feel the pressure of being the one to stain the pure, white, heirloom table cloth.  Ryan didn't even fall asleep on the couch five minutes after dinner--but Roger and Matt did...though it might have taken a little longer than five minutes.  We ate too much and yet still found room for desserts...yes, desserts plural.  A wonderful, blessed occasion to get together and share and laugh and love.
Silly sister in law!
Ryan looks like he might be questioning Matt's washing skills.

There is so much we have to be thankful for.
Ryan showing us all how to play the version of solitaire where you lay the cards out like a clock face.  I'd never heard of it before.


  1. All your food sounds so delicious. I certainly admire your ability and willingness to remake the Thanksgiving menu. I could not. I might pout if certain things were missing. The guys are all Sasquatch and wash dishes? Okay, there must be a spare, free man of a certain age in that family. Please conduct a search and get back to me. No, I am not looking for a dishwasher, just a certain mindset and willingness. Plus, there will always be an electric dishwasher on the premises before I cook.

    Beautiful tablecloth.

    1. Ha! Oh, my goodness did you just make me laugh. Yup, a whole set of dish-washing Sasquatches!! : ) I haven't met the unattached uncle/cousin/etc, but I'll be sure to keep my eyes peeled for you! : )

      For me Thanksgiving has always been about the sides (potatoes and gravy, stuffing, corn, rolls, etc) so as long as those are around I am happy with whatever Matt wants to make for a centerpiece.

  2. I'm so glad you did this post. I was wondering how one would do Thanksgiving without meat. It seems (unfortunately) to me that EVERY dish on the Thanksgiving menu is meat heavy. I am not totally opposed to meat, but would prefer some choices without it.

    1. I'm glad I could help. Yes, frequently our cultural celebratory feasts are rather meat-heavy, but with little tweaks we've found a way to make it work which is so important to me because I MUST be involved in family holiday gatherings--vegan or not. Truth be told on the holidays I just load up on carbs instead of meat and am SO happy. I did that even when I ate meat. I've always loved bready things more than meaty things! Thanksgiving just isn't Thanksgiving without cornbread stuffing...I never cared about turkey! Which I realize is not the norm.

  3. I want to tell you a little funny story. Because of my surgery, many kind people have been bringing us suppers. It has been wonderful. We are so grateful for every single meal. But today, a wonderful family brought supper that REALLY blessed my socks off. They brought a beautiful (cranberry, feta and almond with spinach) salad. They also brought vegetable lasagna, homemade bread, and almond flavored pound cake. I was SO grateful that they were willing to bring me a vegetarian meal. (We have put no limitations on anybody. And all the meals have been different, and all of them have been good.) This was GREAT! It would have been just what I would have asked for. Awesome!


Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. I value the advice and friendship that you share with me!