Food Without Shame

Thanksgiving is no longer historical, or political – if it ever really was.  It's gone back to basics (basics?  basic food groups? bring 'em on!), to its roots (roots?  root vegetables – yams, potatoes, onions – nummers!)…enjoying the company of the people you love best, and taking part in one of humankind's favorite pasttimes:  eating.  It's all about the joy, peeps, and eating what I, er, we bloody well want.

Now I cook Thanksgiving dinner every year, and frankly, I make it my duty to use as much cheese as I possibly can.  Want to know how much I used this year?  Believe me, you don't.  Let's just say that I know some Guernsey cows who are going to be working nights.  And like some restaurants, I don't do substitutions.  I won't use mashed cauliflower for stuffing or serve a Tropical Fruit Salad for dessert (for Chrissakes), instead of whatever frosted goodness I had planned. 

But I understand dieting.  I've been watching my weight since I was 13.  Still I truly believe that you can adapt to what is served you – you can choose what you eat as well as the amount that you eat - and on Thanksgiving I choose to eat everything, and in terrifyingly large servings…all without guilt.  Because it's Thanksgiving and this is one more cog in the day's wheel of happiness.

But I have one tradition which is not food-related.  Every Thanksgiving morning I write a list of the things that I'm thankful for.  Just to keep one focused, don't you know.  And every year, that list begins with 'my parents' and ends with the fact that I'm not dead yet – getting better, in fact…feeling fine…I think I'll go for a walk…I feel happy…

I think one year I was also thankful that I was no longer 'pining for the fjords'.

So be happy and thankful tomorrow, brethren.  Spend it with those you love and eat what you like.

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5 responses to “Food Without Shame

  1. I'm thankful for your non-food related tradition of making a list of things that you're thankful for. One year Oprah had an author on who encouraged keeping a "gratitude journal", and I tried to think of something every day. Even if it's just freshly washed sheets straight from the dryer, or a fuzzy kitten to snuggle with, we should always try to have an "attitude of gratitude". I think this is a habit I should take up again.;-) Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  2. In J.D. Salinger's 'Raise High The Roofbeam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction', there's a quote which is approximately this: "What it is I know not, but with the gratitude my tears fall." It's stayed with me for decades.

  3. Sunshine on my face, the sound of the surf and the smell of the sea on the wind, books good enough for comments in the margins and underlined passages, kittehs, puppehs, bunnehs (all 'ehs), good coffee, good conversations, good friends like you.

  4. Thanks for this post. The J.D. Salinger quote is really good.

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