Archive for November 28th, 2008

Thanks and Thoughts

Posted on November 28, 2008. Filed under: Culture, Philosophy |

I’m home from celebrating my Thanksgiving holiday. It was a bittersweet time for many of us, but we managed to shift our perception of events from gloom to gladness. There were eleven of us at the dinner, including four couples, and three single people. Even the partnered people, though, were away from other family and friends. Most had children and/or parents and/or siblings many miles away. We told stories about holiday dinners from our families of origin. We expressed gratitude for the gathering of which we were a part.

Our hosts required each of us, in turn, to mention things we’re thankful for if we wanted any dessert! 😮 Which I did. I was nervous because I didn’t know exactly what I would say. I managed to come up with a pretty long list, including being alive in such interesting times. I’d said, in my previous post, that I would mention my blogging community as one of the things I’m thankful for, but I was a bit reluctant, because I thought people would be wanting my blog address and I don’t like to have people I know in the flesh reading my blog! As it turns out, the throng of eager potential readers never materialized! 😉 Only one person asked about my blog, and when I mentioned I liked to keep it separate from the rest of my life, he understood completely. He did ask lots of questions about WordPress and how to use it, so, I think he will start a blog and not tell me about his!

This was a group that enjoys talking about consciousness and science. Our conversation included speculation about conscious evolution:  Will we develop sentient artificial intelligence? Even now, where does human end and machine begin? Some of the guests play Second Life, for instance, and have actually made money in real life by selling creations within the game. There was philosophical inquiry into “What is reality?” I love this sort of discussion, and had a wonderful time. 🙂

Someone thought to have us take a few moments to think of loved ones who weren’t with us, and also to send some good thoughts to areas and situations we felt could use them. We mentioned the world-wide economic situation, for one; various wars our county is involved in; political turmoil; and, of course the very recent attacks in Mumbai, India. We were asked, on this day of Thanks, to reframe these situations in more positive terms. We spoke of the strength and resiliency of the Indian people, and how we stand with them for Peace. We expressed hope for the incoming US Presidential administration, and their ability to alleviate conflicting situations in the Middle East. We acknowledged the abundance at our table; the amazing feast before us. This all felt very good, and very possible, and even, very true.

On a lighter note, I must describe our feast. Everyone contributed, and my job was to bring vegetables—specifically, green beans. I wanted to make something really special for this dinner, and I don’t generally cook very much, so I turned to blog buddy and wonderchef ellaella. Her Sesame Green Beans were a huge hit; everyone loved them. They are roasted, with a touch of sesame oil and sesame seeds. They have a yummy, subtle smoky taste which is a lot more interesting than how I usually make green beans (just throw them in a steamer). I will make this often, since I now have sesame oil. The recipe can be found at ella’s blog,  From Scratch.

We also had shredded Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan (yum), mashed potatoes with mushrooms and onions (I didn’t eat these because I didn’t want the butter and milk in them), carrots (OK), squash (good), two kinds of dressing (one, gluten free—we had several kinds of dietary requirements going on) and, of course, roasted turkey (very good) and for the strict vegetarians, tofurkey (just as good, actually).

I’m being very careful of what I eat, lately, and I don’t tolerate large portions, so it was very hard to take just small spoonfuls of everything. I wasn’t going to have dessert, because I’m not crazy about pumpkin pie; usually a Thanksgiving staple, but they had Pumpkin Flan, with rum sauce. (absolutely awesome), AND Apple Cranberry Cobbler! I was pushing the limits of my newly reconstructed digestive system, but I could not resist a bit of each, oh my! I think I got through it alright; I made some ginger-lemon tea when I arrived home, which has a soothing effect.

OK, enough about my dinner. I don’t imagine I’ll eat this way again soon, but I surely did enjoy it. Take care, everyone. It’s wonderful to be able to be appreciative along with you.

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