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! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ 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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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:ย  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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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,ย  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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16 Responses to “Thanks and Thoughts”

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wow! reading this is making me hungry and what with rains lashing the city I live in, at home and nothing else to do; eating sounds a good idea :)The link is of a blog by a high school kid. Pretty much a depiction of what is happening all over my city.
Seems like you had a wonderful thanksgiving dinner.Except for the turkey, your dinner seems very vegetarian in nature. Conversations seem to be stimulating -something that I would have enjoyed (envy you ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Thank you for thinking about Mumbai. How was your black Friday?
Do take care of your health. Hope you have a wonderful holiday.

Sounds like a great Thanksgiving. I love discussing science, not so much politics. I get too frustrated over politics. We discussed Lingonberries in great length and lactose. I can’t even remember how we got into those conversations but they were interesting.

The food sounds awesome and I am going to check out the sesame green beans. Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables and I use sesame oil a lot but have never put the two together.

I’m glad you had a nice holiday and are feeling better.

Thanksgiving sounds like a really cool holiday. I like the idea of everyone giving thanks for everything they feel they should be thankful for.

Your thanksgiving dinner sounds like it was really cool too. Not so sure about the sprouts (Yum?? I guess the parmesan must have masked the flavour :?), but the rest sounds delicious.

It sounds like you had a nice Thanksgiving, Muse. I’m glad. I love good conversation and good food! Ughh…sprouts, like Bobby said….at least they were masked. LOL!

I love green beans and sesame oil is just the greatest thing to have handy in the kitchen. Ella does have great recipes!

Pumpkin flan with rum sauce. OMGosh! mmmmmmmmm…I bet it was awesome! I am going hunting for that recipe!

Take care. I’m so happy you had a good time, Muse.

Wow, indeed, Apar! I did read Vishesh’s blog. What great pictures, but, my what a lot of water. I hope it has subsided since you wrote this. It looks like record flooding, or at least very substantial!
You are right, except for the Turkey, everything was vegetarian. And the turkey was even cooked in a separate oven, in a grill outside the house! At least half the guests were vegetarians, and all at least were semi-veg. One person ONLY eats turkey this one day a year!
You are welcome, and I’m still very much thinking of Mumbai. Not only about the people who lost their lives, and their families, but the repercussions of this event for India and the world.
Well, MY Black Friday was fine, because I spent it at home catching up on things. I’m not much of a shopping fan even when it’s calm, and I don’t buy holiday gifts for very many people now. What I do buy I usually buy online, LOL. (To be quite honest, this day scares me a little so I’d rather stay clear of stores!) Thank you for your well wishes.

Hi, Joan, it was very nice, thank you! I’m with you about political discussions. It only came up, really, when we all expressed hope for the new year/administration. One person DID go on a bit… ๐Ÿ™‚ Lingonberries and Lactose! I must admit, those never came up in our talk! The food was ab/fab. People all wanted to cook healthy and fresh (ala Joan) and from scratch (as per ella). (Well, except for the “tofurkey” which really was quite processed. It tasted good, but I could have done with just the “side” dishes.) Thanks again, I really did have a good time, and I’m feeling oh-so-much better.

I think so too, B0bby. Thanksgiving puts a bit more emphasis on being thankful for things other than the harvest, although that’s important, and if one wishes to eat, essential. ๐Ÿ™‚ I realize not everyone likes Brussels Sprouts—they do have a sort of strong and strange flavour. I can eat them whole, just steamed, and I love them! These were shredded and mixed with the cheese; very good; but I must caution you not to try this if you don’t like sprouts. The Parmesan enhanced rather than masked the flavour! Mmmmm! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Good conversation is almost as good as dessert, BD! Ahhh, another sprout-disliker! What is the matter with you people? ๐Ÿ˜‰ And, as I said to B0bby, no, sadly (for some) the flavour was not masked…don’t try this at home, hehe! ๐Ÿ™‚ I highly recommend ella’s green beans. She has several different recipes for them over at her place. And yes, the flan. I’m half-kicking myself I didn’t get the recipe—I’m not even sure which guest brought it—but, I’m so unlikely to make this because it is not on my diet list. I may have to hunt the person down and follow them to their next party, however! ๐Ÿ˜€ Thank you for your gladness!

Sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad to hear that! I love having a good conversation, whether it’s science, economy, news, or even the not so popular discussion of *drum-roll* politics ๐Ÿ˜†
That’s a neat idea in order to get dessert. I don’t really like being put on the spot, but I like that idea.
Being thankful for what we have, good food, and good company, Thanksgiving is great. Take care Muse!

Sounds like a wonderful day Muse! Why so hesitant to share you blog with the flesh people? It’s a well written, smart, insightful and thoughtful blog that sounds right along the lines of the thanksgiving conversations you had!

That pumpkin flan is not on my list of things I can eat either but…rum sauce….mmmmmm!
I don’t think there is any way of masking the taste of sprouts…maybe loads of garlic and jalapenos? ๐Ÿ™‚ I know they are good for you but…ughhhh!

Oh, thanks, Shane, and I hope you did as well! So you actually discuss…politics…? You are a brave man! At our feast the talk was interesting and stimulating. The prospect of not getting dessert was a great incentive; worked very well! ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you for compliments to my blog, seeing, I appreciate them. It’s not that I’m not proud of my blog—I am, it means a lot to me. My “flesh” people already get to experience me in all my glory โ— ๐Ÿ˜‰ and on my blog, I prefer to engage at just the “idea” level, without all the baggage of appearance, age, lifestyle, relationship status, etc., etc. My “live” peeps know all those things about me and they might get entangled in the comments; otherwise, I’m honest and totally “me” on this blog, and, in fact, often send excerpts to my friends by email.

Oh, well, BD, there are so many other things to eat besides sprouts! Life is short-ish, and we ought to eat what we like! I think that rum sauce would be good on fruit or cake, don’t you? We should try it. I think there may be one or two holidays coming along… ๐Ÿ˜‰

im hating life

MusEditions: ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Muse did my comment make you sad?

kaylee, I’m combining your comments here to more easily follow the thread. I was only sad for you. If your friend told you they were hating life, you might be sad for them!?! However, I did read you got through your latest surgery ok, and that you are getting stronger. That’s very good.

yeah i just hate being sick thats all. Love you!

I know, sweetie. Hey, if you LIKED being sick, I’d think you were weird or something! ๐Ÿ˜• Love back atcha!

Just popping by to say hello. Hope you are doing well. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hi BD! {{waving}} Thanks for checking in. I’m doing very well. Probably just a bit overwhelmed catching up on neglected things (like housework, bleh!) ๐Ÿ™‚

Hi Muse,
I finally have a few moments to check in with my favorite blog buddies. Sounds like you had a good and meaningful Thanksgiving. Your feast sounded delicious, especially the Pumpkin Flan. And, with rum sauce no less! Mmmm! I just love this time of year.

Holidays truly are bittersweet in many ways. Like any family, we have had our ups and downs over the years. There are those who have passed on and no longer grace our table with their presence, at least in the physical realm. They are missed. I do appreciate Thanksgiving as a time set aside to think about how blessed we really are.

Hope you are feeling well. Blessings to you, Muse!

Thanks for thinking me one of your favorites, tee! Back atcha. It was a great dinner and the flan was amazing. You mention ups and downs, and I think that’s a good way to think of things. Life is a long undulating current (I know I’m mixing metaphors, but that image sort of works for me!) ๐Ÿ™‚ I appreciate the blessings. Certainly counting them helps me realize how many I have!


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