A Date with Gratitude

I’m sure I have mentioned this along the way, but when I first met my husband, all I knew how to make was quiche. Because I became interested, I started making recipes from magazines and took some cooking classes. Tackling the holidays, however, is a WHOLE  other story!

Over the years, with lots of trials and errors, not to mention many phone calls to my mother or mother in law, I can crank out the holiday bird and, as my granny would say, all the fixins. But, I know how daunting it can be, especially to not have your turkey be DRY!

So I applaud Mandy, our PLANK editor, for her first foray into this … not only for her leap of faith, but also for doing it all so beautifully! Thank goodness she photographed the process and results so we can share the ride. I do think she should have added her friends’ food coma shot!!

A Date with Gratitude

by Mandy Denaux

Last Thursday, I had a first date with Tom. Now before you go and get excited (Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m looking at you), it wasn’t the kind of date you’re thinking. No, I had a date with Tom … my very first turkey.

When I decided to host my first Thanksgiving festivity, it was with the idea that I would not be cooking the turkey – I’m not much of a turkey eater, much less cooker, and the thought of cooking an entire bird was intimidating.

Instead, I placed an order with my local grocer and began plotting all the delicious sides and trimmings. But as the day got closer, the less excited I was about my store-cooked turkey. After all, this was my first time hosting a holiday dinner, and I’d planned everything else so carefully … why would I leave the main dish up to some random cook in the Gelson’s deli? And also, and more importantly, what would my grandmother think?

All In …

Thank you all for the thoughtful comments you’ve shared here so far – I love reading your reactions and learning about how much we all have in common. I can relate to so many of the experiences you’ve shared, and one in particular strikes me today – the times in our life when we’re bored, idle or feeling a complete lack of motivation.

As I mentioned in my very first post, I am a product of a single mother who worked hard, but struggled financially. I have always been a worker bee, so I got a job when I was 14 (back when you could) so I could afford to buy the “extras.” I started working hard, or hustling as I like to think, to achieve goals I had laid out for myself; and I’ve never really stopped.

Family fun and letting go

What a week…we survived our whirlwind trip to the Big Apple.

We arrived on Wednesday, late afternoon and left again at 5 p.m. on Friday. So often we think going across the country for two accumulative days is way too crazy and we choose not to go, but we had the best time. It was everything we wanted it to be. All of my husband’s family lives in the NY and Boston areas. His aunts and their children and now their children have always been a huge part of our lives. Now my children yearn for the rare visits with all of them. From the minute we all arrive in NY it is endless chatter, laughing and catching up.