Two sisters, two coasts, one blog

The Grateful Meal


Happy Thanksgiving dear readers! You may be feeling, as I am, just a touch of melancholy to be approaching the end of the long weekend of revelry, culinary decadence and sloth that is the annual harvest celebration. We, I am pleased to report, indulged in all. A welcome reprieve after the hectic pace of the last few weeks. Wait, make that months. But I digress….

Thursday was sunny and surprisingly warm, and we started the day out by sleeping in and then taking a late morning walk with the dogs around a nearby lake (I tricked poor K into a route twice as long as he was expecting, but, sweet man, said he one word of complaint? Not he!) Afterwards we headed home, and divvied up the food prep.

The Thanksgiving meal I grew up with was a fusion of traditional & Berkeley multiculturalism: roast turkey with chestnut stuffing & gravy, cranberry relish (made with a hand cranked food mill), home-made bread in the shape of a cornucopia or a mermaid, orange jello with shredded carrot suspended in it, tzatziki, spicy pumpkin and apple (complete with black bird) pies.

As a married couple, up until we moved to Raleigh, K & I spent the day alternately with his parents or mine, sometimes bringing a side or two. So we haven’t had much of an opportunity to develop a food tradition of our own. This year (our first in this house) our menu consisted of a honey baked ham, braised collard greens, brussels sprout salad, garlicky mashed potatoes, cranberry relish, and ice cream sundaes for dessert.

 The cranberry was a bit of an experiment, made the night before, and if I do say so myself, it turned out rather well. In case you want to try it, here’s what I did:

The resulting relish was saucy rather than jammy, so if you wanted a thicker consistency you could cut down on the water. It turned out perfectly sweet & sour, with a nice smoky depth from the molasses and the whiskey.

We cozied up and ate dinner while watching Love Actually. It made me laugh, and cry, and feel a bit like a mushy old lady, in a good way. Which was kind of perfect, since this is the holiday when we are encouraged to reflect on the bounty and richness in our lives. Over the weekend I read this, and this, both of which express these sentiments beautifully. I hope your holiday, my dearest friends and family, was equally filled with yumminess, love and laughter.

xo O

12 Responses to “The Grateful Meal”

  1. Jacquelyn Marie

    What a lovely dinner and holiday for the two of you!! Love, Jacquelyn


  2. nerponline

    Good eatin’….especially the greens and (always my favorite part of a Tday meal) the cranberries. Must try them w/ whiskey. Noticed your choice of hootch was Bulleit. We’ve got a fifth of their bourbon on top of our refridge, with it’s label glued on charmingly askew. Got it the night Barack was re-elected in order to make a celebratory Manhattan!

    • oami powers

      K makes fun of us, but yes, the cranberry is my fav too. Bulliet rye is pretty great, I haven’t tried the bourbon yet tho. Another small batch hooch that I think is interesting is Root – kinda like alcoholic root beer.

  3. ursula

    oh i love this post ! it’s funny we both had our first thanksgivings in our own little sugar shacks this year. i kinda wanna watch that sappy movie now that i’m laid up in bed for the day. what’d you do with the left overs ? anything interesting? i made a turkey pot pie and got rave reviews from giulietta of all people.

    • oami powers

      Ooooh. Turkey pot pie sounds great! I think we ended up making fried potato patties at one point. But the ham is pretty good cold, and so are the greens…

  4. betty

    you know i was curious about the brussels sprout salad…thanks for the link. sounds like you had a lovely “first” thanksgiving.

  5. ruchapowers

    I too, am glad that you posted the link to the brussel sprout salad…I usually do mine roasted which my kids like, but I think a raw salad would be a nice change. By the way, I LOVE this format with the hand-drawn illustrations and the ‘bubbles’ of photos. You have such a lovely way of making everything you do stylish, rich and interesting. I’m sure that your meal was too!!
    p.s The links are great..really enjoyed what those other bloggers had to say about having gratitude for all that we have in our daily lives!


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