Thursday is Thanksgiving. A time for giving thanks. This was my mother’s favorite holiday. She would say that Thanksgiving is about family and being together. Cooking together. Playing silly made up games passed down from generation to generation. Waking up to the Macy’s day parade and then always having some football game playing in the background. Sitting down to dinner knowing that we would all be asked what we were most thankful for that year. Holding hands, the elder in the group saying grace, and then gorging on the Feast.
Our family feast was so very Norman Rockwell: huge turkey, stuffing with gravy, creamed onions, string beans, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce (out of the can of course), and always three types of pie – pumpkin, apple, and pecan.
I miss everything about those Thanksgiving’s when my mother was alive. She was Thanksgiving. Her birthday actually fell on Thanksgiving some years – November 25. Her not being here is a huge void in my heart. I know that I am not alone as the holidays bring about a melancholy tone. So grateful for all that is now but also yearning for what was then.
As family has transitioned and shifted into new norms I am up against the reality that this Thursday will be another shift. Two of our boys will be home for Thanksgiving. We (Bruce and I ) are truly grateful for this. But one will not. Our son Casey lives in Hawaii and is a scuba dive instructor by trade. The holidays are his busiest times of year and he has to be there for the rush of tourists wanting to venture under the sea for their Thanksgiving adventure. Thus, no Casey for Thanksgiving.
I am proud that Casey has turned his passion into his job. And I am even more proud that his work ethic is so grounded. But I have to now shift my holiday thinking. This will be the first year without all three of my boys home for Thanksgiving. Mind you, this is nothing like the first (or second or third) Thanksgiving without my mom. Those holidays reminded me of the fact that that shift was permanent. This is a slight shift and I have to “WO-man it up”.
So what will this Thanksgiving look like? Our FEAST has been a shift for sure. No longer do we cook a turkey. We launch into everything plant-based. Luckily Bruce is the best cook on the planet. His culinary creations are to die for and there are no tears shed for lack of the “bird”. We will video with Casey throughout the day and are already planning our yearly picture with a photoshop version of Casey in the pic.
Life shifts and memories are created not by a yearning for the past or aiming forward but in breathing in the now. Easier to write and say than to do sometimes but I will be doing my best to soak in the moments of this Thanksgiving and to be grateful for all of life’s wonderful gifts. It is about what we have, not what we don’t have. We will always keep close the memories. These are always ours.
So to end my Thanksgiving Blog, I share with you a new memory to make. Make an amazing whole food plant-based pumpkin pie. I haven’t made this one either so we will both be making this together for the first time. Let me know how it goes. And Happy Thanksgiving.
• 2½ cup almond flour
• ½ cup medjool dates (packed + pits removed)
• 4 tbsp almond milk
• 15 oz pumpkin puree (cooked and pureed pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie mix)
• 3 tbsp chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
• ¾ cup medjool dates (packed + pits removed)
• A good pinch of salt
• ½ cup coconut cream
• Banana ice cream
• Coconut whipped cream (sweetened with powdered sugar)
• Vanilla Sweet Potato Frosting(sweetened with maple syrup)
1. Preheat an oven to 350F and line a 9″ pie pan with parchment paper.
2. In a food processor, add in all of the crust ingredients. Process until uniform and dough like. (it will stick together when pressed between your fingers.
3. Evenly distribute crust into the bottom and sides of an 9″ pie pan. Set aside.
4. Add the remaining ingredients into a high speed blender and run until completely smooth.
5. Pour the filling into the crust, then place into the oven for 30 minutes.
6. Remove and cool completely. This pie is best if set in the refrigerator overnight to thicken, but can be eaten after it has cooled if desired.