And that’s a good thing

Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving table 2011. Floral containers are pottery made by The Pragmatist, and the gravy boat was handed down to me by my Swedish great-grandmother more than 40 years ago.

I was just over at woundedraven’s blog The Affair Diary reading her post Thanks(but no thanks)giving… which reminded me that my Thanksgiving dilemma for this year has been solved. I have been dreading getting up the courage to tell everyone that I don’t want to have Thanksgiving again this year. Last year I opted out and we went to a restaurant (because you know, my world had been tossed upside down and I frankly didn’t fuckin’ feel like entertaining anyone), and I wrote this post On this day. Apparently I was very thankful last year. This year my parents have decided to spend a few days at the coast and therefore, will not be home for Turkey Day. My sister is joining them. My brother is going out of state. My Dad’s family celebrates in a big Mormon church house up north, and therefore, I do not have to do anything if I don’t want to. “And that’s a good thing,” as Martha would say.

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving Table 2012

But I do love to cook when I’m in the mood, and I do love a good Thanksgiving meal. Now I can simplify it and only make what the three of us like to eat (me, Blue Eyes, and The Peacemaker). No fancy appetizers or tablescapes, or china, or crystal glasses. No special drinks, and no need for a half dozen dessert options. No running around purchasing a certain bakery’s fresh, homemade dinner rolls, because I don’t have the time as I already have 15 other dishes to prepare, including at least 3 pies. No picking up Ice Cream for the pies at the trendy Salt & Straw Ice Cream Shop. No 80-item grocery lists or 25 pound turkeys. No starting the prep three days before and no cooking for two solid days. I am happy to say, I won’t miss any of that.

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 10.20.28 PM

Thanksgiving Day Menu 2013

I wrote about Thanksgiving 2013 here Stranger things have not happened and it was not pretty. Not only was the meal exasperating, but I also found out shortly after d-day that the stalker whore tried to get ahold of me that day. If I had answered the phone, that day would have been d-day. Can you imagine? Finding out about my husband’s secret life from a crazy lonely hoarding alcoholic stalker bitch in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner, with my family? I am thankful for small miracles, I guess. Instead, I found out on a benign Saturday afternoon in January, and not surrounded by more than a dozen people waiting on me to feed them the single most celebrated American meal of the year.

This year, I will cook a simple dinner of only those Thanksgiving items we love. We’ll eat on our every day dishes and I can sit down and eat with my family (versus running around refilling everything and making sure the gravy is hot, and everyone has drinks, and that the cream is whipped, and the coffee is on, etc… etc… etc…). We can even eat in front of the football game if we want.

I also found out that two years ago, the floral centerpiece I put together (below) was from flowers purchased from The Flower Lady, someone Blue Eyes was grooming at the time. She is a very flamboyant florist (and person). I don’t even have to worry about a centerpiece this year.

Centerpiece Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving Centerpiece 2013

In honor of my upcoming stress-free holiday, I thought I would post one of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes, because I don’t “do” the mound of jellied cranberry sauce in the shape of a tin can… thing…

cranberry chutney

Gingered Cranberry Fig Chutney

This chutney is less sweet than typical cranberry sauce and has a much more complex flavor profile including a little spicy-ness (original source:

12 ounces fresh cranberries
1/4 cup yellow onion, minced
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup hazelnuts, skinless, toasted and roughly chopped
8 dried black mission figs, cut into eighths
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely minced
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely minced
Add all the ingredients, with the exception of the chopped hazelnuts and fresh thyme, to a heavy bottomed pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to bring the mix to a simmer, and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occassionally, until the chutney thickens some. Be careful not to overcook or it will become overly thick and sticky. Remove from the heat, stir in the nuts and fresh thyme and let cool slightly before serving.

It IS a good thing!

I hope you are able to make Thanksgiving about being kind to yourself and not stressing out. If not, I hope it is over quickly! And for those not in America, happy next Thursday, just a regular old day.


15 thoughts on “And that’s a good thing

  1. Happy thanksgiving Kat. Sounds like it’s going to be a wonderful day at your house. I have cooked no less than 30 thanksgiving meals. I loved every minute of planning and cooking the meal and feeding my family and in laws. The only people who truly appreciated were my parents. They are dead now. But they were always so gracious and appreciative. The rest of the people not so much. Even disrespectful guests.

    During the affair, while I was working my ass off on the meal, he was sneaking to see her and call during that day. No doubt scared shitless she was going to expose him. OWs have a tendency to do that during the holidays. They’re very thoughtful like that:) regardless, he had to cover himself with a phone call. Affairs must be exhausting!!!

    Thanksgiving cooking? I’m over it now. We are going out for the meal. We are going to a couple relatives for dessert and they invited us to the meal, but we have to take the narc old bat MIL out:/. Ugh wish me luck! It will be ok though as the noise from the other diners will surly drown her out.

    Anyway, times change, feelings change and I’ve moved on from being Martha Stewart to letting go and allowing someone else to have some fun. You’re going to have a great day, I just know it.

    Hugs and gratitude to you dear Kat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing, tryinghard. Wow, 30 Thanksgiving meals, that is certainly an impressive number and thankfully you can now put it all in the past. I loved planning and prepping and cooking and then just being totally exhausted and taking Friday off, the whole day. I don’t shop bargain sales or with crowds, so there is no black Friday for me. No one ever questioned my exhaustion and need to pamper myself the day after. It was payback for a job well done.

      My parents are likewise very appreciative, however, they are the lynch pins to the rest of the family. Where they go, all the free loaders are. I love doing creative things and working hard when people appreciate it. When they don’t, or they are rude or visibly ungrateful, it ruins it. I often wonder how many times the OW tried to ruin my day, but I just frankly don’t pay that much attention to my phone, I am not a big technophile or a phone talker and apparently my husband was diligent at checking and deleting unwanted calls. Who knows if he spent a lot of time talking her down. He claims he doesn’t remember doing that. I never paid that much attention to what he was doing. I trusted him and always thought whatever he was doing was important to him, and therefore important to me. Well, those days are over. He’s a fool.

      Ew. Sorry about the MIL. Mine called my mobile phone the other day but didn’t leave a message. Thanksgiving was always her big holiday. She was probably calling to try and get us to visit, but thought better of it and didn’t leave a message. At least she unblocked her call so I didn’t think it was the OW. I am pretty much over both of them, but I do still have my moments. I wish you much luck on Thanksgiving… on days like those I always zoned out and thought about how quickly it would all be over.

      I do believe we are going to have a great day. We just planned out the menu as a family… six items + one dessert. We had to eliminate anything with seeds or whole grains per my colonoscopy diet. It will be so easy, not much more than a regular old dinner, but all the things we love and the three of us making it together. Hugs to you too, my dear. I would love to sit down with you for real some day. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, your menu looked exhausting, it was practically a restaurant’s menu. I don’t know how you managed all that. The clean up alone must have been horrific, let alone the preparation. Our families never have no idea of the lengths we go to please them and keep up appearances. You do set the most beautiful table. And the florists centerpiece … Nah :p beautiful flowers do not need to be maimed and displayed in a wooden box LOL (I am a terrible snob even though I have no right to be, with an opinion on everything).
    I think having an unfussy thanksgiving is an excellent idea. Just a nice dinner with the people u love the most, without the back breaking labor. That is something to actually be thankful for. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

      • Also, guess what I just did… I booked our older son from NY to Miami Beach (using points/miles/whatever… I am such a good mom) for Art Basel the first week of December. The hotels are jacked up so high. Will you be going to that? I thought hey, I could go then and we could meet up with the kid, but I cannot believe how overpriced the accommodations. Crazy. I think it will be too busy during that time to be totally enjoyable? Or do you like busy?

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m hoping to go to Art Basel. I’ve never been there before. I don’t like huge crowds, it makes it less fun, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to see. I’m sure your son will have an awesome time. Is he staying in south beach?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, I just booked him at a very moderate place on the beach 12/2-6. It looks like fun! He doesn’t mind the crowds. It will be all about the art and socialization for him. He has friends working it as well.


    • It WAS exhausting. My mother brought the sweet potatoes and salad, but I either made or picked up everything else. BE picked up the ice cream. It was crazy, but I had been doing that for years. My mother did it for years before me. After d-day, it was a no go. The flower lady is very avant garde, but she does some beautiful stuff. I prefer traditional. I often do a martha stewart style fish bowl packed with roses. I am looking forward to our unfussy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a good time with your family. You won’t be lonely. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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