Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gee, thanks!

As this is Thanksgiving weekend (here in Canada), I thought I'd explore the holiday from two different angles:

First: this holiday is supposed to be about thanks - you know, being grateful for what you have; and also about giving - being generous with what you have. Manifesting an "attitude of gratitude" is a fantastic skill as it encourages positivity, and one that I certainly put some deliberate time towards fostering in my mind on a daily basis.
Here, I'll take a stab at it now - the first 5 things that come to mind that I feel so blessed to have in my life:
1. You, my readers, who take interest in what I have to say, and comment after my posts so I know I'm not talking to myself out here in internet land.
2. The lovely guy sleeping in the next room who cleans up my kitchen messes, and not only doesn't think I'm nuts for enjoying "green drinks" and "fibre drinks", but joins me in drinking them!
3. My mum, who is always ready to help with anything I need, including looking up poems in the children's books in her basement (see below).
4. My (step-)aunt, who hosts us for Thanksgiving dinner every year (and who also did many of the illustrations in Get It Ripe), as well as the rest of my family and friends who'll be around the table tonight.
5. The beautiful autumn we've been having.
6. Central heating, which is included in our rent (Thanks landlords!).
7. The makers of The Tudors, which I am so enjoying watching these days, and the kind folks who put it up online for me to download.
8. My comfy new star-print flannel pj pants that I'm wearing as I sit and write this Sunday morning post. (Okay, that's eight things, but if the gratitude is flowing, why stop it?)

It would be neat to take some time today or tomorrow, either on your own or with your fam and friends as you prepare your Thanksgiving feast, to consider all the people who had a hand in making your Thanksgiving dinner happen. There're the obvious folks: the people you're "breaking bread" with, the farmer's who grew your food, the people who prepared the food, the person who wrote the recipes you're using (ha ha) ... but when you really think about it, there's the person who invented ovens, and the manufacturer of your oven, the one who invented the phone, and the folks at the phone company who allowed you to make your plans, the people who invented the form of transportation you used to get to the dinner, and either the transit employees or the bike or car manufacturers that actually made your vehicle....
My point being, there's so much to be grateful for! (And, maybe in the Comments you'd like to tell us what it is you're feeling grateful for today.)

With this feeling in mind, let's talk about grace. As our society has become less religious, many of us have lost out on this beautiful tradition of taking a moment at the beginning of a meal to feel thankful for it (I will note that if God isn't your thing, you can just leave him/her out of it). This time has the added benefit of slowing us down, which allows our bodies to get ready for digestion. Here's a simple, non-denominational 'grace' from a children's book of poems, Father Fox's Pennyrhymes by Clyde Watson, that I've had since I was a kid.
Let the fall leaves fall
And the cold snow snow
And the rain rain rain 'til April.
Our coats are warm
and the pantry's full
and there's cake upon the table.

Now for the second part of Thanksgiving, the celebrating with food part:
As far as food goes, I can make a number of recommendations as long as you've got a copy of Get It Ripe on hand, and preferably some locally-grown produce. Try any or all of these:
* A soup is always a great starter: Apple Carrot Soup with Coriander (p. 165), Beautiful Borscht (p. 166), Broccoli Creem Soup (p. 167), Creemy Corn Soup (p. 170), or Portobello Soup (p. 176)
* Roasted squash as per directions on page 90 or Maple Roasted Roots (p. 185)
* Millet-Stuffed Bell Peppers (p. 196) with Cashew (p. 159) or Miso Gravy (p. 160)
* If you didn't want plain roasted squash, the Butternut Risotto (p. 181) might make a delicious entree instead
* Roasted Fennel makes a delicious side
* You might make some Buttahmilk Biscuits (p. 132) with a tablespoon of dried herbs thrown in, or Molasses Cornbread (p. 134) or Almost Focaccia Bread (p. 136)
* And of course you'll need a Pumpkin Pie (p. 218) - the coconut milk in this one makes it sooo decadent. If you're not so jazzed about making a pie crust, just oil up some oven-proof custard dishes and/or a loaf pan (my mum and I take this lazy way all the time - though don't get me wrong, my mum does actually make some of the best pie crusts I've ever had!). You might pour the remaining coconut milk from the can (perhaps with a drop of maple syrup) over the pie, or make the raw Cashew Creem (p. 219) which is very "more-ish".
* Another dessert option is to go against convention and make the Apple Crumble (p. 220) - it's a winner for sure!

Ryan and I have spent all weekend on a liquid fast (which is why I was somewhat pained and salivating writing the second half of this post) and will be having our first solids since Thursday this evening at my family's Thanksgiving. That means we'll be filling up on roasted squash, fennel (sans the white wine) and Brussels sprouts, maybe with some mushroom gravy, and some raw date-almond bars for dessert. Here's to a Thanksgiving where we don't feel impossibly stuffed by the end of the night!

Labels: , ,


"Domestic affair... do you think it's a funny title?" I asked a friend.
"Funny ha-ha?" she responded, "well, no not really."
"But 'domestic affair', it's like what's going on in the nation, but it's also me, being drawn to all these domestic tasks - knitting, cooking, caring for small children..." I tried to explain.
"I like that it has the word affair in it," she concluded.

jae's first book!

Get It Ripe cover Have you seen my award-winning whole foods cookbook Get It Ripe: a fresh take on vegan living (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008)? Keep your eyes peeled for it!
To join the Facebook group for the book, go here.


about the blog:

about the cookbooks:

While I love hearing from you, and read each and every one of your e-mails, please understand that I just cannot respond to all of them due to the rate at which they're coming in these days!

If you have a question, I might have already answered it here.

in the press

live in person!

come see me:
* Vida Vegan Con in Portland, OR, August 26-28, 2011.

...but better yet, check the calendar for details!



    foodie fridays (posts with recipes)

    the tuesday review


    * Fasting and Cleansing
    * Spring Cleansing
    * Warming Up to Better Digestion
    * Kick a Cold
    * Wholesome Holiday Feasts
    * Realistic Resolutions: Developing a Wellness Plan You Can Actually Stick To
    * Grains / Wheat Alternatives
    * Vermicomposting
    * A Foodie's Guide to Scotland

    free knitting patterns

    Unbiased Scarf
    Cozy Cabled Toque

    recent posts

    A modern farm cookbook
    Me, on YouTube
    Tea-time date
    Last tastes of summer
    When you're only three months on the V-scene....
    Bitchy Double Bill
    Eye-eye Captain!
    Keeping ice cream company
    Kicky pesto; sunny picnic
    Calling all Guerrilla Marketeers!


    January 2005
    February 2005
    March 2005
    April 2005
    May 2005
    June 2005
    July 2005
    August 2005
    September 2005
    October 2005
    November 2005
    December 2005
    January 2006
    February 2006
    March 2006
    April 2006
    May 2006
    June 2006
    July 2006
    August 2006
    September 2006
    October 2006
    November 2006
    December 2006
    January 2007
    February 2007
    March 2007
    April 2007
    May 2007
    July 2007
    August 2007
    September 2007
    October 2007
    December 2007
    January 2008
    February 2008
    March 2008
    April 2008
    May 2008
    June 2008
    July 2008
    August 2008
    September 2008
    October 2008
    November 2008
    December 2008
    January 2009
    February 2009
    March 2009
    April 2009
    May 2009
    June 2009
    July 2009
    August 2009
    October 2009
    November 2009
    December 2009
    January 2010
    February 2010
    March 2010
    April 2010
    May 2010
    June 2010
    July 2010
    August 2010
    October 2010
    January 2011
    February 2011
    April 2011
    July 2011
    September 2011
    December 2011
    January 2012
    April 2012


    plant-based: veg blogs
    bittersweet blog
    cake maker to the stars
    the conscious kitchen
    a crafty vegan
    the discerning brute
    eat me, delicious
    everyday dish
    fake sheep
    get sconed!
    have cake, will travel!
    just the food
    kamutflake girl
    lunch box bunch
    101 cookbooks
    post punk kitchen
    swell vegan
    28 cooks
    the urban housewife
    vegan knitting (and then some...)
    vegan blog tracker
    vegan lunch box
    vegan yum yum
    veg cooking blog
    we like it raw
    what the hell does a vegan eat anyway?
    world vegetarian
    yellow rose recipes
    your vegan mom

    in the loop: take back the knit contributors' blogs...
    cosmicpluto knits!
    everyone is doomed
    is it a sweater yet?
    jodi's weblog
    knit freak
    knit wit
    mason-dixon knitting
    mk carroll
    pens and needles
    sweet little domestic life
    titanium rose
    tricky tricot
    a view from sierra county
    yarn harlot

    other blogs...
    bienvenue a mon monde
    brainy lady
    dirty sugar cookies
    domestically challenged
    fig and plum
    french word-a-day
    knit and tonic
    lovely purls
    michelle knits
    montreal knits
    sock crazy
    super eggplant
    ten thousand stories
    you grow girl

    veg-specific resources... (see also FOOD below)
    Happy Cow (veg restaurant guide, etc.)
    In a Vegetarian Kitchen
    superVegan (NYC)
    Toronto Vegetarian Association
    Taste Better
    Vegetarians in Paradise
    The Vegetarian Resource Group

    food related...
    The Biodynamic Agricultural Association
    Canadian Organic Growers
    Caroline Dupont
    The Center for Food Safety
    Cornucopia Institute
    David Wolfe (raw foods)
    Euphoric Organics
    Family Farm Defenders
    farmers' markets in Toronto
    Farmers' Markets Ontario
    Food First
    Food Routes
    Forever Healthy
    The Garden Diet
    The Global Gourmet
    Go Dairy Free
    Greenpeace Shopper's Guide: How to Avoid Genetically Engineered Food
    International Federation of Agriculture Movements
    Karma Food Co-op (Toronto)
    Living Nutrition
    Local Harvest
    The Meatrix
    Mighty Foods
    Mollie Katzen
    Ontario Natural Food Co-op
    Organic Consumers Association
    Organic Volunteers
    Park Slope Food Co-op (Brooklyn, NY)
    Raw Family
    Raw School
    Real (Raw) Milk
    Rebecca Wood
    Santropol Roulant (Montreal)
    Shazzie (raw foods, UK)
    Slow Food
    D. Smith & Son Two Century Farm (amazing u-pick soft fruit near Grimsby ON!)
    Store Wars
    Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
    Toronto Food Policy Council
    TransFair Canada
    True Food Network
    World's Healthiest Foods
    World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF Canada)

    Co-op La Maison Verte (Montreal)
    The Earth Council
    Global Resource Action Center for the Environment
    Greenpeace Canada
    Greenpeace International
    International Dark Sky Association
    Living Tree Paper Company
    The Rooftop Gardens Project (Montreal)
    Santropol Roulant (Montreal)
    Sierra Club of Canada
    Small Planet Fund
    Soil Association (UK)
    Spacing: covering toronto's urban landscape
    Toronto Environmental Alliance
    Toronto Renewable Energy Co-operative
    Voice Yourself

    'alternative' health
    Alive Magazine
    Association of Ontario Midwives
    Association of Perinatal Naturopathic Doctors
    Canadian Association of Naturopahic Doctors
    Canadian College of Naturopahic Medicine
    Canadian School of Natural Nutrition
    Corpus Diem naturopathic clinic (Montreal)
    DONA International (doula association)
    Clinique Elementerre (Montreal)
    Engender Health: Improving Women's Health Worldwide
    Fertility Awareness Method
    Harmony Health Centre (Montreal)
    Hassle Free Clinic (Toronto)
    Head & Hands youth clinic (Montreal)
    The Healthy Breast Program
    Holistic Online
    International Institute of Concern for Public Health
    Kokoro Do Jo Zen Shiatsu Therapy and Acupuncture (Toronto)
    Living with Our Fertility
    Dr. Mercola
    National Network on Environments and Women's Health
    Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors
    Scarleteen (Sexual Health for Teens)
    360 Health Care (Toronto)
    Whole Health MD
    Women's Healthy Environments Network

    knitting & craft related...
    church of craft
    crochet my crotch
    get crafty
    oh my stars
    revolutionary knitting circle
    super naturale
    stitch'n'bitch groups

    zines/indie media...
    Microcosm Publishing
    projet Mobilivre/Bookmobile project
    Rabble: news for the rest of us

    inspiring ladies...
    Action Grrrlz
    Ayun Halliday
    Bitch Magazine
    Blood Sisters
    Code Pink
    Evalyn Parry
    Guerrilla Girls
    Hip Mama
    Inga Muscio
    Kristin Sjaarda
    Margaret Cho
    Michelle Tea
    Sarah Merry
    Shameless Magazine
    You Grow Girl: Gardening for the People

    Fellowship for Intentional Communities
    Free Will Astrology
    Ontario Women's Directorate
    Oxfam Canada
    Public Dreams Society(Vancouver)
    The Ruckus Society
    Urban Harvest
    Vipassana Meditation