Friday, November 25, 2011

post-thanksgiving thanks

Serving appetizers before dinner means I get to break
out the holiday cocktail napkin collection!

Thanksgiving is hands-down my favorite holiday - it's all about family, gathering and food!  Yesterday did not disappoint.

One of the things for which I was most thankful yesterday?  The husband knows how much I need to get out and get my run on, so he told me to go out for a few miles and he would stay home and make the pecan and pumpkin pies. <happy sigh> He rocks.

So Jane and I went out for a run.  I kept it short (3.5 miles) and it was a glorious morning for a run! All went well until we came upon a neighborhood Turkey Trot of some sort.  Jane was pretty sure that one of the families was going to break rank and murder us.  The ones with the strollers were most suspect... she kept turning around to look at them.  Yeah, that didn't get annoying or mess with my running rhythm at all.  Just for fun, I ran with both GarminElectra and my iPhone using iSmoothRun so I could compare and contrast....

Here's what GarminElectra said about the run:

Avg Pace

And here's what my phone said:
Running Time 00:36:35
Total Time 00:36:35
Total Distance 3.51 miles
Average Pace 10:25 /mile
Average Speed 5.76 mph
Total Calories Burned 431
Average Cadence 83
Ascend 633 ft
Descend -650 ft
Weather 39 °F, WC: 32 °F, 11mph S, 87%
Track Points 377

What did I learn in the comparison?  Not a lot.  But I like seeing the weather info.  Oh, and GarminElectra said I only burned 408 calories so I'm going with the phone info on that one - even though it doesn't matter on Thanksgiving (see below for my philosophy on that one.)

Anywhoo, back to dinner.  The husband and I typically host Thanksgiving dinner.  The number of folks attending can range anywhere from 14 to I think the most we've had about 32.  That year we had four tables set up.  This year we only had 16 so we were able to get everyone in the dining room.  A little sardine-like, but it was fun! I LOVE being with my family.

These cranberries are the shit.  In a good way.
And Thanksgiving is definitely a family affair.  If I had to cook ALL the food myself, I think I might not like the holiday so much.  But I don't have to cook it all - it's really more like a potluck - so that makes it much more relaxing.  The husband and I make one of the two (yes, our family has TWO) turkeys, mashed potatoes, scalloped oysters, pecan pies..... and my cranberry relish.  The relish is amazing.  I was pushing it on people waaaaayyyy before dinner, ("Come try the relish, it's my best one yet!") like it was the best drug on the market or something. So pathetic. But I digress.

I found the recipe in the paper.  It's super easy and only has a few ingredients.  As for nutritional value, it's better than most of what we serve on turkey day.  And besides, I've managed to delude myself into believing that on Thanksgiving, all calories null and void, and all foods are heart healthy and highly nutritious.  Right?  Am I right?? Yes, I believe I am.

So, back to yesterday. A smaller gathering because not everyone could make the trip this year, but that's ok.  And everyone is healthy this year.  HUGE bonus.  And the food was fantastic.  Friends showed up after dinner for pie (and a second dinner!)  I think everyone felt comfortable (until after eating too much, anyway) and welcome and that's what we shoot for each year.  So yesterday was a great day!

Oh, and the recipe!  Try it.  You won't regret it.  <psssst, the first one's free!>

Cranberry Apricot Relish
1 (12 oz.) package fresh or frozen cranberries, about 3 cups
¾ cup water
¾ cup sugar (or to taste) or mild clover honey
¼ cup finely chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup dried apricots, quartered or coarsely chopped
¼ cup dark Bacardi rum
Pick over the cranberries, discarding shriveled berries and stems. Rinse well and drain. Combine the water, sugar, ginger and cinnamon or allspice in a medium-size saucepan. Place the pan on the heat and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, or just until the syrup thickens and the ginger is tender. Stir in the cranberries and the apricots and cook, stirring, until the berries begin to pop. Immediately reduce heat to low, add the rum, and simmer the sauce about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until most of the berries have popped but the fruit is still firm and has texture. Don't cook the sauce into a mush.
Remove the sauce from the heat and cool to room temperature. Keeps at least two weeks in airtight containers, preferably glass jars.
Serve at room temperature.

According to the paper, here's the goodness breakdown per ¼ cup serving:
Calories: 104
Fat: 0 g
Saturated fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 3mg
Calcium: 12 mg
Dietary fiber: 2g
Carbohydrates: wait for it..... wait for it..... 24 g (no wonder I love this stuff!)

What were you most thankful for this year?  And what's your philosophy about holiday calorie consumption? 

1 comment:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving! It's my favorite holiday too :)


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