Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks and enjoy a harvest meal with family and friends. Reflecting on this year (2020) brings a lot of anxiety, but also so much to be grateful for. My husband was away for work earlier this year, during which time the pandemic was announced, and my daughter also broke her arm (which seemed seemed like the absolute worst time to be needing to go to the hospital). Add to that, the general anxiety the whole world has been feeling, and the schools switching to online school through spring, and so much uncertainty, I feel like I really could find a lot of negative in 2020 (it’s hard to miss if you watch the news). That being said, a quick reflection helps me see how much I have to be grateful for!
My husband got home safe, which was a huge relief and allowed me to take a deep cleansing breath. As awful as it was to see my child break her arm, the hospital trip was quick and probably the best hospital experience I’ve ever seen, with nobody was filling up the emergency rooms for non-emergencies anymore, it meant the whole process was quick and has us back home – with my daughter x-ray’d and all fixed up – in just a couple hours; and I am extremely grateful for my neighbors who came to my rescue through that whole experience while I was in full panic mode. I have been given the opportunity to start homeschooling my kids which has allowed me to learn how to teach them better: now I know exactly where they struggle and where they excel, and can challenge them and support them as much as they need; my kids have grown leaps and bounds in their language and math skills in just a month, I am so proud of how well they have adjusted to homeschooling (and I really do enjoy the extra time I get to spend with them). So, while 2020 has truly been a year to go down in history for well, a whole lot of unpleasant happenings, I have so much to be grateful for – health, family, friends, and a new adventure to add to my life story – and I am feeling so blessed with all that I have.
This year was our first year celebrating Thanksgiving without any family or friends at the dinner table, but with just the four of us, it still warmed my heart just the same. I spent a couple days preparing dinner and dessert so I wasn’t stuck sweating in the kitchen all day, and had some extra time to spend with the kids and my husband. Here’s how I planned a full Thanksgiving dinner for the four of us, with just an hour or two spent each day over the weekend.
Thanksgiving Meal Plan:
Gardein Stuffed Turk’y
Thanksgiving Meal Plan:
Gardien Stuffed Turk’y and Gravy
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Carrots
The Prep Work:
On Friday, I made the dough for the pie crust, and let it chill in the refrigerator overnight.
On Saturday morning, I sliced the pumpkin in half, and baked it in the oven to let it cool for the rest of the morning/early afternoon until I was ready to make the pie.
On Saturday afternoon, I prepared the filling for the apple pie and the pumpkin pie, and set it aside while I rolled the dough out for the pie pans. Once the pies were filled, I popped them in the oven and let them cool overnight.
On Sunday morning, I prepared the cranberry sauce, and let it cool in the refrigerator.
On Sunday afternoon, I peeled and sliced the potatoes, leaving half of them in a pot of water for the mashed potatoes, and then prepared the scalloped potatoes with the other half. I set the uncooked scalloped potatoes aside, covered, until I was ready to cook dinner. I chopped the vegetables, and placed them in a covered casserole dish.
When it came time for dinner, I preheated the oven to 375’F, one and a half hours before I planned to serve dinner. I put the scalloped potatoes in the oven (they need 1 hour and 15 minutes to bake). 45 minutes later, I turned on the pot to boil the potatoes for mashed potatoes, and put the rest of the vegetables and the Gardein Stuffed Turk’y in the oven. I removed the roasted veggies, and the foil from the scalloped potatoes 30 minutes later, and cranked the heat to 425’F for 10 minutes to crisp the top of the turk’y and the scalloped potatoes. I mashed the potatoes with some vegan butter, and then vegan Thanksgiving dinner was ready!
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