A Thanksgiving Story


We’re just around the corner on my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving! I’m very excited to share with you five things about Thanksgiving in no particular order: a fun memory, a deep dark confession, a turkey themed workout, my Thanksgiving with a semi-celebrity, and a big substitution disaster.

Fun Memory: They year was 1993 and I was 11. Both of my siblings were living away from home being they were officially young adults. My mom told me the good news that my brother would be joining us for Thanksgiving and bringing someone with him. This had never happened before so naturally I was very excited. What 11 year-old isn’t interested in her brother’s love life? So I rushed home from school, ate dinner, and then patiently waited for him to arrive. Around 10 o’clock I heard his car pull up in the driveway. I peeked out the curtain and saw him get out of his car with a young woman. I pretended like this wasn’t a big deal and with a racing heart sat back down on the couch. Then in he walked, with a young brunette who looked almost familiar but it was kind of dark so I wasn’t sure. Within seconds I realized it was my sister! My sister of all people! Here I thought this person he was bringing home was a girlfriend but it was my sister! It was a great surprise for a kid who missed her siblings terribly. Here we are, the three of us, don’t we look cute? Yes, I wore more lipstick then than I do now. Us

Confession: Bless me father for I have sinned; I love the canned cranberry sauce. I especially like that it comes of out the can and still looks like a can. Growing up we always had this at Thanksgiving and I was always the first to cut into it. I know many of you are appalled by this confession but I can’t help it! It holds nostalgic value. Now I will eat the “real” cranberry sauce too but deep down inside this makes my heart smile a little. I did a little sugar shocker comparison. Which one do you think has less sugar? This can of cranberry sauce has roughly 1/2 cup of sugar total. I After scouring many recipes for the homemade variety, I’ve actually found that to be a bit higher in sugar than the canned stuff. Most call for at least a cup of sugar per bag of cranberries. In the end, eat whichever one makes your heart happy…on Thanksgiving and only Thanksgiving. Jelly

Workout: It would be foolish to assume that you don’t need an extra calorie burn this week.Here’s what I recommend: Pick out the foods you suspect you’ll eat and do this workout on Wednesday. Keep mental track of what you ate throughout the day on Thanksgiving and then wake up on Friday and do the real workout. See how it compares! Did you over or underestimate? There’s no need to stress over a workout on Thanksgiving but if you can squeeze one it, good for you! Sometimes my favorite activity on Thanksgiving is just going for a nice long walk. Gobble Gobble

Celebrity Sighting: Yes, it’s true. John Madden spent Thanksgiving 2008 at my house. Here I am sitting on his lap. It was a good day for Mr. Madden. Long story short, I work in the Athletics department at Drake, we used to get samples of Fast Actin Tinactin and they came with a life-size cutout of John Madden. One year my friends Kate, Coree, and Megan kidnapped him from the Bell Center and he arrived at my house ready to party. True story. John & jo

Oh No: Please, whatever you do, do not try to modify a fan favorite such as green bean casserole without trying your modification before Thanksgiving. I made the mistake to ditch the cream of mushroom soup and instead made my own, healthier concoction of Greek Yogurt, sautéed mushrooms, various seasonings, and Worcestershire sauce. Let’s just say my “Greek Bean Casserole” didn’t turn out so well. It wasn’t disgusting but it wasn’t worth the substitution. Below is my “before” photo because at the time I thought this would be a big hit and I’d do a recipe post for it. I have no “after” photo to show for this disaster because I want to forget it entirely. Sorry Liz, Megan, and Wes. Never again, I promise.Greek Beans

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving memory?