The Day After

Hey hey hey!  Boy, blogs were scarce on Thanksgiving day—where were you all?  Out celebrating with friends and family and enjoying the day?   Well, I guess that’s a good excuse LOL.  Actually it means your lives are balanced, doesn’t it?  I was working of course.  And can I just say, I am VERY THANKFUL that I can manipulate my schedule so I don’t have to work two days in a row too often.  That was tough.  Not the work, but the after.  I am so down in the dumps after working like that and being sleep deprived…

Well, enough of that.  Perky happy debby reporting in.  What?  You don’t know any perky happy debby?  Well, *I* am here.  Me and Noah and Sophie and Monk.  We are just about to go out for our evening stroll, and then I will take a shower while they eat, put my pajamas on, and prepare my own Thanksgiving feast!!

Can we talk about food for a little bit?  I KNOW.  Quite a surprise to come over here and find the main topic to be food.  Anyway, Wednesday, someone brought some ‘pumpkin bars’ to work.  They were the real thing–full fat full sugar.  Of course I had one.  Oh my.  I especially noticed the spiciness of them.  It was a delicious blend of spices, and a little different than I have tasted recently.  So I asked for the recipe.  Granted, it was a big recipe.  But people.  There were SIX CUPS OF SUGAR in that recipe, between the cake and the frosting.  Come on.  Why do we find it necessary to include the maximum amount of sugar possible in our quest for the best food?  Back to the spices.  There was 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp ground cloves.  I think it was the larger than normal amount of cloves that I noticed.  Anyway, I will be using this combination of spices to experiment with my own version of pumpkin bars.

Thursday.  I knew our potluck was going to be good.  I had even asked some people to fill in with ‘green’ veggies.  We started the day with my contribution to the potluck.  Its always nice when we have something special for our morning break.  My Healthnet (health insurance) newsletter included yet another delicious looking recipe.  This one was for Chunky Cranberry Spread.  What was I to do–had to be served with bagels , right?  I found Thomas’s brand of bagels and got two bags of mini bagels–whole grain, and cinnamon.  I actually liked the whole grain better.  The spread was delicious, and was quite popular with all the nurses.  And you know what?  I googled cranberry cream cheese spread recipe,  and all the recipes (there were quite a few) had a bunch of sugar or marmalade or full fat stuff added to it.  Again, why is this necessary?  This spread was quite decadent, something I would only make for a special occasion.  But there was no added sugar, and it used light cream cheese (I also added Laughing Cow Light.) The recipe’s over there on the other blog.

Every year, one nurse’s husband volunteers to cook a turkey that morning and brings it up to us and even carves it for us!  Another nurse’s husband made a delicious medley of roasted red, yellow, and sweet potatoes with just a touch of olive oil, rosemary, and a few other flavors I couldn’t identify.  Really nice of these husbands to spend their morning cooking and bring the food up to us.  We had all the regular stuff.  One of my oldest friends at work is a Southern gal.  Pie making is her specialty.  I took a small slice of each of her pies (pumpkin and pecan) and brought them home for my evening snack.  And so ended the feasting.

Before I left work I had decided that for the next six days I will not indulge in any high sugar stuff.  Very healthy eating only.  Why six days?  Well, then the birthday season begins.  But I have already decided that I am not going overboard then either.  I get two treats, and then I will be done with that too.  I don’t think this will be hard to do at all.  I wrote down some of my favorite healthy choices.  I will make sure I have plenty of veggies in the house.  I find I am truly craving veggies after just one day like yesterday.  There are plenty of already prepared meal foods in the freezer.  There is all that turkey that I will put into little ziplock baggies to have ready, and I am also going to use some of it for a Mexican Turkey Stew recipe that I saw in my Cooking Light magazine.

Today I got out for the long walk with Noah ( it is FREEZING here, BTW.)  Proof of freezing:

Berry vines, leaves outlined in ice.

Am I the only one who finds leaves covered in ice fascinating?

Then I decided to go to the gym, and even hit a couple of stores for the Black Friday specials.  I generally avoid this kind of thing, but I figured the stores couldn’t be that crowded in our little town in the afternoon.  When I’m doing this kind of thing, I ALWAYS go to the gym first.  I know myself well enough that if I get tired or the shopping takes too long, I just might bypass the gym.

I SCORED on the sales.  I went to WalMart to check out the I Touch.  You all know, I just can’t decide if I really need and/or want one of these.  For a while I decided to go ahead and get an IPad.  But I’m just not sure I need all that technology.  Anyway, WalMart was out of the I Touch, so I didn’t even get to see it.  But I went by the women’s clothing looking for a specific type of jacket–soft and fuzzy, with a hood.  They had exactly what I wanted, even though it was a little more than I wanted to spend ($17–laughing at myself for wanting to spend less than  that on a jacket.)  Anyway, when they rang it up, it was on special for $7!!!  Woo hoo!  I almost went back and got two more, and then I decided that that would nullify the good buy I got on it.

Then I went to Big Five to check out their sales.  These shoes are only 4 1/2 months old, but they’ve seen better times.  I think Noah started those little holes.  I tried on a zillion pairs of shoes, but in the end Saucony, my favorite brand won out.

The feast!

Fortunately I had cooked my little turkey on Tuesday, because I was not in the mood to cook a turkey today.  All I needed to do was fix the side dishes.  All I wanted to do was to try the mashed cauliflower, make a little gravy, and have some roasted brussel sprouts.

I wanted to make some light gravy.  I saved the broth from cooking my turkey on Tuesday, and since it was cold, I could scrape all the fat off the top.  I just added some water, heated it up, and then added some cornstarch mixed up in cold water.  Made a nice gravy.  I’m used to the look of flour gravy, but this stuff tasted fine.

I cooked a whole head of cauliflower, and probably used about 3/4 of it.  Followed Joanne’s recipe.  OH. MY. GOSH.  I cannot believe I waited so long to try these.  Better than most mashed potatoes I have had.  Next time I might try using less ‘butter’ as I seldom  use that much butter in my regular mashed potatoes.  I had the brussel sprouts roasting in the oven.  Here is my feast.  One of the best thanksgiving dinners I’ve ever eaten on a TV tray LOL!

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18 thoughts on “The Day After

  1. I say hold out for the iTouch. They do a lot and can go in your pocket, unlike an iPad.

    I had one that got wet this summer and bit the dust 😦

    I replaced it with a Nano and can attest that the iTouch is better. If you’re listening to a podcast you can rewind and hear a sentence you missed while a bus went by and made too much noise.

  2. Your feet look like my feet with the Saucony shoes LOL! My favorite brand.

    I worked for a few hours on Thanksgiving as well, and doing the PICU reports for that day really puts life into perspective. Most were just progress reports, but there was one very ill baby and the doctor noted the long meeting had with the family about the baby not likely surviving. Then another preemie baby was being prepped for discharge for Friday. I could never be a nurse. My hat is off to you, Debby.

    $7 jacket – you scored big time. Should have bought 2 LOL!

  3. Oh, I LOVE your iced leaf pix–both were wonderful. Hmmm–theme for a quilt?
    Your thanksgiving meal looked awesome. I’m going to investigate the cauliflower recipe–I used to make something similar which I loved–funny how one forgets. Hope you have a great weekend.

    • Oh I’m glad someone else likes iced leaves! Yes, I do think about some of the pics I take as being ‘resource material’ for a quilt. Of course there is so much inspiration and only so much time. But you never know.

  4. I had roasted brussels sprouts too! And we had bison/buffalo (I don’t know what’s the correct name or if it matters).
    The first time I made mashed cauliflower I went overboard and ate the whole thing. Followed by some major GI misery. Not recommended. But barring that immoderate experience, I love them too! Thinning them out for a creamy soup is also wonderful. Like a potato chowder, kinda.

    Georgie

  5. I have an iTouch and it’s pretty nice, but I don’t really use it for typing much – the keys are just too tiny for me. But it IS nice for reading email and blogs – I just have to remember to respond later when I’m at my regular computer.

    I love the iced leaves – so pretty!

    You definitely needed new shoes. Glad you found some great deals; that makes shopping so much fun, in my opinion.

    Your working Thanksgiving sounds really special with the husbands cooking and bring food, along with the nurses. Very caring people you work with!

  6. Hi Debby, Love your insights into life, work, eating, frozen leaves, and your dear dawgs. What’s with the roasted brussels sprouts this year? We were invited next door for Thanksgiving dinner and were served roasted b.s. with, I think, toasted pecans–(delicious) and I later learned my brother had also served them. Must try to make some.

  7. I might have told you this one before, but can’t remember, so here it is again:

    long ago, friend gave me pecan pie recipe using beans intead of pecans (oldest allergic to tree nuts). I automatically halved the amount of sugar as it looked like WAY TOO MUCH.

    Recipe did not turn out great, the next time I made it, I used 3/4 of the amount called for in recipe and it was okay. Made it many times that way.

    years after that, mentioned to recipe friend that I almost always can 1/2 the amount of sugar in recipe, but couldn’t with her pecan pie recipe. She laughed. She had already halved the amount before she gave it to me. And she had gotten it from someone else (like minded) who may have reduced it also.

    I think this too much sugar thing literally comes from whatever long ago year that sugar became inexpensive. Generations had to scrimp for decades. And white sugar was seen as such a luxuary. So people just went wild when they could and then it became habit in society.

    AND

    you aren’t kidding about streets of blog land being so empty. And this weekend, even some of the 4-5 days a week posters were gone. (I post pretty much 365 days a year, every year. But I am one of the very few.)

    • I hadn’t heard that pecan pie story. Yes, I didn’t even talk about the sugar in pecan pie, which I told everyone at work was basically a pure sugar overload. That’s interesting about the history of sugar. I bet a lot of our food choices are influenced by economic history.

      And yes, I am glad that I can always count on you to blog!

  8. Hey Debby!

    I’ve been in family deluge mode, and am grabbing a quick moment before the next “Mooommyyyyy!!!” 😉

    Glad you scored some good deals on Black Friday! RE: iTouch vs. iPad, I’m not familiar with the iTouch, but I do have an iPhone and can speak to iPhone vs. iPad. iPhone is more portable (fits in my pocket) and has camera and cell phone capabilities. The iPad is better for movies and MUCH better for reading web pages, though. The typing experience on an iPad is not necessarily better; I’m a touch-typer and was expecting a true QWERTY keyboard. Most folks who use it as their regular computer buy a bluetooth keyboard to go with it. It doesn’t follow the same configuration as the iPhone keyboard, either. A bit annoying. But overall, anything Apple does tend to have an elegance to it. Oh, another thing I don’t like: Apple’s customer support is kind of sucky. Mr. H&H’s iTunes account got hacked, and it was a bother to get things reset to a different email address. (A cautionary tale for using passwords that are unique and strong – i.e., at least 8 characters, with a combo of upper/lower case letters, numbers, and punctuation marks!)

    Your food looks so tasty! I’m going to have to try a variation on the cream cheese & cranberry – I made some no-sugar-added cranberry sauce, so I’ll use it as a jam for my fake danish! Mmmm!

    And I agree – frosted leaves would be a nice quilt theme! I love them, too…just about anything laced with frost looks magical, don’t you think? (Oh, speaking of quilts, I saw a quilt the other day. My sister-in-law had a new quilt hanging in her room that she’d bought at Pumpkin Fest. The overall design was fairly simple – largish triangles forming squares around the edges with 2 different fabrics, then a large square piece of fabric with koi fish in the middle. The colors worked nicely and there was lots of intricate stitching in kind of a swirly wave pattern over the whole thing, that went nicely with the fish theme. BUT I couldn’t help but think, “Debby’s quilts are better.”)

    • Hi Pubsgal! Great to hear from you. Oh, the Mooommmmy. I feel for you. Thanks for the techno info. Does this mean you have an ipad? Anyway, now you brought up one more thing for me to consider, which just might be the way for me to go. My phone contract is up this month,and maybe I should just go for the IPhone! Seems like all I would need is the 450 minutes for $40 and the whatever the other thing is (data something) for $15. That wouldn’t be too much more than I am paying now. And if they aren’t lying, they have pretty good coverage up here where I live. That is new. So it wouldn’t be too hard to type emails or comments or even a short blog entry from and IPhone? Also, any opinion re: the IPhone 4 vs a refurbished IPhone 3G? I’m gonna copy this and send an email too, hoping you’ll see this.

      Its hard for me to make a decision (obviously,) but I kinda want to have something to take with me to Africa. I also think I just might get there and forget all about the techno stuff…

      • Check your email – I responded there. Giving it some more thought, I think I’d probably just bring a paper journal and a camera. A lot less trying than having to worry about the technical gadgetry…once I got over the withdrawals, of course. 😉

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