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Thanksgiving has thrown me for a loop. I spent a year on Weight Watchers-didn’t go to the meetings for the weekly dose of public shame, er, accountability, and I’m too cheap to pay for the online option so I just bought books from Ebay and did it at home. I lost quite a bit of weight the first year, about 50 pounds but during the last year I’ve just maintained by choice. I haven’t really been writing down my points as I did for the first 6 months but I do tally them up in my head daily. I have definitely been making more exceptions in the past couple of months but this Thanksgiving thing was ridiculous. First of all-I really like to cook. Really. It’s one of my favorite things in the world and probably the number one reason I was at least 50 pounds overweight. My love of cooking feasts has been the most challenging thing about Weight Watchers. I particularly love big feasts with lots of guests and high pressure expectations. I have done lots of catering and I totally get in the zone. We’ve been vegetarian for almost 18 years which wasn’t so difficult to transition into from a culinary arts perspective, but we started cutting way back on dairy a bunch of years back and then went vegan gluten/soy free about 5 years ago. I am not willing to eat boring food just because of food allergies, so I took that change as a personal challenge. Took a little trial and error, but eventually I managed to make a feast that even our carnivorous, butter loving, wheat gorging, friends and family are shocked to find that they totally enjoy. Here’s what was on the menu this year:
Baked Artichoke and Green Chili Dip/Chips
Cornbread and Rice Bread Dressing with Chantrelle Mushrooms, Shallots, Golden Raisins, and Cranberries
Carmelized Garnet Yams with Walnuts, Coriander, and Crystalized Ginger
Vegan wheat-free Gravy (with Roux base made with oat flour and Earth’s Balance margarine)
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Roasted Garlic and Carmelized Walnuts in a light Balsamic Reduction
Cranberry and Tangerine Compote
Homegrown canned Heirloom Green Beans
Homegrown Pickled Beets
Homegrown Red Saurkraut
Mashed Potatoes, Roasted root veggies, and Pumpkin Cheesecake were contributed by friends and family
Pumpkin Pie with Rice and Oat flour Crust made from fresh homegrown heirloom pumpkins
Pecan Pie with Rice and Oat flour Crust-secret ingredient: half a cup of whipped silken tofu and potato starch! No one missed the eggs and no one caught the tofu.
I also made a few Quorn products for the non vegans/wheat enthusiasts, along with Salmon Wellington of sorts–local fresh caught Salmon topped with a pate of Chanterelles and Shallots, then wrapped in a golden puff pastry.
I also grossly overestimated the size of everyone’s appetites because even after multiple helpings and plates of leftovers sent home…we were left with literally pounds of dressing, whole pies. I have become a glutton. But finally, it’s gone. Solid gone. We ate for two days and shared even more and finally threw the dregs in the compost. Ahh. Now back to counting points…
Speaking of getting off course, I have become sidetracked making a series of Waldorf dolls that I hope to sell at the Waldorf faire in B’ham next weekend–I plan on listing the rest on Etsy. I am having so much fun! My hands are a wreck, splits and cracks everywhere from pulling button thread as tightly as possible. Tomorrow I’ll do some of the more exciting bits of doll making–adding personality! Yesterday I made a prototype since I’ve apparently lost my other handmade pattern pieces during the studio move…she looked dandy, so I cut out 7 more. Made all the heads (hence the hand injuries), sewed the bodies, and stuffed one of the bodies before I called it quits for the day. Tomorrow I’ll stuff and sew each one together, and then make faces, wigs, maybe even clothing. I will definitely post photos.
Another project: my sweetie’s new Etsy store! Down To Earth Woodworks finally opened yesterday and he’s already had a sale! Visit at http://www.downtowearthwoodworks.etsy.com and peruse all of the amazing pieces!
Must go to bed if I am to start all over again at 7am. Wish me luck!