We should have more than one day set aside each year to give thanks. Some might declare we should give thanks every day, and I don’t disagree, but I’m actually stating we should have Thanksgiving once a month.
Not with all the commercial hoopla of people rising before dawn the day after so they can shiver in dark parking lots to be in line for some amazing-never-to-be-offered-again deal on a big screen TV, thank you very much.
I’m talking about quietly setting aside one day a month on your calendar to put your whirling dervish life aside to spend time with people important in your life. It might be as simple as a long chatty phone call with an old friend you haven’t seen in a long time. Or go grab your family for a hike in nature. Spend a day of shopping with a girlfriend, or a yoga class. Take your dog somewhere he or she loves, even if it’s the dog park and she only cares about playing with the dogs there and completely ignores you. Another way of giving thanks is to get involved in your community and give back through volunteer opportunities it offers.
Whatever you choose to do, and here’s the important part because you’re probably doing all that stuff anyway, let people know how important they are to your life. It doesn’t have to be saccharine, with a poem you stay up writing until the wee hours that makes the other person all teary-eyed. Just a simple acknowledgement.
“Thank you for being in my life. You’ve made a difference.”
Give an example if you want, but no need for some rambling treatise that makes everyone forget what the heck you’re even talking about. (Been there.) Keep it simple and honest.
It may feel wrong to schedule something like this, but surely that’s better than forgetting to take the time, or assuming they know how you feel, in short taking our relationships for granted because we’re engulfed by the whirlwind of life, and hey I promise I’ll reach out to them later. Infusing one day a month with thanks, and thinking about — and expressing — what that means to you, might end up as the calm between the storms – something that this world surely needs right now.
If you plan some time together with your family and friends on Thanksgiving, one thing you won’t have to worry about is the wine. The folks at Gallo Family Vineyards have that part all figured out for you. Go check out the full lineup, and take a closer look at both Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir wines. For the holidays, I like to serve Pinot Grigio with appetizers, and it pairs great with fish and vegetarian dishes. Bring on the Pinot Noir for heartier fare, although in truth it’s light enough to pair well with most vegetarian dishes too. As a time saver, go to their handy store locator to find your closest store for stocking up.
Our friends at Gallo have written a blog post on giving thanks, and offer up all kinds of entertaining tips, recipes, and wine updates all through the year on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Go follow them to make sure you never miss a thing.
On an important note, the #SundaySupper family is committed to helping Meals on Wheels America to improve the health and quality of life for the seniors they serve. For the sixth year in a row, Gallo Family Vineyards invites everyone to help end senior hunger and isolation with their annual Every Cork Counts™ program. They donate $1 for every cork submitted through their website or snail mail. All Gallo Family fans have to do is snap a picture, or send their corks! Please help them reach their goal of donating $150,000 to this worthy organization.
- 2 medium butternut squash
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 Tbsp fig jam
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2⅔ cup cooked quinoa
- 4 cups chopped Braeburn apples, cored (but not peeled)
- ⅔ cup diced dried Black Mission figs
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup pine nuts
- zest of 2 navel orange
- zest of 2 lime
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Cut the ends off both butternut squash, and slice in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and pulp using a spoon - preferably a serrated grapefruit spoon. Place the squash halves in a microwave-proof pan, dust with salt, fill with ½" water, and cover with plastic. Microwave on high for 10 minutes. Remove the plastic and pour out the water.
- Melt the butter, jam, and maple syrup together. Baste the top surfaces of the squash halves with ⅓ of the butter mixture. Slide into the oven and roast for 35 minutes, or until tender. (It could take as long as 45 minutes.)
- Scoop out a trough of squash, saving the squash for another purpose, in order to have more room for stuffing. Either cool to room temperature until ready to stuff, or baste the squash halves with another ⅓ of the butter mixture, and fill with the Quinoa, Apple and Fig Stuffing - spreading excess stuffing around the squash in the pan. Drizzle the remaining butter mixture over the stuffing. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Just before serving, finish with a flourish of fresh thyme and pomegranate seeds.
- Combine all of the Stuffing ingredients EXCEPT the fresh thyme and pomegranate seeds in a large bowl.
Thanksgiving Comfort Foods
Appetizers and Bread:
- Antipasto by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Blue Cheese, Fig, and Caramelized Onion Palmiers by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Crusty Artisan Style Bread by Life Tastes Good
- Grandma’s Oyster Stew by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Turkey Croquets with Mushroom Sauce by Basic N Delicious
Salads and Sides:
- Autumn Crunch Salad by Magnolia Days
- Harvest Chopped Salad by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Cranberry Pecan Turkey Salad by Family Foodie
- Kicked Up Oven Roasted Red Potatoes by Recipe for Perfection
- Roasted Squash and Wild Rice Salad by Ruffles and Truffles
- Rustic Herbed Stuffing with Greens by Shockingly Delicious
- Fig Basted Roast Butternut Squash Stuffed with Quinoa, Apple and Fig Stuffing by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Paella by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Slow Cooker Cranberry Balsamic Beef by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Desserts and Sweets:
- Chocolate Gingerbread Blondies by Food Done Light
- Cinnamon Spice Coffee Cake by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Cranberry Orange Coffeecake With Brown Sugar Crumb by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
- Dark Chocolate Caramel Bark by Take a Bite Out of Boca
- Pumpkin Angel Pie by Desserts Required
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake by Alida’s Kitchen
Plus 10 Ways to Give Thanks by Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.