I Am That Girl Now

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The post-Thanksgiving review

Family is great, folks. Ya gotta love 'em, and I love mine like fire. I would also like to take this opportunity to say this: when I'm wrong, I'm wrong. My family stepped up to the plate and batted damn well this Thanksgiving on the healthy-eating thing

I love my folks. They brought a righteous ton of fruit and vegetables to the hotel that we were all staying in, which ensured that I had actual nutrition in my diet every single day I was gone. I suspect that this may be because between me, my Hub, and my sister, they are now surrounded and outnumbered by people who are taking care with their health, and they're scrambling to get the hang of things. Bless them, the only sugary things they brought along were some chocolate-covered almonds, which I avoided but still counted as higher on the scale of Things Which Are Awesome than, say, cookies. Bonus points: they brought along a yoga mat and a laptop computer that plays DVDs.

I love my sister. She brought pomegranates and mandarin oranges on the plane from California and made a simple salad out of them for Thanksgiving. It was, flat out, the most awesome part of Thanksgiving and I ate a ton of it. I adore pomegranate seeds and oh, my, they go well with mandarin oranges. My sister also did yoga with me and my Hub, and then demonstrated a bajillion of her bendy moves and taught my enthralled Hub how to do some of them. My parents were astonished. I was delighted.

I love them all because we used the hotel stairs all weekend, instead of the elevator, even though we were only on the second floor. I love that none of them asked questions or pestered me over the lack of sugary products on my plate. God bless 'em.

My aunt's Thanksgiving dinner was sort of a mismash. Lots of fresh veggies, which was good. Turkey, which is turkey under pretty much all circumstances. A vegetarian entree due to the fact that several of "the kids" in my generation have gone vegetarian, which I give mega-high points for because this is also the visit that spawned a ten-minute debate over what vegetarians eat (oh, my aching head). There were many pickles and brine-packed olives, both of which made me very, very happy. On the other hand, all the soda was full-sugar so I was stuck with wacky-tasting tap water. And the vast majority of the dishes available were just not on my eating radar, particularly the endless bags of chips and the vast variety of pie. I will freely admit that on the whole the food situation went better than I expected, and there was the traditional tromp-around-the-farm post-dinner walkfest, which is always a bonus.

Aside from the food stuff, it was days on end of going non-stop from pre-dawn to long-past-dusk. The thing about having the grandfolks' generation edging into their mid-eighties is that suddenly, they're no longer the hosts; they're the ones that the hosts are running around trying to take care of. We spent a lot of time in nursing homes and hospital rooms and getting a lot of experience helping old folks in and out of cars and repeating explanations endlessly to the ones who have lost their capacity for memory. It was odd. My aunt is now a grandma, at my grandma's old house, and that is just... wow. We spent a lot of time hanging out with my mom's aunts and uncles, and her cousins, and their kids, and now some of my mom's cousins' kids have kids, and my cousins have kids so there are about six hundred million relatives to chatter with. It's sort of awe-inspiring to be related to so many people, particularly since the vast majority of them are so easy to talk to and hang out with. It's a hell of a thing to be connected to so many people; I spent a lot of the weekend exchanging e-mail addresses and promising a place to crash if any of the cousins (a word which I am now generically using to refer to anybody related to my mother who's of my approximate generation) want to visit Chicago. My husband, who has just managed to learn the names of all of my aunts and uncles and cousins, spent the whole weekend baffled by the influx of new faces. My mom probably didn't make things easier on him by telling him that this was just a fraction of the numbers that show up to family reunions. I feel all connected and oddly comforted.

In other news, honeycrisp apple season is over for the year, leaving me bereft until next fall. On the up side, we're now in clementine season! Oh, clementines, tiny seedless easy-peeling sweet wonders, you save me from oranges and soothe my lunchtimes. No more shall I need to use a paperclip to scrape orange pith from under my fingernails, no more shall I be sprayed in the face with citrus oil from a particularly thick peel, no more shall I spend ten minutes picking connective membrane off the fruit sections. Oh clementines, sweet clementines, joy of my early winters, never leave me... at least not until blood orange season.

God, I love that I'm starting to get the hang of when things are in season, and look forward to them. Lots of things are available year-round, but so much of the time they're generic and bleah. On the other hand, stuff that I can't get most of the year gives me something to look forward to, to miss when it's gone, and to devour voraciously while it's available. I am still pretty ignorant, though... anyone know a good book or website that'll help to fill me in on when things are in season?

2 Comments:

  • clementines! OH YEAH BABY! it's the one thing that keeps me sane during the long dark wet scottish winter :)

    and i'm in awe of your thanksgiving, you all did well!

    By Anonymous dg, at 5:59 AM  

  • I'm kind of bitter that in this age of technology we haven't developed a way to keep fruits and veggies in season all the time. I miss peaches!

    By Blogger PastaQueen, at 11:23 AM  

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