I truly have so much to be Thankful for this year. A new husband who is absolutely wonderful & supportive. He's by my side through thick & thin. I'm thankful for 4 Step-kids who in such a short time have taught me so much. The sweetest puppy in the whole world who has gotten me though tough times all with a puppy kiss and a wag of a tail. A family that has been healthy. A great job that pays the bills, feeds my stomach and adds to my savings. A roof over my head. Amazing friends. I could just go on & on.
I'm also Thankful that I got to spend Thanksgiving this year at the same place that I've spent most of those holidays since I was a little girl. We affectionately refer to it as "the farm". It was my Great-Grandparents house, then my Grandparents house, and now my parents own it. This year I shared it with 17 other family members including my 95 year old Great Aunt Helen and my cousin's 6.5 week old baby girl, Savannah.
I was a vegetarian for a long time. Well, more of a pescatrarian because I would sometimes (but rarely) eat fish. I did this for about 8 years. I grew up eating meat & lots of it. I was always picky about it. My Dad is a big hunter and as careful as he is, I always seemed to end up with a bb or a bone. Totally disgusting! I've always loved my veggies way more than I loved meat so in my 20's I converted. I ate lots of veggies (of course), quite a bit of beans, tofu, and all kinds of processed soy alternatives. As I've gotten older, beans don't seem to like me as much as I like them. I love beans & wish I could eat them more often, but they do a number on my stomach and I end up bloated & cranky. No one wants that. I also realized that I don't want to eat all the highly processed soy "meat" alternative. There is some debate about if soy is good for you so I've also wanted to cut back on that. So I started eating a little chicken here & there. And some turkey too. It's opened up all kinds of options for dinners, especially when cooking for two kids who are a little on the picky side. The crazy part about it is that I like it. A little over a month ago we received a belated wedding gift card to Ciao Amici's, a really nice Italian (obviously!) restaurant in town. We went & had a really good dinner. My husband ordered risotto, I ordered Salmon. He also ordered a side of meatballs. The food was out of this world & the meatballs were glaring at me so I decided to take a bite. It was so lovely. But I don't really do red meat so I left it at a bite and I carried on with my ways. On Monday, I was talking to a friend of mine who had made meatballs with her boyfriend for dinner. She was telling me about how he had wanted to cook dinner together & they had decided on two meat (beef & pork) meatballs. I had memories of that delicious meatball at Ciao Amici's and I became obsessed with having meatballs. Joanna from A Cup of Jo has this little series call The best __________ you'll ever have. When I stumbled across the meatball recipe (Faith Durand's from The Kitchn's recipe), I knew I had to do it. And there was even a link for a four ingredient tomato sauce. I was in heaven. So I stopped by the grocery store on my way home from work last night & got to work. I was not disappointed!