Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Memories, and A Low Carb Thanksgiving

What's on your plate for Thanksgiving?

I am roasting the usual turkey. I adore the smell of it. It brings me great happiness. I may have told this little story before. When I was a little girl, my mother used to take me out preaching and selling religious magazines on the weekends and on holidays. I spent a lot of my childhood in conservative dresses, walking up and down city streets with a Bible in my hand and a few nickles in my pocket that people gave me for my magazines. Of course, I used the nickels to buy more magazines to sell, but that was beside the point. We had lives to save.

I remember how on Thanksgiving morning we would be out bright and early in the crisp fall air, walking from house to house knocking on doors trying to find those receptive to The Truth. The entire block would smell like pies and casseroles and sweet potatoes and rolls. And whenever we knocked, children or their mothers would race to the door, flinging it open, smiling widely, expecting to see their relatives arriving. Their smiles would fade to a perplexed look as I introduced myself and, in my little 6, 7, 8, or 9-year old voice, offered to read them a Bible verse and asked if they wouldn't like to buy a magazine for a nickel. Every time, the warm smell of roasting turkey would waft out the door as I spoke, making my stomach growl and leading me to ask my mother for roast turkey after the doors were shut or slammed with a "we're not interested." My mother always said no, because "that would be celebrating." I always spent Thanksgiving afternoon and evening alone in my room, wishing our house smelled like roasting turkey.

And now it does. It gives me a real rush when the first scent of browning turkey skin escapes the oven. I get almost giddy that MY HOUSE smells like that. I swear, the smell makes me happier than all the food at the dinner table! It just feels like a dream come true, every single year.

I always make the same things for Thanksgiving dinner: creamy mashed potatoes, stuffing, candied yams, green bean casserole, corn, pies, apple salad, dinner rolls. You can find all my usual recipes in this post from 2007: Thanksgiving Recipes. This year, I am adding a mixed green salad with sliced almonds, dried cranberries and feta cheese. As you can guess, I won't be eating the carbier stuff. But you can have a nice, low carb Thanksgiving dinner by sticking with turkey, mashed cauliflower, salad, and green bean casserole (which is not strictly low carb but is reasonable in small portions.)

I hope each of you has a happy Thanksgiving. May we all try to remember all the reasons we have to be thankful.


RhubarbLady said...

If only we could gain more nutritional benefits from the smell of food! Thank you for the reminder of being thankful for even the smells around us.

Thank you for the previous post of How I Feel and the need to express feelings.

I was once advised to keep a gratitude diary and record 3-5 things every day and that as I did so I would feel better about my life in general even if everything or even somethings were not as I would desire. As the holidays approach, I find myself going back to writing every day instead of once a week just because I need the boost of seeing in writing all the things I do have and enjoy. Thank you for the reminder to find some things that take care of me and bring me joy.

timothy said...

low carb is definately the way to go, you can have a great dinner and be 100% on plan. have a FABULOUS thanksgiving sweetie! xoxoxoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

I was raised JW, I've never heard of selling magazines. From what I gather, you are prettybitter about JW's, but please speak the truth if you are going to speak about them.

that TOPS lady said...

Were you JW as a previous commenter suggested? Or if not, what denomination were you? I'm just curious.

I have my own story to tell.... but that's for another time & place.

kristen said...

Anonymous - so, because you've never heard of it, it must not be true? Are you implying that the story is a lie? For what purpose?

From what I gather, you are pretty bitter about people sharing their life experiences regarding being a JW, but please don't call them liars.

Lyn said...


I was raised JW, yes. And if you do a bit of research and reading into the history of your religion, you'll find I am speaking the truth as always. In fact, if you just look back at some of the bound volumes of Watchtowers and Awakes, you'll see the price right on the magazine, either on the front cover or inside the front page ("ten cents a copy" etc). Most of my childhood they were ten cents, even though we usually only asked for a nickel and took the loss. They got up to 25 cents before becoming "free."

Once you've gone back and looked, or even asked an older JW who was around in the 1970's, feel free to come back and apologize for accusing me of lying. I forgive you.

And, BTW, not bitter. My childhood made me who I am. And right now I'm very glad to be surrounded by my children and getting ready to smell that roast turkey :)

Lyn said...


I think it was 1990 when they no longer were priced. I know in the 60's, 70's and at least through the mid-80's they were priced.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, I think that's just the saddest story.

Although I may have done it differently, I do understand where your mom was coming from.

Our family does not celebrate halloween. I know Christians who love the Lord as much as I do, do celebrate, but we do not. I simply cannot reconcile witches and devils and ghosts with Christianity--not even on one day a year.

I was always concerned, tho, that my children would look at our faith as something that deprived them of fun things. I always bought them candy and tried to explain why we didn't particpate as best as I could.

Neither of my now adult sons seem to resent the absence of halloween decorations at home and trick or treating.

Considering my own struggle as a mom, I can't imagine what it would have been like to not celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. Such big holidays and so woven into our culture!

(Halloween wasn't quite as big back in the 70s and 80s as it is now. Marketers hadn't yet caught on to the gold mine availbale and occult activity wasn't as acceptable as it is now, either.)

I'm glad you can take joy in the smell of turkey now rather than allowing the past to ruin it for you.

Happy Thanksgiving, for sure!!!


Little Miss Contrary said...

Hi Lyn, I'm a JW, yes we did use to sell mags you are entirely correct that it went out in the 90s and now they are 'without charge' although obviously they cost alot to produce. I can have a thanksgiving or Xmas diner everyday of the year if I want to so I don't feel the restriction but I know that witnessing on those holidays can be a challenge! You do however get the chance to speak to people who would normally be at work so is the best way to fulfill our commission to preach and give people a hope for the future. I wanted to send you a cyber hug too for sharing and being so open about your ups and downs. Best wishes LMC

Maren said...

Happy Thanksgiving! I would give my left arm to be a dinner guest at your house today. :)

Lyn said...


Thanks! That is great you can enjoy your turkey dinner any day. My mom was a bit over the top in her rules I think, quite strict. But I know she was just trying to do what she thought was right. I stopped going with her when I was a teen and moved out at 18. I don't have any 'religion' now except kindness :)

Laryssa said...

Lyn, I can relate about past Thanksgivings. My mom was very strict in her beliefs (still is) and we rarely had turkey at home because she didn't want anyone to associate her turkey dinner with any holiday (Easter, Mother's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas). I remember we'd go preaching in the streets (I live in NYC), hoping to catch those that were on their way to their families homes. I remember in the 1980s the magazines were sold for 15 cents.

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your kids. :)

Nmmumaw said...

Discussion of religion always makes me uneasy, because people take it so personally (granted, it is a personal matter to most).

Deb's assessment of Halloween seems a bit off the mark, though. Halloween isn't a holiday celebrating "the occult" (unless you're judging simply by what marketers and Hollywood throw at us). Halloween is sort of a condensed version of two kinds of holidays. 1.) - Harvest celebrations (i.e. just like Thanksgiving), and 2.) - Remembering the dead. All Hallow's Eve was originally a Christian holiday involving feasting, though it was influenced by similar pagan religious traditions before it. Over time it became more secular and generalized. (Taken from Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions, if you want to know.)

So yeah, Halloween != occult, unless your reference material is Harry Potter.

N.R.E. said...

Happy Thanksgiving! How fortunate you are to have such a wonderful family, and how lucky they are to have you as their mom.

Anonymous said...

Have a wonderful thanksgiving! Glad you can do things you enjoy now!

p.s. I read part of that list as
"corn pies", lol.


Mrs. Chupchake said...

Good point made my Nmmumaw.

I grew up in a conservative church where Halloween was the devil's holiday and not celebrated. Instead we had 'harvest' parties and 'trick or trunk' in the church.

Harry Potter....oh my. That fictional character was even more evil than Halloween in that demonination lol.

underneath the bunker said...

Your last two posts really hit home with me. I was raised to not celebrate too. It's so hard to convince that sad, forlorn child that it's okay now. I still feel like I don't deserve celebrations. I tell myself that one of these years, I'll plan some kind of birthday fest for myself or make up some kind of ritual. I'm only in my 40s - there's still time! You hang in there. And use that light box.