A Day To Be Thankful

The original immigrants
Undocumented immigrants!

I am by nature an optimist. I always look for the good, for the silver lining, and remind myself that nothing lasts forever, both good and bad. The world is always changing because that is the way of the world.

This Thanksgiving, the mood here at Casa Aloha is one of great uncertainty, like that of standing in a marsh and unsure of whether the next step will be solid ground or quicksand. Changes are coming, but how they will affect our family and friends, our nation, and our futures are unknown. None of the foundations Brett and I put in place seem as strong as they once did; there are no longer guarantees they will remain as they are, or if they do remain, in what condition.

But, today is a day for expressing gratitude for what we have, not for worrying about the future – that can wait until tomorrow. And today, right now, we have much to be thankful for:

  • Brett and I are in good health. Our children are healthy and thriving.
  • We have two beautiful, healthy grandchildren.
  • My mother is still with us.
  • We have wonderful friends.
  • After 40 years together Brett and my partnership is as strong as ever. We’re still in love, and enjoy each other’s company every day.
  • Meiling and WenYu are attending their #1 college choices, and doing well. YaYu is knocking it out of the park as she moves through her junior year of high school. Our son and his family are healthy and happy
  • We live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
  • We have enough to eat, more than enough actually. We have a lovely home. We can pay our bills, save a little, and have enough money left over to travel once in a while. We know how to live frugally.

We remain optimists.

Sending all of my American readers warm wishes for a blessed Thanksgiving Day!

This Week’s Menu: No Turkeys Here

King Ranch Casserole
King Ranch Casserole

In years past this week’s menu would have been crowded with dishes celebrating all things turkey: roast turkey with all the sides, turkey divan casserole, turkey pot pie, hot turkey sandwiches, turkey soup and so forth. Just the thought of many of them makes my mouth water – I love turkey, and doubt I would have passed it up on Thursday.

But turkey on the menu will have to wait. There’ll be none of it for us this week other than Brett’s turkey dinner at the Hukilau Lanai. It will appear though when all the girls are here next month; in fact, I’m planning to make a full turkey dinner the day our last little bird, WenYu, arrives home. Meiling has been calling every week to ask what I’m going to fix when she’s home, and she has asked specifically for turkey and all the traditional leftover meals.

By the way, I haven’t roasted a turkey since we’ve been here on Kaua’i. It’s been too warm/hot, and the oven has to stay on for too long. These days I cheat by buying a roasted turkey breast from Costco. They’re delicious, and one provides us with at least five meals.

Turkey or not, once again we’ll be continuing to work on getting the freezer emptied, and using up what we have.

This week we’ll be having:

  • Tuesday (this evening): Pasta with pesto; grilled Italian sausages (vegan meatballs for me); grilled zucchini; garlic bread
  • Wednesday: Vegetable fried rice
  • Thursday: Thanksgiving dinner at the Hukilau Lanai
  • Friday: King Ranch casserole; salad (There are a zillion variations of the King Ranch casserole, but this one is pretty close to how I make it). I’m not sure yet what I’ll be having.
  • Saturday: Leftovers
  • Sunday: Tofu & broccoli in spicy peanut sauce; steamed rice. I use brown sugar or molasses instead of honey in the sauce, and don’t freeze my tofu – I boil the cubes for about 6-7 minutes, which helps them keep their shape.
  • Monday: Grilled chicken; vegetable lo mein, sautéed greens

I think I am finally ready to head back to the farmer’s market. We need carrots, peppers, limes, greens (kale & Swiss chard), cucumbers and bananas, and will pick up anything else that looks interesting and affordable.