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Paper-bag-turkey At a school music program a few years back, one of the classes sang a song about gratitude. Don't remember much about it other than when the choir sang the line 'I'm thankful for…' Then one kid would walk up to the microphone and mumble something like 'my cat' or 'my mom' or something entirely incomprehensible like 'playing as much Wii as I want.'

So let's just use that as today's framework. What I'm thankful for…

  • The premade pie crust from Grand Central Bakery, that elevates my canned pumpkin pie to an entirely new level.
  • That make-a-day-ahead mashed potato recipe.
  • Stove-top stuffing (no -- I'm just kidding about this one). But I am really into recipes that will take some of the cooking pressure off on Thanksgiving Day -- so if you've got some good ones to share, please chime in. As you can tell, this week's pretty much all about cooking for me.
  • A working furnace! It's is darned cold here in Portland and we're looking at more snow and freezing temps (we got a small taste of that yesterday). Around Halloween our furnace went on strike when one small, crucial part broke. Glad we got that fixed, 'cuz we're gonna need some heat this week.
  • That when we sit down to our Thanksgiving meal on Thursday, everyone in the family is truly present. There's time to savor the meal and enjoy one another's company. Real conversations happens, and It often ends up being the best family dinner of the year, making all that cooking worthwhile. (Although let me just add that I do really look forward to the day when I can delegate the cooking of some of the side dishes to my daughters).
  • And how about one last one? A really big one. I'm thankful, so very thankful for my dear friend Heather. She has been the best friend a person could have. We met when our kids were just babes. And we've kept each other grounded through these formative parenting years. Heather's boxes were packed last week, the moving van is enroute and they hopped on a plane to Ohio on Saturday. While I will miss her like the dickens, we wish her the best in settling into her new life. Even though it's too damn far away. Oops. Sorry! That last part didn't sound very thankful. I'll stop that now.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving week? Do you have any short-cut Thanksgiving recipes to share? Or any good wishes or pieces of wisdom for Heather and her family?

Heather and I will be taking the rest of the week off to spend quality time with our families. Wishing you and yours the most joyful Thanksgiving. We'll see you back here on Monday, November 29,


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